Home»Wynton's Blog

Wynton’s Blog

  • What about something new?

    Posted on June 12th, 2014 | 1

    Since I began playing Jazz music publicly, I have been asked many of the same questions over and over by the boldest members of a given audience such as:   Keep reading »

  • Lifetime Achievement Award to veteran record executive Bruce Lundvall

    Posted on April 27th, 2014

    This Saturday I had the honor of presenting the Jazz Foundation of America’s (JFA) Lifetime Achievement Award to veteran record executive *Bruce Lundvall*. For more than 21 years, The JFA has supported jazz musicians in need. Under the leadership of their irrepressible Vice Chairman Wendy Oxenhorn, they have allowed many of our elders who are struggling or infirm to live with dignity.   Keep reading »

  • Passed in the blink of an eye, man

    Posted on April 8th, 2014

    Whenever we played at UC Berkeley, California, we would always stay at the Claremont Hotel. It is a magnificent 300 room hotel and spa set up on a hill with landscaped gardens and tennis courts. We didn’t want to know about any tennis however; it was always the basketball courts at the University or somewhere in Oakland.   Keep reading »

  • In this tour, we have played 19 concerts of various sizes and shapes

    Posted on March 25th, 2014 | 1

    On this tour, we have played 19 concerts of various sizes and shapes; 104 different compositions by over 33 different composers. Finally, we get to play the new SFJazz Center, five concerts (Ellington, Basie, Mingus, Monk, Traditional New Orleans Music and Recent Arrangements and Compositions by our members) in four days.   Keep reading »

  • You have to WANT to be

    Posted on March 18th, 2014

    For about one and a half hours after the gig in San Diego on Saturday night, I stood on the sidewalk outside the backstage area with about sixty high school age students, their band directors and chaperones, signing autographs, taking pictures and fielding questions about everything from, “Should I whip my younger brother’s behind for x, y and z?” to “How many hours did you practice when you were my age?”   Keep reading »

  • We travelled a few hours from Grass Valley to Santa Rosa

    Posted on March 12th, 2014 | 1

    On Sunday, we travelled a few hours from Grass Valley to Santa Rosa. This was the 5th straight gig, not necessarily difficult on paper, but when connected to 4 or 5 hour drives that become 7 due to the unforeseen, and you drive through lunch, and your room is not ready until whenever someone says, and the soundcheck is at 5, and you have 5 tunes to review, and…whew! The execution can be much rougher than the dream.   Keep reading »

  • On Nelson Mandela’s legacy

    Posted on December 9th, 2013 | 2

    We are all trapped in the unresolved battles of our ancestors, limited by our inability to conceive beyond the boundaries of our culture and education. From primal,‘survival of the fittest’ instincts to the refined segregations developed by the most sophisticated amongst us, we have a deep tradition of degrading ‘other’ human beings in the frenzy to control resources, to amass wealth and to confer status through arbitrary social constructs.The repetition of these constructs across generations produces conventions and ‘isms’  that we confuse with reality. Of the many ‘isms’ that prevent us from realizing our true global identity, racism is one of the most irrational and deeply rooted.   Keep reading »

  • And so this caravan of troubadours journey to a final jubilee in Boston’s historic Symphony Hall

    Posted on October 28th, 2013

    And so this caravan of troubadours journey to a final jubilee in Boston’s historic Symphony Hall. We left New York at 9:15am on Sunday having scorched the stage of Rose Theater Saturday night with the intention of calling out and upon the Holy Spirit.  And that Spirit was evoked with an openhearted urgency by the Reverend Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III who summoned his mastery of meaning and impeccable sense of timing to illuminate the purpose of our Mass.   Keep reading »

  • Tuesday night we played Woolsey Hall on the campus of Yale University.

    Posted on October 24th, 2013

    Tuesday night we played Woolsey Hall on the campus of Yale University. Colleges, with the concentration of intellectual pursuit and the heightened intensity of male/female interchanges, have always been fantastic sites for Jazz concerts. However, we did not play for an audience of college age students. It was an older, more patient group. They sat in the Hall with the weightiness of deep listeners. This Mass is two hours in total and, as with any long music, after a combined hour and twenty minutes, people get restless—not last night. Their attitude affected our pacing. Where we would normally feel the need to rush, they gave us the sense that it was ok to take our time.   Keep reading »

  • All great music is a gift and thus an instrument of God

    Posted on October 22nd, 2013

    We participated in the inaugural season of Parmer Hall at Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania last night. This is a College with the spirit of music all around it. Here’s a photo of the blackboard in the Orchestra’s dressing room; a beautiful, warm hall with acoustics that allowed us to take down the band’s microphones for the second half. A great hall is very difficult to build. This one will serve the College well. Congratulations.   Keep reading »