Wynton Marsalis Discussion Forum


Jazz Dying on Marsalis’ Watch


Total Posts: 35

Joined 2007-11-05


I’m sorry Wynton fans, but Marsalis to me for someone who is always lecturing on the history of Jazz has forgotten the most important lesson taught by the greats of the past. And that is that you owe it to the art form that once you headline you produce and promote headliners to keep the art form growing.

But for 20 years its been all about Wynton and his lecturng. Where are the new stars.


I saw Marsalis over 20 years ago at Mikells on Columbus Ave in New York. He was 19 and playing in Art Blakey’s band.  Blakey’s band was called the Jazz Messengers and he took reponsibility for finding the new talent and promoting them so they could headline.


Blakey got it. He lived it. He saw up and coming jazz stars featured with Ellington and Basie, then Dizzy and Bird then Miles and so on.


Who has Marsalis propelled to prominance. No one in 20 years. NY jazz clubs cling to Clark Terry, Mingus Dynasty bands,etc. He is content with being polite society’s jazz star at Carnegie Hall. People who know nothing of Jazz , know Marsalis and noone else.


Imagine if each year Marsalis promoted a future star what the state of Jazz would be.


Marsalis has so self dominated the Jazz lanscape that god forbid something happened to him there is no other face of Jazz and that’s when Jazz will regrettably but officially be dead.


The real question is, Is Marsalis’s ego so big that he really doesn’t care?


Total Posts: 404

Joined 2006-07-09


Are you serious? Your post is filled with lies, half-truths, and just plain bad information…I believe many people on here could list the young performers that have come up with Wynton’s tuteledge and encouragement. As for jazz clubs and older artists/younger artists…do you actually live in NYC? Geez….pick up the listings in any paper and compare to your statements…“Polite jazz society’s jazz star”? What was polite about “Blood on the Fields” or “All Rise” or “Don’t Be Afraid the Clowns Afraid Too?” or Love Supreme” or “Congo Square”...are you serious? Have you listened to Black Codes, Live at Blues Alley, hell “Planatation to the Penitentiary” isn’t “polite”...

btw here are a few un-star jazz artists that Wynton has “brought up”


Marcus Roberts

Roy Hargrove

Nicholas Peyton

Joshua Redman

James Carter

Eric Reed

Eric Lewis

Wycliffe Gordan


and a few “unstars” he hasn’t


Branford Marsalis

Diana Krall

Dave Douglas

Joe Lovano

Chris Potter

Diane Reeves


I would be happy to post a complete and extensive list if you would like…..


Total Posts: 492

Joined 2005-03-23


Isn’t funny how over the years, this idea about how jazz is dying has managed to hang around as long as the music itself? Remember when Lester Bowie was asked ” Is Jazz as we know it, dying?” His answer was, “Depends on who you know!” There are enough artists, enough opinions, enough marketing strategies, enough institutions, enough schools, and enough listeners to guarantee that Jazz ain’t goin nowhere but ahead. BUt then again, that’s always been true.

But I agree with Juan. Jes0458, you need to get out more.


Total Posts: 301

Joined 2006-07-17


Hi Juan. To erase these mis-conceptions, it would be great if you would continue your post.

Wynton revived jazz to national prominence through performances, educational efforts and programs from Jazz at Lincoln Center. His latest works, including Congo Square and Suite for Human Nature, are on the cutting edge of modern composition. Many well-known jazz artists are included on Juan’s preliminary list.


Total Posts: 150

Joined 2005-03-14


It is unfortunate there are some out there who continually place the burden of keeping jazz alive on Wynton Marsalis. Not once has Wynton ever claimed to be jazz’s messiah or gatekeeper. If you ever attended one of his shows and had the opportunity to go backstage and see the number of people who have been given lessons, encouragement or advice, you would see that his “ego” is in no way a reflection of his not caring. Self dominance? You do a disservice to both Wynton and other jazz musicians who are continually out there promoting jazz not only through playing but also through education. “Polite jazz society’s jazz star?”  Is it because he plays in places other than small dark smoky clubs? Should it really matter what venue he plays as long as he is playing jazz?  It seems you have presented an argument that really has no correct point of view and is simply untrue.


Total Posts: 492

Joined 2005-03-23


Check out this link for the Center For Improvisation :



Just another example of the health of the music


Total Posts: 85

Joined 2006-11-16


There’s nothing left for me to say except that you’re a jackass, Jes.


Total Posts: 35

Joined 2007-11-05


Well…. for those who inquired I lived in NY and now in NJ and am well aware of the state of Jazz in NY.  With the exception of maybe Roberts, Peyton and Redmond few of the names Juan mentioned could fill a club. Plus its a stretch to credit Wynton for all these people…....Reeves, Krall…...come on, and Brandford…..Wynton embarrassed his brother to leave the Tonight Show, where at least he got National exposure that would bring people out if he toured.

The rest of the people on that list have no drawing power whatsoever. Any notariety they get is from just playing with Wynton.


I repeat my premis…..“if something where to happed to Wynton…there are few who could fill a Jazz club…much less Carnegie Hall.


As far as playing in Jazz Clubs that’s where artist develop a following so eventually they can be headliners in bigger venues.  Most of the artists Juan mentioned couldn’t come close to filling a theater.




Years back I would see, Ron Carter, Joe Zawinal, Chick Corea, Sonny Fortune, Chico Freeman, Ahmad Jamal, Oscar Peterson, McCoy Tyner, Heath Brothers, Dave Valantine, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Phil Woods, even Dizzy was still playing in the 80’s, John Faddis even Miles played a gig at Carnegie…..and oh yes Wynton in Blakey’s band. They all played the theaters AND the Clubs…..every weekend there were headline Jazz STARS you could see in the City. All these artist were peers in an era.


Who are Wynton’s peers? Now its Wynton and then….everybody else.


Juan….when you can name names like this I’ll cede your point and please…..singers? Carmen McCrae, Sarah Vaughn, Betty Carter, even Ella near the end of her career. You can’t compare and this was the 70’s and 80’s.  I’m not even talking 30’s 40’s 50’s ,Wynton can speak to those era’s as well as anyone.


Maybe you Wynton fans are pretty young….Still want to compare Pre Wynton and Post Wynton?....your list looks pretty weak.


Look….I point this out because I am a Jazz fan and Wynton is a great, great artist and in my opinion in 20 years he had the abilty and the responsibility to develop new stars….and hasn’t.


Sorry Juan your list compared to number stars of the past further makes my point


“Jazz is dying on Wynton’s watch” and when he plays his last note….there will be little left.


Total Posts: 404

Joined 2006-07-09


“Plus its a stretch to credit Wynton for all these people…....Reeves, Krall…...come on, and Brandford..” ......are you a complete moron or what? I said he “didn’t” as in DID NOT HELP BRING THESE ARTISTS TO PUBLIC ATTENTION. Although Branford himself has credited Wynton with bringing him to Blakey’s band and with motivating him to “stop indulging his distractions” (his words, not mine) Are you complaining about Wynton’s influence on the “State of Jazz” or just complaining that “it’s not like it was in the old day…” Jesus…you could make that argument for almost any period of Art Music…“gosh, there just are any cats around like that Bach guy anymore, you know that Beethoven is crazy his music is too wild not like Haydn, yeah, ‘ol Franz Joseph could really pack ‘em in…” You really cannot be taken seriously by most of us on here.

“he had the abilty and the responsibility to develop new stars….and hasn’t.” .....so he hasn’t used young musicians in his bands, or encouraged them, took them out o the road, givven them recording opportunites or spent countless hours teaching and supporting jazz education..? Becoming a “star” is not the responsibility of the mentoring band leader but also a function of the culture and industry…is being a “star” your criteria for artistic credibility? If so, then you are completely out of touch with the jazz realm, many of our greatest composers and performers were never “stars” (Monk was one) I mean lets face it, there a lot of stars in popular music right now that can’t carry the musical jockstrap of many unknown jazz artists…so your theory of “stardom” is completely flawed. Oh and here is a list of current artists from a friend of mine that is a booking agent. I think there are plenty of jazz “stars” who sell a good number of tickets.




























































Ahmad Jamal.

Al Jarreau .

Alex Bugnon .

Arturo Sandoval .

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy .

Bob Baldwin

Boney James

Brian Setzer Orchestra .

Cassandra Wilson

Charmaine Neville .

  - (daughter of Charles) .

Chris Botti

Chuck Mangione .

Cleo Laine with John Dankworth .

Corporate Culture

Dave Koz .

Dee Dee Bridgewater

Diane Schuur .

Dianne Reeves

Dirty Dozen Brass Band

Duke Ellington Orchestra

Duke Robillard

Earl Klugh .

Eddie Palmieri


Freda Payne .

George Benson .

Gerald Albright


Harry Connick, Jr.  .

Haute Chile .

Herbie Hancock .

James Spaulding

Jennifer Holliday

Joe Lovano

Joe Sample .

Joesf Glaude .

John McLaughlin

Jon Faddis

Jonathan Butler

Karrin Allyson

Kenny G .

Kevin Mahogany .

Kirk Whalum .

Lonnie Liston Smith

Lou Rawls - deceased .

Madeleine Peyroux

Manhattan Transfer .

Marion Meadows

Maysa Leak (of Incognito)

Miki Howard .

Nancy Wilson .

Orchestra of the Americas .

Pat Metheny Group.

Patrice Rushen .

Paul Lacano & the James Daniel Big Band .

Poncho Sanchez

Rachelle Ferrell .

Randy Crawford .

Robben Ford & The Blue Line

Ronnie Laws

Spyro Gyra

Steve Laury

Steve Swell

Take 6 .

Tito Puente- deceased

Tito Puente Orchestra -

  featuring founding member Mario Rivera

  plus Johnny Rodriquez and Sonny Bravo

Victor Wooten

Wayne Shorter .


Total Posts: 35

Joined 2007-11-05


Juan….you need to chill…...I don’t even know what point you are trying to makie…you’re all over the place….and whats with that list? Big Bad Voodoo? Please dude the more you wright the more you make my point.

I’m telling you about the state of the Jazz scene in one of the biggest cities that was a vibrant hub of Jazz and your giving me lists.  The most recognizable people on that list are pre Wynton.


Okay you’re right Jazz is flourishing, Jazz clubs aren’t dying and Wynton has ushered back the hey day of Jazz and I’m wrong…..Wynton isn’t the single promient voice and there are numerous headliners filling clubs and theaters across the country.


Here you go Juan coming to Manhattan this week….check out whats happening at this link




I guess we’ll have to wait til Wynton graces us with an appearance or go see the Mingus Dynasty band…......again


Total Posts: 404

Joined 2006-07-09


“Write” not “wright” you moron, and really, jazz clubs were dying long before Wynton was even working out of his Arbans book….perhaps you missed it around 1964…it was called ROCK AND ROLL and American popular culture has never been the same…and if I remember correctly, YOU asked for a list, its not my list, as I said before, Jesus, can you even read, it is the list of a friend of mine who is a booking agent…If you actually are a jazz fan, you are doing a great disservice to any number of artists who fill clubs and concert halls all over America and the world…not just Wynton…


Total Posts: 35

Joined 2007-11-05


They ain’t fillin em in NY…..your point about Rock and Roll around “64? All the acts I listed you cold see in the 70’s and 80’s….Jazz Giants and all time greats. As a matter of fact it was after that period of time that Wynton’s Star was born.

But in 2007 we’re down to one Jazz Giant under 60 years old and that’s your man Wynton. Wynton the tuxedo wearing, history teaching, reminding us of the good old days…that will never be again. Let me know the next time Wynton is teaching us all about Jazz where he mentions an artist that’s his peer or anyone who came on the scene in the last 20 years.


Here’s how it works….Wynton tours and features a player…introduces him as a future star…like Blakey did for him.  After that tour…that player is a headliner with a record deal and promotion behind him…just like it happened for Wynton.  That’s how Ellington did it and Basie and Dizzy they knew they owed it the art form and to the ones that came before them. Wynotn’s happy cashing big checks and his stature as the Jazz standard bearer.


Hope I spelled eveything correctly.


Total Posts: 404

Joined 2006-07-09


I give you a B+ in spelling, you left out a “to” and misspelled Wynton, geez,  but a D- in jazz history….since you know “how it works” I’m sure you don’t really need to read any of this however, you have completely missed my point AGAIN, my statement about 1964 had to do with the cultural connotations of the advent of rock and roll, it had absolutely nothing to do with what acts were available during the 70’s and 80’s…geez, I’m not even sure what your point is, talk about all over the place….my point was that jazz and jazz clubs were waning in popularity with the general public for decades prior to Wynton’s appearance on the scene. While you may be touting the 70’s and 80’s as this “golden age” for jazz artists in clubs, the resurgence in jazz recording happened between 1986-96 and that was when you starting having big recording contracts for emerging artists, established artists and a huge re-issue program for the major labels. To re-visit your other false statement “That’s how Ellington did it and Basie and Dizzy they knew they owed it the art form and to the ones that came before them. ” None of their sidemen ever eclipsed them as stars, in Ellington’s case most of them stayed so long with him (one sax section intact for 28 years, Harry Carney for 50!) that their best playing was on his recordings. Basie, maybe Lester Young…but Basie was around longer…Dizzy, hmmm, while he gave a few younger guys their start in his big band, (I’ll let you guess their names since you think you know so much s h i t) you can’t name one single sideman (sorry, Bird and Monk don’t count..maybe Sonny Rollins?)  that ever came close to being as big a star as him, their is one huge exception to these leaders…but again, you haven’t thought to mention them so I’ll leave that up to your all knowing ass.  How does Wynton have anything to do with one of his sidemen getting a record deal? He doesn’t run a label, or a booking agency..he does however give tons of artists ample opportunity to play at the House of Swing in various incarnations….do you really think that Art Blakey made Wynton a star? CBS and Wynton made Wynton a star, nothing against Blakey, he provided the fertile soil in which dozens of young artists came into maturity, but the record companies, the taste of the public, and the artist themselves have much more to do with it….

I think it is obvious that you are not a musican, scholar, jazz fan, or even someone with much of an intellect, your writing and comments are part of the great ignorance that keeps jazz music as a second class art form in the minds of many Americans. I feel sorry for your inability to accept the reality that even with our obvious cultural challenges, jazz is doing just fine, in many forms, and Wynton is a major influence in that regard.


Total Posts: 35

Joined 2007-11-05


You’re right I don’t know anything about Jazz…learned nothing seeing all those artist I mentioned ( actually I just looked them up in the encyclopedia to impress people).  Only went to the Jazz clubs to impress my dates. And the over 30 years I have been playing Alto Sax was just an exercise to work my brain.

Unfortunately for you, you expose yourself for the closed minded person you are. Because only those blindly commited to their own point of view resort to name calling and totally discount other peoples opinions..


To characterize me as ignorant after all my references to the artists I’ve seen and tell me I’m NOT a jazz fan…just illustrates my point about you even more.  Your problem is your insecure and can’t handle challenges to your own opinion without diparaging the person with whom you disagree. I find people like you shallow minded and uninteresting.


Accoring to you Jazz is as popular as ever with the landscape filled with many stars playing countless venues across the country and If mainstream is looking for a spokesperson for Jazz they have numerous to choose from.


Keep drnking the Wynton Kool Aid.  You are more of sychopant who has found jazz and has made it such apart of your identity that anyone that quetions it’s viability as well as your idol threatens you.


My guess is your young, single and a narrow minded person. There’s nothing wrong with that most people start out that way. Some of us grow and realize our point of view may not be the only one and can tolerate and learn from other peoples opinions.


I appreciate your passion for Jazz but don’t let it blind you. I have read all your points and you havn’t convinced me the reality is the reality and…...


Jazz is dying on Marselis’s watch.


Total Posts: 141

Joined 2006-08-28


I come from a city in New York that has been nurturing a new Jazz Festival for the past 6 years.  This festival now attracts over 160 artists and 100,000 audience member during it’s 9 day stint each June.  The first 5 years were held independently of any Marsalis family member participation.  It grew and grew.  International artists from Canada and Europe are featured, as well as American artists of every musical generation.  We have 9 continuous nights of Jazz, 7 indoor venues, and up to 4 outdoor venues every night.  Our city economically prospers during this period, millions are earned by local businesses.  The Jazz Fest is now one of the most talked about events in our area.  Throughout the year at our regular Jazz venues, I overhear conversations from people regarding their devotion to the Jazz Fest, how they schedule their vacation time from work to have their time free during June to STAY in their own home area and attend a JAZZ event.  Without the Marsalis name, the festival grew to this stature.  People love it.  People fly here for it. 

Death of one way often leads to a Rebirth.  That is what my city is doing every June.  And last June Wynton did come!!


Total Posts: 404

Joined 2006-07-09


AT LEAST SPELL THE MAN’S NAME CORRECTLY!! Jesus, you’re killin’ me here…..I am systematically taking your argument apart yet you only reply in generalities, and put words in my mouth…hmmm…I call you names because it is fun for me, and paints a more interesting picture in the minds of the dear readers…so, lets go to the scoreboard Al….

You asked for artists that Wynton developed-I gave you that

You asked for more lists-I posted an extensive list

You talked about the greats developing artists-I gave you a lengthy response, you don’t even respond (Oh and by the way the one exception I was thinking of was Miles-a few of his sidemen have become fairly large “stars”)

I spoke about the culture and advent of rock and roll-no response

I spoke about the specific resurgence of jazz recording-nothing…

I spoke about artistic credibilty and “star power”-no response

I spoke about record companies and public taste-nothing from you

Jes, you’re making this too easy, come on, TRY to deal with any of my statements…I haven’t dodged any of yours, and now you are trying to profile me through my writing..HA…it just so happens I’m a middle aged guy with kids (why the “single” comment that was weird, dude, is that like some veiled homophobic thing?)  who has played jazz on 4 continents and been involved with this music as a performer and teacher for a good 30 years…so maybe your views are valid, however, I don’t subscribe to the idea that we let your type of uninformed opinion go unchallenged. If you have noticed, I actually have said little in defense of Wynton, he needs little of that, his work speaks for itself, so the Kool Aid is not being served here, as a matter of fact, I have never said that jazz was,  in your words “as popular as ever “, as a matter of fact my statement was “jazz clubs were dying long before Wynton was even working out of his Arbans book…” which is the exact opposite of the words you try to put in my mouth.

Me calling you ignorant means you are lacking in available knowledge, that there are more opportunities out there than you may be aware of (and spellcheck, man)...so, you claim to play,huh? Where can we come and hear you? Why don’t we get together and work this out on the bandstand, one of my students is playing at Dizzy’s Dec 1, for an alto sax battle, so I’ll be there and I’m sure he’ll let us sit in…Oh, and your grades this time:

Spelling and grammar C- (wow, you’re getting worse!)

History D (you’re not following directions)

Chill Factor   F (you’re typing so fast you don’t make sense)