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  • Wynton Marsalis: Interview by Ted Panken

    Posted on April 14th, 1997 in Profiles & Interviews

    The Reigning Genius of Jazz to his admirers, the Emperor With No Clothes to his debunkers, Wynton Marsalis has attracted public attention and provoked ferociously divergent responses like few musicians in the music’s history. Since his emergence in the early 1980’s as a trumpet virtuoso and composer-bandleader, the result of Marsalis’ choice and treatment of material and his penchant for salty public statements is a public persona akin to a massive lightning rod or magnet that absorbs and repels the roiling opinions and attitudes informing the contemporary Jazz zeitgeist.   Keep reading »

  • Changing the Beat

    Posted on March 25th, 1996 in Profiles & Interviews

    New York’s Lincoln Center. For 34 years, home to the world of classical music. Now there’s a new sound in the house. (music) It’s a new sound for Lincoln Center but not a new sound–like Duke Ellington’s New Orleans Suite.   Keep reading »

  • An OffBeat Interview With Wynton Marsalis

    Posted on December 1st, 1994 in Profiles & Interviews

    Wynton Marsalis is a very prolific writer, but most of compositions have been of the musical variety—notes on staffs rather than words on paper. Until now. The New Orleans-born, multiple Grammy-winning trumpeter, widely considered the most influential jazz musician of his generation, has expanded his repertoire by authoring a 192-page hardback book, Sweet Swing Blues on the Road, in collaboration with photographer Frank Stewart. It is due in bookstores on Dec. 12.   Keep reading »

  • Review/Ballet; Marsalis’s Wit and Anger Evoke Visions of America

    Posted on January 16th, 1993 in Review

    “Jazz (Six Syncopated Movements)” is, true to the New York City Ballet’s habit, a new work for the company that is named after its score. The music is by Wynton Marsalis, one of contemporary jazz’s most popular musicians, and it was written for Peter Martins, one of today’s most prominent neo-classical choreographers.   Keep reading »

  • The Young Lions’ Roar : Wynton Marsalis and the ‘Neoclassical’ Lincoln Center Orchestra

    Posted on September 13th, 1992 in Profiles & Interviews

    Halfway through condemning the electronic jazz-funk Miles Davis played in his later years, Wynton Marsalis stops himself. “Don’t print that, all right?” the trumpeter says suddenly. “When (Miles) was alive, I made it clear what I felt about what he was doing, and now that he’s dead I don’t feel I have to say any more about it.   Keep reading »

  • Wynton Marsalis Gets Kind Of Blue

    Posted on August 25th, 1991 in Review

    There’s a recurring song on Wynton Marsalis’s formidable new trilogy, “Soul Gestures in Southern Blue,” called “So This Is Jazz, Huh?” It is both a challenge and a history lesson. Yeah, the song argues, this is jazz: a system of African-American mythmaking guided by the blues, with a rhythmic chain stretching back to pre-Civil War New Orleans and beyond. This is the seed for a grand musical discourse and an opening for unchecked pedantry. Over the almost three hours of “Soul Gestures in Southern Blue,” Marsalis gives both inclinations free play, to remarkable effect. As composer, arranger, musician and jazz ideologue, he has never been more impressive.   Keep reading »

  • Wynton: Prophet in standard time - Downbeat (September 1990)

    Posted on September 10th, 1990 in Profiles & Interviews

    A rainy afternoon in Arlington Heights, IL. – just a mile up the street from the Italian-American Sports Hall of Fame – the photographer and his assistant convert one corner of Wynton’s hotel suite into a studio while he fiddles with his trumpet. Somebody tripped over it a couple days before and one valve sticks. “Do you have a name for your trumpet?” the photographer asks. “Johnson” Wynton replies, chuckles, and adds, “No, not really.”   Keep reading »

  • Review/Jazz; The New Orleans in Wynton Marsalis

    Posted on March 30th, 1989 in Review

    His first note of the evening was a plunger-muted growl, and throughout the concert’s two sets he used the smears and rasps of early jazz along with the pure-toned, agile melodic style he is known for. Mr. Marsalis, a scholar of jazz-trumpet styles, has clearly been reinvestigating the work of Bubber Miley, who growled bluesy solos for the Duke Ellington Orchestra in the 1920’s.   Keep reading »

  • MUSIC; What Jazz Is - and Isn’t

    Posted on July 31st, 1988 in Profiles & Interviews

    My generation finds itself wedged between two opposing traditions. One is the tradition we know in such wonderful detail from the enormous recorded legacy that tells anyone who will listen that jazz broke the rules of European conventions and created rules of its own that were so specific, so thorough and so demanding that a great art resulted. This art has had such universal appeal and application to the expression of modern life that it has changed the conventions of American music as well as those of the world at large.   Keep reading »