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  • Wynton Marsalis’ Concerto in D revels in Americana

    Posted on July 13th, 2016 in Review

    Wynton Marsalis long ago established his fluency in multiple musical languages, jazz and classical chief among them. But blues, gospel, spirituals, tango, African chant and other idioms also course through Marsalis’ large works, such as the symphonic-choral “All Rise,” the sanctified “In This House, On This Morning” and the vocal-orchestral epic “Blood on the Fields” (the first jazz composition to win a Pulitzer Prize, in 1997).   Keep reading »

  • Marsalis Muses On His First Concerto (For, Yes, Violin)

    Posted on July 11th, 2016 in Profiles & Interviews

    HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. — When jazz musicians venture into the world of classical music, such undertakings often get tagged — sometimes pejoratively — as “crossover” projects. But for renowned trumpeter and composer Wynton Marsalis, the managing and artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, working in the classical realm does not mean crossing over to some foreign stylistic territory but rather returning to familiar musical ground, as should be evident when his Concerto in D (for Violin and Orchestra) receives its American premiere July 12 at the Ravinia Festival by violinist Nicola Benedetti, guest conductor Cristian Măcelaru, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.   Keep reading »

  • Q&A Live on Facebook with Wynton Marsalis, Nicola Benedetti and Cristian Macelaru

    Posted on July 10th, 2016 in News | 1

    Wynton Marsalis, Nicola Benedetti and Cristian Macelaru host a Facebook Live session from backstage at the Ravinia Festival on July 11th. Catch them while they prepare for the U.S. premiere of the Marsalis Violin Concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.   Keep reading »

  • The History and Systems of Slavery Behind Wynton Marsalis’ Blood on the Fields

    Posted on July 9th, 2016 in Profiles & Interviews

    Commissioned by the Lincoln Center in New York City and released in 1997 by Columbia Records, Blood on the Fields is a three-and-a-half-hour jazz oratorio written by Wynton Marsalis. The piece considers the lives of Jesse and Leona, an African prince and a commoner, who are deported from their native land and enslaved on a cotton plantation in the American South.   Keep reading »

  • American premiere of the first violin concerto by Wynton Marsalis

    Posted on July 7th, 2016 in News

    The 2016 CSO residency opens with the American premiere of the first violin concerto by jazz legend Wynton Marsalis, co-commissioned by Ravinia Festival for violinist Nicola Benedetti, who will mark her third Ravinia appearance.   Keep reading »

  • Wynton Marsalis, violin virtuosa talk about their U.S. premiere work at Ravinia

    Posted on July 5th, 2016 in Profiles & Interviews

    So what is America’s most prominent and powerful jazzman doing writing a classical violin concerto? In fact, the Violin Concerto that Wynton Marsalis composed for Scottish violin virtuosa Nicola Benedetti, which will receive its American premiere with her as soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on next Tuesday night at Ravinia, is the latest in a series of works that the multi-talented trumpeter, composer, educator and artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center has written for classical symphony orchestra.   Keep reading »

  • Jazzfest review: Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis in Ottawa

    Posted on June 29th, 2016 in Review

    On a day when the leaders of Canada, the United States and Mexico were engaged in high-level talks in Ottawa, a more informal international jazz summit took place in Confederation Park. Wednesday night on the TD Ottawa Jazz Festival’s main stage, Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra invited members of the Moscow Jazz Orchestra, who have their own festival concert Thursday, to play with them.   Keep reading »

  • The Story Behind the First Pulitzer for Jazz

    Posted on June 22nd, 2016 in Profiles & Interviews

    In 1997, for the first time in the history of the Pulitzer Prize in Music, the award went to a genre intimately bound up with the cultural, social and racial history of this country: jazz. Wynton Marsalis’s “Blood on the Fields,” an epic vocal-orchestral suite that dealt head-on with the tragedy of slavery, became not only the first jazz work to take the highest honor in American music but the first non-classical piece ever to win.   Keep reading »

  • Vision & Justice: Wynton Marsalis on Frank Stewart

    Posted on May 31st, 2016 in Profiles & Interviews

    For the “Vision & Justice” issue of Aperture, Wynton Marsalis, Ingrid Monson, Alicia Hall Moran, Jason Moran, and Somi reflect on photographs that represent moments in their lives. Here, Marsalis responds to Frank Stewart’s Calling the Indians Out.   Keep reading »

  • To Really Appreciate Louis Armstrong’s Trumpet, You Gotta Play it. Just Ask Wynton Marsalis

    Posted on May 23rd, 2016 in Profiles & Interviews

    One of the standout musical artifacts to go on view at the National Museum of African American History and Culture when it opens this fall is the elegant 70-year-old brass trumpet from Louis Armstrong. One of dozens he played through his five decades of performing, it came to life when Armstrong played it. “Satchmo,” as he was known, was not only one of the most popular musicians of the 20th century, he also helped steer jazz to a new direction—one of inventive soloing, done with a heart that connected to millions.   Keep reading »