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  • Listen up, says Marsalis - Master class at the Boston Arts Academy

    Posted on April 18th, 2013 in Review | 0

    As many parents can attest, rousing a child from sleep to make it to the bus stop can be a difficult task. Doing so during a vacation week would seem near impossible. But on Thursday, a group of students from Boston and Cambridge happily rose from bed and made it to class. The reason? Wynton Marsalis was in the house. For an hour and a half the famous trumpeter conducted a master class at the Boston Arts Academy, the city’s only public high school for the visual and performing arts.   Keep reading »

  • An Oratorio of History With History of Its Own

    Posted on February 25th, 2013 in Review | 0

    By the time of Wynton Marsalis’s 1994 oratorio, “Blood on the Fields,” written for three singers and a 15-piece band, his scale for musical structure and organizational planning was big and getting bigger. He was 32 then. Jazz at Lincoln Center hadn’t yet become a constituent part of the larger Lincoln Center organization, and the idea of a dedicated theater for jazz hadn’t even been proposed. But he had already written extended works and had developed a framework for identifying and explaining jazz’s standards of excellence, and for linking the music to the history of black Americans and the notion of cultural survival. Never before had such power resided within one jazz musician, and those who doubted him wanted to be impressed on every possible level — especially after “Blood” won the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for music.   Keep reading »

  • An Unforgettable Evening With Wynton Marsalis, Family And Friends

    Posted on October 23rd, 2012 in Review | 0

    It was obvious when Mr. Ellis Marsalis took a seat in the center of a sold-out audience last night at Loyola’s Louis J. Roussel Performance Hall that the evening would be a special one. No one could have guessed that the performance by his son, Wynton, would turn into the once-in-a-lifetime event it became. The younger Marsalis, 51, performing as part of Loyola University’s Presidential Centennial Guest Series, opened the set with his composition “Free to Be.” Accompanying the nine-time Grammy-winning trumpeter and Managing and Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center was a world-class ensemble featuring Loyola alum Victor Goines (clarinet and saxophone), Carlos Henriquez (bass), Ali Jackson (drums), and Dan Nimmer (piano), who traded solos to resounding applause. Marsalis was thoughtful and gracious, grabbing a towel at stage left for Jackson, and musing at length on the importance of his upbringing, and the basic values of integrity and equality instilled in him by his father.   Keep reading »

  • Forces of Nature: Lightning, Water, Music and Movement

    Posted on October 2nd, 2012 in Review | 0

    A lighthouse guides a ship to safety. A lightning rod diverts a bolt from a structure by providing a direct path to the ground. Still, the opening images of “Lighthouse/Lightning Rod,” a new work by the choreographer Garth Fagan, with loose, exuberant music by the jazz composer and trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, hint at danger as much as at security. Dancers, wearing aquatically themed purples and blues, move spontaneously, as if caught in a riptide: with little warning, they change direction, hopping forward on one leg while taking freestyle strokes in the air with a single arm or collapsing and dangling their fingers toward the floor. Without being too heavy-handed, Mr. Fagan shows that the waters surrounding his “Lighthouse,” as the first section is named, are anything but tranquil.   Keep reading »

  • Wynton Marsalis plays homage to Von Freeman

    Posted on August 31st, 2012 in Review | 0

    Just moments after Wynton Marsalis took the stage of Orchestra Hall on Tuesday night he addressed a subject on many people’s minds: Chicago tenor saxophonist Von Freeman, who died earlier this month at age 88. “He was a legend,” Marsalis told a crowded house, while a memorial service for Freeman was being held across town, at Christ Universal Temple, on South Ashland Avenue.   Keep reading »

  • Wynton Marsalis’s Swing Symphony, Barbican, review

    Posted on July 26th, 2012 in Review | 0

    The LSO and virtuoso trumpeter Wynton Marslis’s Lincoln Centre Jazz Orchestra combined for a fitting climax to the latter’s Barbican residency, writes Ivan Hewett.   Keep reading »

  • The Telegraph: Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra/Congo Square, Barbican, review

    Posted on July 12th, 2012 in Review | 0

    Wynton Marsalis, the celebrated American trumpeter, composer and band-leader, likes to think big. For him jazz is virtuoso musicality, uproarious enjoyment, spiritual edification and cultural memory, all rolled into one. To fulfil that vision he’s created several ambitious multi-movement suites for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. One of them, Congo Square, opened the orchestra’s current residency at the Barbican.   Keep reading »

  • Evening Standard: Congo Square: Wynton Marsalis & the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Barbican Hall

    Posted on July 12th, 2012 in Review | 0

    Congo Square is a quiet spot in north-central New Orleans, near Louis Armstrong Park. Tourists take pictures of Louis’s statue there before lunching in the French Quarter. Little over a century earlier, however, it had a very different function.   Keep reading »

  • Jazz Journal: Wynton Marsalis/Congo Square

    Posted on July 12th, 2012 in Review | 0

    Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra opened their 2012 residency at London’s Barbican Centre yesterday evening with a superb performance that celebrated the very birth of jazz in company with Ghanian drummer Yacub Addy and the band Odadaa! Congo Square was the public space in New Orleans where African slaves gathered on Sunday afternoons to dance and play, and was the only place in the USA where they could gather freely and celebrate their own music and culture. Inspired by this activity between the mid-1700s and the late 1800s, Marsalis and Ghanaian drum master Yacub Addy’s two-hour suite Congo Square celebrates the joy of that music and marks its influence on the jazz that followed.   Keep reading »

  • The Guardian: Wynton Marsalis with JLCO and Odadaa” at Barbican

    Posted on July 12th, 2012 in Review | 1

    Wynton Marsalis is famously resistant to notions of jazz-fusion. He has denounced attempts to dilute jazz by using funk or rock rhythms, always loudly asserting the primacy of swing in the jazz tradition. African rhythms, however, are rather more problematic for him. These rhythms do not swing in the traditional sense: they do not use swung quavers. Musicologically, they’re as far from his notion of jazz as, say, heavy metal. Yet they are undeniably part of jazz’s DNA.   Keep reading »