Wynton and the Essentially Ellington Jazz Band Competition 2005
(interview by Associated Press)
Wynton Marsalis didn’t mind losing sleep for some high school band members. While on tour in a town “somewhere in Washington state” a few months ago, “I was doing a gig and it was midnight,” Marsalis told The Associated Press. “This girl, about 14, came to see me and I said, ‘What are you doing out so late?’”
Marsalis said the teen told him she really wanted to be there, even if she had to be up for 6 a.m. band practice.
“I told her, ‘I’ll be there — if you wake me up! Just let the phone ring a lot.” It took about 20 rings but Marsalis was up the next morning coaching students at dawn.
“I tell them, ‘Make the music sound like human beings. It doesn’t have to be perfect — it’s got to have exuberance, snap, verve. Give me what’s inside of you, that’s what I’m interested in,” the 43-year-old trumpeter told the AP.
Wynton, was among the judges at this year’s Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition, which ended Sunday.
The New World School of the Arts High School in Miami was the winner, followed by Roosevelt High School in Seattle and Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Wash.
It was the first time the competition was held at Frederick P. Rose Hall, the new home of Jazz at Lincoln Center, which sponsors the event.
Wynton Marsalis sits down with and listens to Third Place winner Mountlake Terrace High School Jazz Band of Mountlake Terrace, WA. (AP Photo/Gina Gayle)
Wynton Marsalis joins First Place winner, New World School of the Arts Jazz Band of Miami, FL. (AP Photo/Gina Gayle)
Wynton Marsalis joins the guys from Roosevelt high school. (AP Photo/Gina Gayle)