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News Updates – Review

  • David Robertson brings his tenure as SLSO music director to a high-energy finish with W. Marsalis

    Posted on May 9th, 2018 in Review

    In her program notes for the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra concerts this past weekend (May 4 - 6, 2018), René Spencer Saller quotes composer and jazz trumpet virtuoso Wynton Marsalis as describing the final, quiet moments of his “Swing Symphony” this way: “It’s a wistful feeling; it’s not sad, and it’s not happy. It’s a feeling of contentment, a quiet celebration. It’s like the last breath you take: ‘We did this. We had a good time.’”   Keep reading »

  • Marsalis, Guests Explore the Blues

    Posted on March 28th, 2018 in Review

    The blues is the lingua franca on United We Swing: Best Of The Jazz At Lincoln Center Galas (Blue Engine), a new compilation featuring the Wynton Marsalis Septet. The album features memorable performances by a parade of stars from the worlds of pop music, gospel and blues: Bob Dylan, Ray Charles (in one of his final performances), Eric Clapton, Willie Nelson, James Taylor, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Jimmy Buffett, Lenny Kravitz, John Legend, Lyle Lovett, John Mayer, Audra McDonald, Natalie Merchant, Carrie Smith, Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks, all backed by the trumpeter’s septet. As Marsalis put it in an interview with DownBeat, “All of them came to play.”   Keep reading »

  • JLCO with Wynton Marsalis in London - Bernstein’s compassionate generosity

    Posted on March 1st, 2018 in Review

    Leonard Bernstein’s optimistic modernism united showtune, symphony and jazz into a single, outward-looking musical vision. This concert, part of the Barbican’s celebration of Bernstein’s centennial year, captured the compassionate generosity of Bernstein’s work through the opulent reeds, luxurious brass and rhythmic spring of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (JLCO).   Keep reading »

  • Wynton Marsalis’ JLCO Red Hot & Retro At The Barbican

    Posted on March 1st, 2018 in Review

    The 1938 Carnegie Hall concert that brought together Benny Goodman’s hit-making orchestra and stars from the Ellington and Basie bands was a game-changing moment for 20th century America, both artistically and socially. Carnegie Hall, a temple of classical music, was opening its doors to a new world. It was also lending its stage to a glimpse of social harmony that – though yet to be fulfilled, 80 years later – was nonetheless a high-profile showcase for white/African-American artistic liaisons that were inconceivable to many in the 1930s.   Keep reading »

  • New Yorkers salute groundbreaking night with glittering eloquence

    Posted on February 28th, 2018 in Review

    New York’s Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra amble on to the Barbican’s stage every couple of years and are always greeted by delighted audiences as if they were long-lost relatives bearing gifts. Tuesday’s curtain-raiser to the jazz orchestra’s current residency was a typically graceful blend of swing grooves that ticked over like an immense and perfectly balanced engine, ensemble parts played with languid rigour, and concise improv that both embellishes compositions and cherishes their shapes. The night’s theme was the tightly drilled but expansive 30s big-band jazz of Benny Goodman – the most ecstatically popular western dance phenomenon until the coming of rock’n’roll – which those long-honed JLCO virtues could hardly have fitted better.   Keep reading »

  • Bernstein at 100 @ Barbican Hall, London

    Posted on February 28th, 2018 in Review

    The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra is one of the Barbican’s International Associates, and this concert of music by Leonard Bernstein, whose centenary falls this year, showed exactly why it enjoys the same official standing as the New York Philharmonic and Leipzig Gewandhaus.   Keep reading »

  • How Wynton Marsalis is like Mozart - and why his concerto in Philly is for violin, not trumpet

    Posted on November 1st, 2017 in Review

    Supposedly running 50 minutes at its 2015 London premiere, the concerto would seem to be one of the longest pieces of its kind. Now that it’s arriving for Philadelphia Orchestra concerts Thursday through Saturday at the Kimmel Center, the piece has a more Brahmsian length of 40 minutes. Rest assured, though, this concerto doesn’t sound like Brahms.   Keep reading »

  • Music and meaning, the Marsalis way

    Posted on October 31st, 2017 in Review

    “In a few minutes, we are going to talk about improvisation. You are about to see it,” Harvard President Drew Faust told the crowd at Sanders Theatre on Monday evening as jazz great Wynton Marsalis took up his trumpet.   Keep reading »

  • With Faust, Wynton Marsalis Reflects on Power of Music

    Posted on October 31st, 2017 in Review

    Trumpeter and composer Wynton L. Marsalis improvised some blues with the Harvard Jazz Band before reflecting on the value of education for both the arts and society with University President Drew G. Faust in a crowded Sanders Theatre Monday night.   Keep reading »

  • Marsalis and JLCO celebrate Morton and Lewis

    Posted on October 15th, 2017 in Review

    Let no one doubt that Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra aim to educate as well as entertain. That much was inescapable from their residency over the weekend in Orchestra Hall, where Marsalis and friends kicked off Symphony Center’s jazz series with rigorous examinations of the work of two jazz giants.   Keep reading »