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  • Wynton Marsalis and JLCO colleagues swing their own tunes at Symphony Center

    Posted on March 2nd, 2017 in Review

    We’ve known for a long time that the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra stands as an ensemble of virtuosos. But that term generally refers to the level at which musicians play their instruments. In the case of the JLCO members, though, it also signifies the way they wield their pens.   Keep reading »

  • 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 »

  • 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 »

  • Wynton Marsalis’ expression of faith: ‘The Abyssinian Mass’

    Posted on March 14th, 2016 in Review

    It’s a theme that trumpeter Wynton Marsalis has considered deeply and often in his career as composer: faith. With “The Abyssinian Mass,” a three-disc set that Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra will release Friday, the composer returns to the subject, in expansive form.   Keep reading »

  • Marsalis and JLCO play marathon, with a little help from Basie

    Posted on January 24th, 2016 in Review

    It was billed as a “Battle Royale,” but the matchup between the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and the Count Basie Orchestra on Saturday night turned out to be more love fest than cutting contest.   Keep reading »

  • U.S.-Cuban love affair continues, via jazz

    Posted on August 18th, 2015 in Review

    Long before the U.S. flag rose above the reopened American embassy in Havana last Friday, jazz was linking two feuding nations. Long before President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro went on TV last December to announce a thaw in relations between the countries, jazz musicians from both places nurtured ties that transcended politics.   Keep reading »

  • Marsalis and JALC in warm surroundings in Skokie

    Posted on July 11th, 2015 in Review

    The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra has performed often in the Chicago area since 1992, the year of its first national tour – when it was called the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and presented a compelling all-Ellington program in Orchestra Hall.   Keep reading »

  • Wynton Marsalis leads a lively triple-header with orchestra

    Posted on February 15th, 2015 in Review

    What’s the difference between a great ensemble and a merely fine one? Perhaps it’s malleability: the gift for adapting quickly to shifting artistic demands. Certainly Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra showed that skill over the weekend in Orchestra Hall, playing three different concerts in quick succession and to striking effect. Any one of the performances would have been memorable. All three pointed to a band that consistently rises to changing aesthetic circumstances.   Keep reading »

  • Wynton Marsalis reaches out to the young

    Posted on February 10th, 2015 in Profiles & Interviews

    No event in Orchestra Hall’s jazz season generates greater anticipation or larger audiences than a residency by Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. And none of this year’s three concerts, starting Friday, will make a bigger impact on the future than the Saturday matinee, a Jazz for Young People program. For during the course of this event, Marsalis won’t just play with his formidable ensemble but also will discuss the music, aiming his commentary at young listeners unfamiliar with jazz, as well as those already smitten.   Keep reading »

  • Wynton Marsalis and JALC concert at Chicago Orchestra Hall

    Posted on March 29th, 2014 in Review

    There’s a palpable sense of occasion in the air when the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra returns to Orchestra Hall, and you feel it as soon as you walk into the room. The presence of so many listeners seated on stage around the band, crowding the terrace area behind it and filling every remaining seat in the house distinguishes this event from most concerts in the grand old venue. Major performances unfold here many nights a week, in other words, but Chicagoans turn these JALC appearances – led by the band’s music director, Wynton Marsalis – into something of a civic occasion.   Keep reading »