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  • Wynton Marsalis and JALC concert at Chicago Orchestra Hall

    Posted on March 29th, 2014 in Review | 0

    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 »

  • Wynton Marsalis’ JLCO at Chicago Symphony Center

    Posted on June 23rd, 2013 in Review | 0

    Is it possible that a quarter century has passed since the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra was created? Apparently so, for the mighty ensemble played the Chicago stop on its 25th anniversary tour Friday night at Symphony Center, a capacity audience crowding Orchestra Hall, including stage seating.   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 to be featured as a High-Impact speaker at the 2010 National School Board Association Confere

    Posted on April 1st, 2010 in Speech | 7

    Wynton Marsalis will be a featured High-Impact speaker at the 70th Annual National School Board Association (NSBA) Conference in Chicago on Sunday, April 11, 2010. The Pulitzer Prize-winning, Arts education advocate will speak to Board Members, Superintendents and other school official representing over 1,500 of the nation’s largest school districts accounting for over 18 million school children. Other speakers include Charlie Rose, and Steve Wozniak.   Keep reading »

  • ‘Congo Square’ a dialogue of eras

    Posted on June 26th, 2007 in Review | 4

    When Wynton Marsalis rocketed to stardom in the 1980s, he seemed poised to enjoy a long career as a hyper-virtuoso trumpeter. Though Marsalis remains a top-flight soloist, it’s his work as composer of epic scores that more deeply defines his art. Clearly, no one else in recent jazz history has produced a comparable list of vast compositions, including the thunderous “All Rise” (performed earlier this year by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra), the incantatory “In This House, On This Morning” (a jazz evocation of a gospel church service) and the incendiary “Blood on the Fields” (the first jazz composition to win the Pulitzer Prize in music, in 1997).   Keep reading »

  • CSO thunders gloriously with Marsalis’ `All Rise’

    Posted on January 20th, 2007 in Review | 0

    Call it a tonic for troubled times. Wynton Marsalis’ “All Rise”—an epic work that addresses fundamental questions of faith, crisis and deliverance—does not go gently into the night.   Keep reading »

  • All About Jazz reviews LCJO Chicago’s concert

    Posted on February 4th, 2006 in Review | 1

    The endless debate about Wynton Marsalis shows no sign of ever abating. Whether the Lincoln Center musical director/trumpeter is the greatest heir to the jazz tradition or a curmudgeonly and didactic reactionary who’s declared himself the final authority and what jazz is and, especially, isn’t, probably depends on your point of view. One thing, though, is certain: he and the 15-piece Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra put on a consistently good show. The band’s performance at Chicago’s Symphony Center was pretty typical of what they do: impeccably played, large-ensemble arrangements of the jazz-composer canon; smaller-group performances of the same; beautiful, crystal-clear horn voicings; a great drummer (currently Ali Jackson); a host of very good soloists, including Marsalis; and, yes, lots of spoken explanation from the musical director about the composers, the history of jazz, and why what the group is playing is good. Marsalis is wordy, and in his teaching mode, he can be annoying. But he’s usually pretty affable and often droll; certainly he shows no sign on the bandstand of being any sort of martinet, despite the band’s whip-tight playing.   Keep reading »

  • Wynton interviewed by Chicago Tribune

    Posted on January 27th, 2006 in Profiles & Interviews | 1

    Wynton Marsalis is the first jazz musician to win the Pulitzer Prize in music. He’s got a basketful of Grammys. And he’s become the music director of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, which lands in Chicago for two gigs this weekend. So is there anything he can’t do? You bet. He can’t get his kids to stay awake during a symphony concert.   Keep reading »