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  • Heat combo: When Wynton Marsalis met Yacub Addy

    Posted on July 9th, 2012 in Profiles & Interviews | 0

    We first saw Wynton Marsalis on television soloing with a symphony orchestra in 1981. The announcer said he came from New Orleans. “I’m going to work with this man,” my husband Yacub Addy said. I was surprised because Yacub is a traditional Ghanaian drummer of the Ga ethnic group. I couldn’t visualise him working with this classically trained trumpeter, although Wynton is known for jazz, which Yacub loved since he was a teenager in Ghana, dancing to American big band hits on the streets of Accra. His music led him from Ghana to Europe and America, where in 1982, as an artist and manager team, we created his current Ghanaian ensemble Odadaa!.   Keep reading »

  • A life in music: Wynton Marsalis

    Posted on July 21st, 2009 in Profiles & Interviews | 4

    On inauguration day in Washington earlier this year, the Wynton Marsalis Quintet played a private party at the White House in honour of President Obama. The two men are the same age, but long before Obama came to prominence, Marsalis had been a national figure and so while he says “as a liberal and a Democrat I, of course, feel that things are better in America”, he is experienced enough to know that change, particularly in the areas he cares about most, might not come as quickly as he would like.   Keep reading »

  • Wynton playing at Barbican Hall

    Posted on July 25th, 2007 in Review | 5

    I saw the Duke Ellington Orchestra once, when Duke was dying, and his leading soloists were winding down their musical lives. But it still sounded like a group of inspired chancers who liked mixing order and happenstance.   Keep reading »

  • Shock of the new

    Posted on March 2nd, 2007 in Profiles & Interviews | 4

    Wynton Marsalis is 10 minutes into an angry denunciation of hip-hop and he’s just hitting his stride. “I call it ‘ghetto minstrelsy’,” he says. “Old school minstrels used to say they were ‘real darkies from the real plantation’. Hip-hop substitutes the plantation for the streets. Now you have to say that you’re from the streets, you shot some brothers, you went to jail. Rappers have to display the correct pathology. Rap has become a safari for people who get their thrills from watching African-American people debase themselves, men dressing in gold, calling themselves stupid names like Ludacris or 50 Cent, spending money on expensive fluff, using language like ‘bitch’ and ‘ho’ and ‘nigger’.”   Keep reading »