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Wynton’s Blog – 2013 Archives

  • Every night is Carnegie Hall

    Posted on October 15th, 2013

    Last night’s performance at The Fountain of Praise in Houston, Texas was an act of soul. Pastor Remus Wright and his wife, Co-Pastor Mia K. Wright, stayed with us and created the proper atmosphere for the stomping, shouting and co-signing that is the hallmark of the Afro-American church experience, and also for appreciation of the introspective moments, the nuanced shadings in ensemble playing and in Damien’s shaping of the choral dynamics. The choir surrounded us. We were enveloped in their warmth and intention, and the congregation lifted us and carried us all in a chariot of feeling.   Keep reading »

  • New Orleans, the home of soul

    Posted on October 14th, 2013

    Last night we played New Orleans, the home of soul. We were the last performance of a two and a half week opening of the refurbished Saenger Theatre that featured 8 different shows – a lot of work! The attendance was underwhelming, but the reception was enthusiastic. Poppy Tooker brought the trumpet section some of her world famous gumbo and we quietly devoured it. I can’t name all of the great musicians and artists that came last night, and the choir sang their hearts out. I was very proud to be up there with them. They showed a lot of integrity and resilience. As always, the orchestra, with many members having been raised by parents who played real jazz, played the music with deep dedication. Our trombone section played as if they had something to prove last night. Whatever it was, they proved it.   Keep reading »

  • Our road crew is ever vigilant. When we are off, many times they are working

    Posted on October 13th, 2013

    Our road crew is ever vigilant. When we are off, many times they are working. Today we will hear from our Assistant Director of Concerts and Touring, Eric Wright. Eric’s family joined us for the performance in Norfolk on the 5th (seems like a year ago) and brought the love and feeling of engagement that family brings when they gather in support. Cats in the band love him. He also has a great game in all sports, baseball, football and basketball. Eric:   Keep reading »

  • Last night’s performance in my Augusta, Georgia. Absolutely surreal.

    Posted on October 12th, 2013

    Last night was homecoming. Here are some words from the leader of Chorale Le Chateau, Damien Sneed:   Keep reading »

  • Last night we played at the University of Georgia Performing Arts Center

    Posted on October 11th, 2013

    Last night we played at the University of Georgia Performing Arts Center. Our presenter, (a man of jovial and deep erudition) Dr. George C. Foreman, and I reminisced about him presenting us in Danville, Kentucky almost 12 years ago (at which time we played three and a half hours for an unsuspecting but very accepting audience in order to record the band).   Keep reading »

  • Last night we played our first church, the Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Charlotte, NC

    Posted on October 9th, 2013

    Last night we played our first church, the Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. We were presented by Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, the Arts and Science Council of Charlotte and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The church was packed with as diverse an audience as I’ve ever seen thanks to the efforts of all involved. Rev. Clifford Jones, Sr. was a most gracious, eloquent host and honored us by listening intently to every moment of the piece.   Keep reading »

  • Tonight represents the first of three church performances on this tour

    Posted on October 8th, 2013

    Yesterday was a day off. Everyone traveled to Charlotte, but Frank, Sugar Rob and I stayed in DC to attend the American-Russian Cultural Cooperation Foundation Gala at the Russian Embassy. The great Russian tenor saxophonist/bandleader, Igor Butman, and I jointly received the (ARCCF) Foundation Award for our cultural diplomacy. He is my brother from another mother and I absolutely enjoyed seeing him and the ever beautiful Oksana. Igor will always say something insightful and hilarious and play all kinds of horn, and he did. The Gala, chaired by Susan Carmel Lehrman, was classy, communal and comfortable. Many culturally engaged DC citizens and friends were present including Wayne and Catherine Reynolds, Murray and Lisa Horwitz, and Washington Performing Arts Society Board Chairman, Reggie Van Lee. It was festive - with or without vodka.   Keep reading »

  • The house was packed and brimming with expectation

    Posted on October 7th, 2013

    Sunday afternoon, we were presented in our Nation’s capitol by the Washington Performing Arts Society. They are the very definition of a community arts organization. Both the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and my small groups have been honored to perform under their auspices for close to thirty years.   Keep reading »

  • The importance of bringing feeling and integrity to every performance

    Posted on October 6th, 2013

    Last night we played in Norfolk, Virginia. We were presented by the Virginia Arts Festival whose Artistic Director, Rob Cross, played in the Eastern Music Festival Orchestra when I was a high school student attending camp at the Festival. We laughed about me showing up with an E-flat trumpet to play the Hummel trumpet concerto but all of the orchestra parts were in E-natural! [Who had even heard of an E trumpet then?]   Keep reading »

  • Memorial Hall was filled with a very spirited audience

    Posted on October 5th, 2013

    Last night was a rare second night in the same venue. Memorial Hall was filled with a very spirited audience. Two great saxophonists, Chad Eby and Stephen Riley, came out. Chad brought his 11 year old son, Spencer (who can make it through all of his major scales), and Stephen drove 2 and a half hours to hear us. Ralph Rodgers, Damyan Crews, Yaya Corbett, and Kevin Johnson came as a trumpet section representing North Carolina Central, and the great composer/educator Dr. Anthony Kelly came with a radiant and eclectic group of about 20 students from Duke.   Keep reading »