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Wynton’s Blog

  • Visiting the National School of Music and Amedeo Roldan in Havana

    Posted on October 8th, 2010

    Friday we visited two of Havana’s more established music conservatories, the National School of Music and Amedeo Roldan. Somehow the embargo didn’t stop the music because thee kids knew about jazz and could play…I mean PLAY! The reception was warm and soulful and the kids were attentive and anxious to learn. Ali, Carlos, Dan and Ted Nash joined me to demonstrate different aspects of the music.   Keep reading »

  • Some authentic Cuban cuisine

    Posted on October 7th, 2010

    After Thursday’s concert at the Teatro Mella, Maraca invited us into his home for some authentic Cuban cuisine. Maraca’s wife, Celine, moved to Havana from France. She is a most gracious host and laid out a spread that included a sea food casserole, Havana yard bird, black beans plantains and arroz, of course.   Keep reading »

  • Wednesday in Havana was busy and rewarding

    Posted on October 6th, 2010

    Wednesday in Havana was busy and rewarding. It started with an interview with the “60 Minutes” crew for a segment they’re developing on Jazz at Lincoln Center.   Keep reading »

  • The Spirit of New Orleans

    Posted on February 7th, 2010

    Down on the Bayou where the mighty Mississippi kisses Lake Pontchartrain and spills into the Gulf of Mexico. There sits that jewel of the Southland. What the French lost to the British who gave it to the Spanish who lost it back to the French who sold it to America for….. Well, some folks say Jefferson conned Napoleon in a card game and won it for some jambalaya and a chicory coffee.   Keep reading »

  • New Orleans Saints

    Posted on January 25th, 2010

    After 43 years of pain, the New Orleans Saints have finally reached the promise land.  For all of us who have grown up with the Saints, the impossible has become a reality. Lord have mercy!   Keep reading »

  • Jazz is life music

    Posted on December 3rd, 2009

    In the past thirty years, I have had the good fortune to teach thousands of bands and an incalculable number of students in diverse settings. Though each situation is unique, students share many of the same concerns in pursuit of a more profound relationship with music and with life through music. Every style of music presents distinct challenges which demand the development of different skills. Jazz requires creativity, communication and community.   Keep reading »

  • Tour End Redux: from Lincoln, Nebraska to New York City

    Posted on October 9th, 2009

    And another tour ends. The caravan of cats moves on. And so many presenters move on to next shows, and people move on to next dates, and cats move on to next gigs.  And Jonathan Kelly and I are no longer joking or playing chess or Facebooking or anything but working on notes day and night and day and night….And Frank, Boss Bragg and I prepare to ride into the midnight from Lincoln, Nebraska to New York City…20 hrs after the last gig of the tour.  Whew!   Keep reading »

  • Turlock

    Posted on September 25th, 2009

    My kind of gig. Refurbished high school auditorium with excellent sound. Local people with an interest in culture. Just folks from the community come to have a good time and swing. A lot of cosigning and true interaction with the band.   Keep reading »

  • Eugene into Chico

    Posted on September 20th, 2009

    We open the gig in Eugene playing my arrangement of Wayne Shorter's 'Free for All'. Wayne wrote this for Art Blakey, and I always think of Bu (what we all called Art) and the integrity he always exhibited on the bandstand. So many highlights on the gig - Ali firing on all cylinders; Elliot playing so much trombone with such virtuosity and accuracy, I had to lean forward to see if it was a valve trombone (it wasn't); Vince sounding like a human voice on Horace Silver's 'Peace'; Ted Nash's pristine flute on 'Itsy Bitsy Spider'. I don't know what possessed me to sing Joe Turner's blues, but it didn't stop us from playing Duke's 1947 masterpiece 'The Tattooed Bride', and it didn't keep Vic from crooning that sweet ballad at the end and cresting that last high f concert up over the band for 6 or 7 long measures.   Keep reading »

  • Like Being in a Cathedral

    Posted on September 18th, 2009

    5am: Travelling through Washington going southwest. Farmlands and handmade signs, "fresh blueberries", "sweet corn all you can eat". We want to stop but all is still. Rolling hills in the distance and patches of communities periodically gleam on the horizon under the new, orange sun.   Keep reading »