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Wynton’s Blog

  • Swinging in the City of Lights

    Posted on July 12th, 2009

    ””Now we are leaving the most beautiful city in the world. Paris has been raved about for centuries, and with each passing year the accumulated adoration becomes more justified. We played a 2 and a 1/2 hour concert in the famed Salle Pleyel. The hall was only about 3/4 full, but the people were very enthusiastic requesting 3 encores.   Keep reading »

  • Crossover to What? (Part II)

    Posted on July 11th, 2009

    ””In the 70's the American music industry and national radio became almost completely segregated. The industry and the country (all of us went along with it) used code words. R&B meant black, Rock 'n' Roll and Pop meant white. Michael Jackson was popular but his heartfelt song to a rat (Ben), even though he did a credible job in an incredible situation, cost him on the street (whatever that means).   Keep reading »

  • à Vienne

    Posted on July 10th, 2009

    I missed two planes from New York to Lyon. Finally arrived today in Paris at 8am and drove 5hrs with Fernando (he just got married two weeks ago) to Vienne. Jazz à Vienne is one of the great festivals of music in France. It takes place all over the city but the main stage is in an ancient Roman amphitheater.   Keep reading »

  • State of Mind

    Posted on July 4th, 2009

    Independence Day is the concentrated celebration of American independence from British Rule. With the passage of time there is no thought of return to colonial rule, at least in the USA. So, this holiday reminds us where we have come from AND inspires us to celebrate many personal and immediate present day freedoms.   Keep reading »

  • De Cadi a New Orleans a la Montreal

    Posted on July 1st, 2009

    We played an experimental and fun concert last night to open the 30th Montreal Jazz Festival. The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra was joined by the great Spanish pianist Chano Dominguez and his group. We performed movements from my 'Vitoria Suite' written for the great jazz festival in that city in the Basque region of Spain and a 20 minute piece of Chano's entitled 'De Cadi a New Orleans'.   Keep reading »

  • Crossover to What? (Part I)

    Posted on June 30th, 2009

    In reflecting on the tragic and sudden death of Michael Jackson and the narrative that has emerged, I am compelled to make some observations to sweeten the pot of opinions that feed this democratic dialogue. I spoke to Mr. Jackson once in the 1980's by telephone in the offices of Sony Records. He asked if I would like to open on his family tour.   Keep reading »

  • Transcript from the Q&A on June 24th

    Posted on June 26th, 2009

    In case you weren't able to join me for the Q&A, here are the questions and the answers I gave.   Keep reading »

  • And the Band Played On

    Posted on June 25th, 2009

    This is a busy week. Over the weekend we drove to Evanston, IL for the commencement of Northwestern University. After working on the commencement address for several days and nights, rain necessitated the reading of the first and last pages only.   Keep reading »

  • Our brother Ellis “commanded” the stage

    Posted on June 17th, 2009

    The Duke Ellington Jazz Festival presented my father with a lifetime achievement award on Monday night. The festival touches all corners of Washington, DC from the spacious outside mall to small neighborhood restaurants and clubs and the venerated concert stages of the Kennedy Center. Almost our entire family was there, all the brothers, wives and children.   Keep reading »

  • The House of people

    Posted on June 16th, 2009

    Yesterday was a full, beautiful day. We participated in education events at the White House luminously hosted by Michelle Obama. Three rooms of the house were filled with ecstatic students and first-class educators. In one quarter, Professor Massey of the famed Foxboro High School in Massachusetts conducted Davey Yarborough's Duke Ellington School of the Arts in a clinic on Duke's great music with the assistance from the exuberant virtuoso Sean Jones.   Keep reading »