Wynton’s Blog

In Memoriam: Joe Temperley

photo: Frank Stewart

It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Staff, Board of Directors, and Managing and Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis, say goodbye to our beloved Orchestra member, saxophonist Joe Temperley.

A former member of the Duke Ellington Orchestra, Joe was a founding member of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. For more than 25 years, he performed and toured with the band, and spent a lifetime tirelessly teaching and inspiring students around the world.

“With Joe, there’s the sound, and the integrity in the sound, the originality of it. When you hear his sound, you know him automatically, because it’s so full of warmth, soul and feeling,” Marsalis said. “We would always have Joe play at or near the end of pieces because his sound carried the meaning of our music. For someone from another country and culture to exhibit the depth of belief that animated his sound was, and still is, truly miraculous. From the coal mines of Scotland, to clubs and concert halls all over the world, Joe’s journey was epochal, and he did it with integrity, style, and piss and vinegar. We will miss him deeply and his spirit will forever live on in the sound of our orchestra.”

We celebrate the memories of our time with Joe and the privilege of having in our Orchestra the big, full, singular sound of such an accomplished musician and wonderful person.

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