Blue Engine Records to Release “Rock Chalk Suite” by The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis on March 20th, 2020

New York, NY (March 11, 2020) – Wilt Chamberlain, Paul Pierce, Lynette Woodard, and Jo Jo White are among the University of Kansas basketball legends honored on Blue Engine Records’s Rock Chalk Suite by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis. Commissioned to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Lied Center of Kansas—the University of Kansas’s (KU) performing arts center—each of the suite’s high-flying 15 movements takes inspiration from a different KU hoops legend. The CD for Rock Chalk Suite can now be pre-ordered exclusively from the Lied Center of Kansas at The full digital album will be available on March 20, 2020 at

It’s been said that basketball is like jazz, but Rock Chalk Suite takes the comparison to another level entirely—utilizing the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra’s full roster to honor KU’s rich athletic heritage, as well as its cultural contributions to the world. As Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Managing and Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis says, both basketball and jazz “reward improvisation and split-second decision making against the pressure of time.”

Derek Kwan, the Lied Center’s Executive Director, says, “As we prepared to celebrate the Lied Center’s 25th anniversary throughout the 2018–2019 season, our goal was to commission a new work that would create an indelible sense of community. There is no question that this project, built upon the foundation of great jazz music, has created a stronger sense of community in Kansas, in New York City, and for all of Jayhawk nation.”

Rock Chalk Suite—named for KU’s Rock Chalk Jayhawk cheer which dates back to 1886—is a timeless tribute to the spirit of improvisation, both on and off the hardwood.


1. The Y’s Guy (4:18)
For James Naismith
Composed by Chris Crenshaw
Solos: Dan Nimmer (piano), Wynton Marsalis (trumpet), Chris Crenshaw (trombone)

2. Jo Jo’s Mojo (3:59)
For Jo Jo White
Composed by Marcus Printup
Solos: Charles Goold (drums), Elliot Mason (trombone), Ted Nash (alto saxophone), Chris Crenshaw (trombone), Marcus Printup (trumpet)

3. Phog Allen (3:55)
For Phog Allen
Composed by Ted Nash
Solo: Camille Thurman (tenor saxophone)

4. The First Lady: Lyrical Lynette (4:17)
For Lynette Woodard
Composed by Wynton Marsalis
Solos: Sherman Irby (alto saxophone), Ted Nash (flute), Ryan Kisor (trumpet), Dan Nimmer (piano)

5. C. B.’s Theme (4:16)
For Charlie B. Black
Composed by Dan Nimmer
Arranged by Carlos Henriquez
Solo: Dan Nimmer (piano)

6. D(efense)-Up: The Untold Story of Darnell Valentine (3:55)
For Darnell Valentine
Composed by Victor Goines
Solos: Charles Goold (drums), Wynton Marsalis (trumpet), Victor Goines (tenor saxophone), Sherman Irby (alto saxophone)

7. The Truth (4:10)
For Paul Pierce
Composed by Sherman Irby
Solos: Ryan Kisor (trumpet), Chris Crenshaw (vocals), Paul Nedzela (baritone saxophone), Vincent Gardner (trombone)

8. Walt’s Waltz (4:59)
For Walt Wesley
Composed by Elliot Mason
Arranged by Carlos Henriquez
Solos: Ted Nash (alto saxophone), Elliot Mason (trombone), Victor Goines (clarinet), Paul Nedzela (baritone saxophone)

9. Miracles (3:51)
For Danny Manning
Composed by Vincent Gardner
Solos: Ted Nash (soprano saxophone), Charles Goold (drums)

10. Third Quarter (4:49)
For Nick Collison
Composed by Paul Nedzela
Arranged by Chris Crenshaw
Solos: Carlos Henriquez (bass), Vincent Gardner (trombone)

11. Passing Game (3:34)
For Bill Hougland
Composed by Kenny Rampton
Solos: Kenny Rampton (trumpet), Victor Goines (tenor saxophone), Ted Nash (alto saxophone), Elliot Mason (trombone), Charles Goold (drums)

12. I Cry Before My Country, I Leap Across Its Seas (3:58)
For Wilt Chamberlain
Composed by Wynton Marsalis
Solos: Sherman Irby (alto saxophone), Kenny Rampton (trumpet), Marcus Printup (trumpet), Wynton Marsalis (trumpet)

13. Wiggins in 6/8 (4:25)
For Andrew Wiggins
Composed by Carlos Henriquez
Solos: Paul Nedzela (baritone saxophone), Dan Nimmer (piano)

14. The Ponderous Pachyderm of the Planks (4:19)
For Clyde Lovellette
Composed by Sherman Irby
Solos: Carlos Henriquez (bass), Chris Crenshaw (trombone), Elliot Mason (trombone), Vincent Gardner (trombone)

15. The Shot / I’m a Jayhawk (The KU Fight Song) (4:59)

“The Shot”
For Mario Chalmers
Composed by Victor Goines
Solos: Sherman Irby (alto saxophone), Wynton Marsalis (trumpet), Ted Nash (alto saxophone), Chris Crenshaw (trombone), Marcus Printup (trumpet), Camille Thurman (tenor saxophone), Kenny Rampton (trumpet), Sam Chess (trombone), Ryan Kisor (trumpet), Vincent Gardner (trombone)

“I’m a Jayhawk (The KU Fight Song)”
Composed by George “Dumpy” Bowles



2018-2019 Concert Season

Sherman Irby — alto and soprano saxophones, flute, clarinet
Ted Nash — alto and soprano saxophones, flute, clarinet, piccolo
Victor Goines — tenor and soprano saxophones, Bb and bass clarinets, tambourine
(†) Walter Blanding — tenor saxophone
(*) Camille Thurman — tenor and soprano saxophones, clarinet
Paul Nedzela — baritone and soprano saxophones, bass clarinet

(*) Ryan Kisor
Kenny Rampton
Marcus Printup
Wynton Marsalis

Vincent Gardner
Chris Crenshaw (additional vocals, track 7)
Elliot Mason (tracks 1-8, 10-14) *Sam Chess (tracks 9 and 15)

Dan Nimmer — piano
Carlos Henriquez — bass *Charles Goold — drums *Taurien “TJ” Reddick – percussion

(*) Indicates substitute orchestra members
(†) Did not perform on this recording

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