Jazz at Lincoln Center announces 2017-18 season

Jazz at Lincoln Center and Managing and Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis announced its 2017-18 season, which marks the organization’s 30th anniversary. The season includes 30 unique concert programs comprised of over 90 performances in Rose Theater and The Appel Room, more than 350 nights of music in Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, and a diverse and extensive range of education and community programs for all ages. Jazz at Lincoln Center’s 30th anniversary season is anchored by the exceptional Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis (JLCO), with performances that salute living legends of jazz and showcase its rising stars. The season concludes with a grand finale world premiere composition by Wynton Marsalis.

In celebration of the universal language of music and the influence of jazz in present day, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s 2017-18 programs will bring together a wide array of virtuoso musicians and composers illustrating the collaborative nature of the art form. Key performances include celebrations of:

  • Literature and music composition inspired by Walt Whitman with Fred Hersch, Kurt Elling & Kate McGarry: Leaves of Grass;
  • Dance collaborations with salsa dancer Eddie Torres, Jr. and tap dancer Jared Grimes in Rags, Strides & Habaneras;
  • Classical music with a tribute to American composer, conductor, author and pianist Leonard Bernstein at 100 and a special appearance by the Harlem Quartet in Eddie Daniels & Ted Nash: Jazz Meets Classical;
  • Latin music with GRAMMY® Award winning artist Eliane Elias: From Bill Evans to Brazil; Nuevo Jazz Latino featuring Carlos Henriquez, Elio Villafranca, and Pedrito Martinez; and NEA Jazz Master Paquito D’Rivera: To Bird With Strings;
  • World music with Bollywood sensation, composer and vocalist Shankar Mahadevan in Zakir Hussain & Dave Holland: Crosscurrents.

Since the first downbeat of its summer concert series in 1987, Jazz at Lincoln Center has been a vital part of the New York cultural landscape. Jazz at Lincoln Center was established as an independent non-profit organization in 1996; opened Frederick P. Rose Hall, the “House of Swing”, in 2004; and launched Blue Engine Records to share its vast archive of recordings in 2014. Over the past three decades, Jazz at Lincoln Center has become an important advocate for jazz, culture, and arts education globally. Key milestones in Jazz at Lincoln Center’s 30 year history include:

  • A global audience of nearly 2 million people of all ages and experiences through concerts, webcasting, musical instruction and distribution of music scores, the vast majority of which is free of charge;
  • More than 648,280 participants in the Essentially Ellington program, including the JLCO’s own Carlos Henriquez;
  • Online viewership of more than 330,000 people from more than 150 countries since the launch of the free concert webcast series during the 25th anniversary season;
  • Over 148,000 students in the last year were a part of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s education programs, many of whom had no other access to quality music education;
  • More than 1,200 original concerts in the New York City area;
  • Tours in over 446 cities in 41 countries on five continents.

“Throughout history, jazz musicians have inspired and have been inspired by many art forms to create new works and express cultural statements. For 30 years, Jazz at Lincoln Center has continued that tradition through our programs. Today, we remain committed to jazz which reveals the best of American culture with its virtuosity, diversity, soulfulness, and an embracing spirit under all circumstances,” says Managing and Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis. “Our new season will reflect on the versatility of jazz. We’ll illustrate the power of music and literature as Fred Hersch, Kurt Elling and Kate McGarry perform Hersch’s compositions inspired by Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. We will illuminate the rich fabric of world music and jazz as 2017 NEA Jazz Master Dave Holland collaborates with Indian music superstars Zakir Hussain and Shankar Mahadevan. We will explore the connections between jazz and dance as piano phenomena Joey Alexander, Chano Dominguez, Dick Hyman and Sullivan Fortner meet dance stars Eddie Torres Jr. and Jared Grimes. We will honor two Pulitzer Prize winners on the occasion of the Pulitzer Prize centennial: 2016 winner Henry Threadgill will perform his works and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra will interpret the music of 2007 winner Ornette Coleman. We’ll celebrate Cuban clarinet virtuoso Paquito D’Rivera who has played an important role in our organization’s history for 25 years. We’ll feature the incredible Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra as an achievement and its members as leaders in this music. We invite everyone to join us as we reflect on the achievements of this music and the masters, and nurture the next generation of jazz legends, enthusiasts, and fans.”

Jazz at Lincoln Center’s 30th anniversary season will open on September 14, 2017 (through September 16) with The Fantastic Mr. Jelly Lord, a celebration of New Orleans legend Jelly Roll Morton by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis. The band will also present the first-ever The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra Songbook (October 20-21), showcasing some of the JLCO’s best original compositions by GRAMMY Award-winner Ted Nash, Victor Goines, Chris Crenshaw, Carlos Henriquez, and more. The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra will continue to celebrate the jazz tradition with programs that include Benny Goodman: King of Swing (January 11-13), Corea Plays Monk (April 5-7), and Celebrating Ornette Coleman (May 18-19). A favorite holiday tradition, Big Band Holidays (December 13-17), will return with guest vocalists Catherine Russell and Kenny Washington. The season will close with the world premiere of a new work from Wynton Marsalis (June 7-9).

Renowned artists such as Henry Threadgill, Eliane Elias, Chick Corea, Steve Miller, Dianne Reeves, and Paquito D’Rivera will perform in the 1200-seat Rose Theater. First-time performances by Ambrose Akinmusire, Harlem Quartet, and Somi will take place in The Appel Room, in addition to performances by acclaimed artists Fred Hersch, Kurt Elling, Ellis Marsalis, Kate McGarry, Marilyn Maye, Dick Hyman, Chano Dominguez, Joey Alexander, Michael Feinstein, and dancers Eddie Torres, Jr. and Jared Grimes. (Click here to view complete season chronology)

“For this milestone season, we are highlighting the depth and breadth of jazz influence over time, across genres and generations,” says Jason Olaine, Director of Programming and Touring at Jazz at Lincoln Center. “We are honoring traditions and also creating new ones, celebrating Leonard Bernstein’s centennial alongside 30 years of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra; Dave Douglas playing Dizzy Gillespie; and a whole cross-section of jazz and classical music. The 2017-18 season will be a look back as much as it is a look forward into the next thirty, fifty, and one hundred years of jazz.”

Following the opening weekend, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s 30th season continues in September and October 2017 with performances celebrating the diversity of jazz. Fred Hersch, Kurt Elling and Kate McGarry perform Hersch’s Leaves of Grass (September 15-16), celebrating the life and poetry of the American bard Walt Whitman in The Appel Room. On the occasion of the Pulitzer Prize centennial, Henry Threadgill: The Pulitzer Project (September 22-23) will honor three Afro-American jazz musicians who have won the prestigious prize: Wynton Marsalis, Ornette Coleman, and Threadgill himself. In October, milestone birthday celebrations abound with the 75th birthday of NEA Jazz Master Jack DeJohnette and debut performance of Hudson: Jack DeJohnette, Larry Grenadier, John Medeski, & John Scofield (October 6-7); and the 90th birthday celebration of acclaimed vocalist Marilyn Maye (October 27-28). The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra will present the first-ever The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra Songbook (October 20-21), highlighting the renowned big band’s vast repertoire of original work.

Latin collaborations kick off November 2017, with Nuevo Jazz Latino (November 3-4) in The Appel Room and Eliane Elias: From Bill Evans to Brazil (November 3-4) in Rose Theater. As the arts world celebrates the Leonard Bernstein centennial, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra will perform Leonard Bernstein at 100 (November 9-11) in Rose Theater. GRAMMY Award-nominated composer and arranger Richard DeRosa will collaborate with JLCO trombonist Vincent Gardner to arrange Bernstein classics like West Side Story and Candide. November also brings the season’s first Family Concert, Who is Benny Goodman? (November 17-18), to Rose Theater as the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis explores the groundbreaking bandleader who formed the first racially integrated jazz bands recognized by the public and brought them to the country’s most hallowed venues.

Swing and blues fill the halls in December 2017. Saxophone and clarinet virtuosos Peter Anderson and Will Anderson showcase the music and history of The Fabulous Dorsey Brothers (December 1-2), Tommy Dorsey and Jimmy Dorsey, in The Appel Room, while Steve Miller (December 1-2) continues his blues journey by exploring the three essential blues hubs, also known as The Blues Triangle: Memphis, Dallas, and Chicago. December also marks the return of a beloved New York tradition, Big Band Holidays (December 13-17) with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis. Jazz royalty Catherine Russell will be the special guest vocalist for the second consecutive year, joined by fellow vocalist Kenny Washington. This holiday tradition has been celebrated in New York City every December for over a decade. In addition, Jazz at Lincoln Center will bring back a Relaxed Performance during the holiday run after the initiative’s successful launch in 2016. The Relaxed Performance is designed to provide families with children or adults with autism, learning difficulties, or other sensory and communication needs the opportunity to enjoy Jazz at Lincoln Center performances in a more comfortable environment.

The first January 2018 performance will honor Benny Goodman: King of Swing (January 11-13) and his legendary 1938 debut performance at Carnegie Hall, an unprecedented presentation of authentic jazz and racial integration on a stage of unparalleled prestige. The “King of Swing” celebrated the music on its own terms, introducing the public to real jazz elements and extensive improvisation during an era fixated on dance music. Under the direction of music director and JLCO member Victor Goines, the concert will also feature guest soloists Anat Cohen, Ken Peplowski and Janelle Reichman. This program will consist entirely of pieces played during that historic event composed by artists including Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, Fats Waller, Louis Prima, and more.

Jazz at Lincoln Center’s celebrated Valentine’s weekend tradition returns for its seventh year in February 2018. Dianne Reeves (February 9-10), the five-time GRAMMY Award winner and one of the most recognized voices in music, will fill Rose Theater with songs of love and romance. Dave Douglas returns to The Appel Room with Dave Douglas: Dizzy Atmosphere (February 23-24), a fresh exploration of jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie. Douglas brings with him a roster of talented musicians, including trumpeter and Thelonious Monk Institute International Jazz Competition winner Ambrose Akinmusire in his Jazz at Lincoln Center debut, along with pianist Gerald Clayton, bassist Linda Oh and drummer Joey Baron.

Dance, swing, Latin, and classical music converge across generations in March 2018. Rags, Strides, & Habaneras (March 2-3) will be an audiovisual showcase of music traditions across jazz, Latin jazz, and Spanish-American music, with four renowned pianists — Dick Hyman, Sullivan Fortner, Joey Alexander and Chano Dominguez — and two of New York City’s great dancers — E*ddie Torres, Jr.* and Jared Grimes. NEA Jazz Master, Carnegie Hall Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, and 14-time GRAMMY Award winner Paquito D’ Rivera graces the Rose Theater stage in Paquito D’Rivera: To Bird With Strings (March 16-17), a thoughtfully updated program dedicated to his favorite album, Charlie Parker’s Bird with Strings. The Swing Collective (March 23-24) exemplifies Jazz at Lincoln Center’s commitment to fostering the next generation of diverse talent, representing five countries of origin. The quintet includes Melissa Aldana, the first female (and Chilean) instrumentalist to win the Thelonious Monk Institute International Jazz Competition; Cuban pianist Elio Villafranca; Trinidadian trumpeter and 2015 Guggenheim Fellow Etienne Charles; Japanese bassist Yasushi Nakamura; and American GRAMMY Award-winning drummer, composer, and bandleader Ulysses Owens, Jr. The month of March closes with Michael Feinstein: Celebrating Frank, Dean, & Sammy (March 28-29). Feinstein marks his seventh consecutive year as Director of the Jazz & Popular Song series by celebrating several members of the Rat Pack: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis, Jr.

Additional highlights in March 2018 include programs that invite audiences of all ages to engage with jazz. Nursery Song Swing (March 9-10) will take place in Rose Theater — the JLCO will demonstrate that jazz can transform any song or melody with rearrangements of childhood favorites such as “Old MacDonald,” “Wheels on the Bus,” and “It’s Not Easy Being Green.” Who is Mary Lou Williams? (March 23-24) is the second Family Concert, an hour-long interactive celebration of composer, arranger and pianist Mary Lou Williams. Through live performances and interactive segments, families will come to understand what makes Williams such an important figure in jazz history. The event will be hosted by LaFrae Scie, a Jazz at Lincoln Center educator, founder and board member of the Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls, and a New York musician who has been acclaimed for her promotion of jazz and music education.

Jazz at Lincoln Center’s third annual Monk Festival will take place in April 2018. Festival events feature the return of Chick Corea (April 5-7) performing with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in Rose Theater, marking the first time the entities will collaborate on the music of Thelonious Monk. For Crescent City Monk with Herlin Riley & Friends (April 6-7), bandleader and drummer Herlin Riley brings Eric “ELEW” Lewis, and NEA Jazz master Ellis Marsalis on piano, as well as saxophonist Todd Williams, bassist Reginald Veal, Cuban percussion genius Pedrito Martinez, and vibraphonist Joel Ross to The Appel Room stage. The final April performance is another dedication to jazz greats: Black, Brown, & Beige & The Best of Basie (April 26-28), wherein the JLCO will perform essential big band music by Duke Ellington and Count Basie.

Performances in May and June 2018 highlight the endless opportunities for diverse collaboration across all disciplines. Michael Feinstein takes The Appel Room stage with two programs, each paying tribute to the greats: The Enchanting Lena Horne (May 2-3) and Swinging with the Count (May 30-31). World music takes the Rose Theater stage with Zakir Hussain and Dave Holland: Cross Currents (May 4-5), featuring four of India’s most progressive musicians: Amit Chatterjee, Louiz Banks, Gino Banks, and composer and vocalist Shankar Mahadevan. This is the group’s first appearance at Jazz at Lincoln Center. The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra then presents Celebrating Ornette Coleman (May 18-19) under the musical direction of JLCO member Ted Nash. Rising star composer and singer Somi makes her Jazz at Lincoln Center debut in Miriam Makeba & Nina Simone: Singing Protest & Memory with Somi (May 18-19). The GRAMMY Award-winning Harlem Quartet will also make its first Jazz at Lincoln Center appearance in Eddie Daniels & Ted Nash: Jazz Meets Classical (June 1-2). In this final Appel Room concert of the season, the GRAMMY Award-winning Nash will debut an original composition and perform new arrangements of pieces by Vivaldi, Bach, and Ravel.

The 2017-18 Season closes with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra presenting a concert exclusively devoted to the original compositions of Wynton Marsalis (June 7-9), the appropriate grand finale to the 30th anniversary concert season. The centerpiece for the evening will be the world premiere of Marsalis’ new work, the latest entry to his canon of music exploring race in America.

Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, one of the three main performance venues of Frederick P. Rose Hall, produces world-class jazz performances nightly, often reflecting and augmenting the programming in Rose Theater and The Appel Room. The Fall 2017 highlights at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola include the return of the popular Coca-Cola Generations in Jazz Festival (September 1-October 1) with critically acclaimed 81-year-old pianist Harold Mabern (September 8-10) and San Francisco-based vocalist Mary Stallings (September 21-24). Two memorable nights of music are scheduled in partnership with the Festival of New Trumpet Music (September 11-12). The Dizzy Gillespie centennial celebration continues with Jon Faddis (October 19-22), and Lee Konitz (November 1-2) will also be honored for his 90th birthday. Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola will kick off the holiday season with Wycliffe Gordon (November 22-26), who continues a soulful tradition of Thanksgiving residencies with his small group.


Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Education Initiatives continue to reach larger and more diverse audiences in 2017-18. The innovative “Education on the Road” program, led by members of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, continues to provide workshops, master classes, and other outreach activities as parts of the band’s national and international tours. Jazz Academy Media Library, the organization’s recently launched online education portal, houses over 1,000 freely available instructional videos covering a wide range of musical and historical topics.

Jazz at Lincoln Center Youth Programs enters a fifth year of tuition-free ensembles and classes for high school and middle school-age musicians. The program supports free jazz education for 16 ensembles in conjunction with the Middle School Jazz Academy’s continued presence at three sites in New York City: Frederick P. Rose Hall in Manhattan, Bishop Loughlin High School in Brooklyn, and Lehman College and Mind Builders in the Bronx. The Jazz for Young People® outreach program “Let Freedom Swing” extends to schools and community-based organizations throughout all five boroughs of New York City, as well as in Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis, and other U.S. cities to present more than 500 concerts throughout the season. The Essentially Ellington program will continue to reach band directors and students in more than 4,500 schools and community groups worldwide by distributing more than 36,000 free scores of Duke Ellington and Chick Webb’s music, as well as other educational resources. Additionally, the program will expand its educational reach through a series of 20 regional festivals that enhance students’ understanding and appreciation of the music. The companion Band Director Academy program will continue its annual offerings at New York City’s Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center, with a focus on the essentials of teaching jazz, emphasizing hands-on learning and practical techniques.

Additional education programming:

  • Summer Jazz Academy with Wynton Marsalis at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY will take place from July 17-30, 2017.
  • Nine licensed WeBop® sites in New York City and national partners in St. Louis, Chicago, Montclair, Seattle, Orlando, Eau Claire, and Omaha.
  • An increased number of free pre-concert lectures to supplement most JALC-produced events in Rose Theater and The Appel Room.
  • Listening Parties will provide attendees with new depths of insight into major jazz artists’ aesthetics and inspirations.
  • Syncopated Leadership workshops will continue to offer a range of leadership training opportunities through jazz performance practice.
  • Visiting Band Workshops encourage band directors of student ensembles of all ages to bring their performing groups for a customized workshop at Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center, for an opportunity to work directly with JALC clinicians and artists.


The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis will be swinging on the road throughout Jazz at Lincoln Center’s 30th Anniversary Season. In June 2017, the Orchestra launches a month-long tour, which begins in Eastern Europe then heads to China in July for performances in six cities. In Shanghai, the band will reunite with the New York Philharmonic to reprise Wynton Marsalis’ Symphony No. 4: “The Jungle” on July 7.

In the fall, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra will tour the Northeast U.S., returning to the Chicago Symphony Center and then swinging through the South for the annual Big Band Holidays Tour.

Early 2018 brings the band back to Europe for special performances in some of the world’s greatest concert halls, including the Konzerthaus in Vienna and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. In addition, the JLCO will perform spring concerts at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.


Blue Engine Records, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s newest platform, continues to fulfill an important part of the organization’s mission: bringing Jazz at Lincoln Center’s music even further beyond its halls to a wider audience of music fans. Blue Engine Records is slated to release The Music of John Lewis by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis featuring Jonathan Batiste on March 24, 2017; Handful of Keys from the Jazz at Lincoln Center’s 2016–17 season opening concert featuring pianists Joey Alexander, Myra Melford, Larry Willis, Isaiah J. Thompson, Dick Hyman, and Helen Sung, and a compilation of love songs featuring iconic vocalists performing romantic ballads in late spring. The label has previously released four albums: Live in Cuba by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis; The Bronx Pyramid by Carlos Henriquez; Big Band Holidays by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis and special guests; and The Abyssinian Mass by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis featuring Damien Sneed and Chorale Le Chateau with special guest Reverend Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III. Blue Engine Records also produced two special vinyl projects: the Live in Cuba 4-LP vinyl box set and a Record Store Day Black Friday exclusive two-song, tree-shaped holiday record featuring previously unreleased Christmas songs from the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis.


Beginning today, current subscribers and donors to Jazz at Lincoln Center are invited to purchase subscriptions for all Rose Theater and The Appel Room concert packages, with savings of up to 15% off single ticket prices. To keep their same seats, current subscribers must renew beginning today through April 7, 2017. New subscriptions may be purchased beginning April 11, 2017.

Becoming a subscriber is the best way to lock in the best seats at the guaranteed best prices for the entire season, as single ticket prices will increase based on demand as concerts approach. Subscribers also have the benefit of utilizing free, unlimited ticket exchanges to manage their schedule. Completely customizable concert packages of three or more concerts (across both venues) are also available and come with a 10% discount off single ticket prices in addition to all other subscriber benefits.

For more information on 2017-18 season subscriptions, visit To order a subscription or to request information, please call the Subscription Services hotline at 212-258-9999, e-mail [email protected], or visit


Jazz at Lincoln Center offers a robust Membership program with a wide array of benefits, including deep discounts on concert tickets. Individuals who join at the $75 level and above are eligible to receive 50% off tickets to Jazz at Lincoln Center-produced concerts in Rose Theater and The Appel Room on the day of the event. Tickets must be purchased at the Jazz at Lincoln Center Box Office or online beginning at 12:01am the day of the performance. Members must show their valid membership card or log-in to using their account credentials to receive this discount. Subject to availability. Learn more and sign up at

VIP single ticket pre-sale for donors, members, and subscribers will be available starting June 20. Become a Jazz at Lincoln Center member by June 19 to access single tickets before the general public.


Ticket prices for Rose Theater and The Appel Room are as follows:

  • Rose Theater tickets start are $35 and up, dependent upon seating section
  • Jazz for Young People® tickets in Rose Theater are $10, $20 or $25
  • The Appel Room tickets are $60 and up, dependent on seating section for the 7pm sets, and $45 and up, dependent on seating section for the 9:30pm sets
  • Ticket prices for Jazz & Popular Song series performances in The Appel Room are $55 and up

Note: Hot Seats – $10 seats for each Rose Theater performance (excluding Jazz for Young People® concerts and other performances as specified) and select performances in The Appel Room (excluding Jazz & Popular Song concerts) – are available for purchase by the general public on the Wednesday prior to each performance. Tickets are subject to availability; please call 212-258-9800 for available Hot Seats performance dates.

Hot Seats are available only by walk up at the Box Office; maximum of two tickets per person. Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Hot Seats Ticket Discount Program is supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

*Please note that a $3.50 Jazz at Lincoln Center Facility Fee applies to ALL ticket purchases, with the exception of $10 Hot Seats. A $7 handling fee also applies when purchasing tickets from CenterCharge or when purchasing tickets online via

All single tickets for The Appel Room and Rose Theater can be purchased through 24 hours a day or CenterCharge at 212-721-6500, open daily from 10am to 9pm. Tickets can also be purchased at the Jazz at Lincoln Center Box Office, located on Broadway at 60th Street, ground floor.

Box Office hours:
Monday-Saturday from 10am to 6pm (or 30 minutes past curtain)
Sunday from noon to 6pm (or 30 minutes past curtain).

Single tickets go on sale JUNE 27.

Additional information may be found at |
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