Marilyn Maye to join JLCO with Wynton Marsalis for modern twists on classic nursery rhymes
Embodying Jazz at Lincoln Center’s motto, “Timeless Is Modern,” the J*azz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis* will interpret classic nursery rhymes in modern jazz style in the unique concert event, Nursery Song Swing in Rose Theater, March 9-10. American cabaret singer Marilyn Maye, last seen headlining sold-out shows in Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola and The Appel Room earlier this season, will join the Orchestra. Featuring familar tunes including “Puff the Magic Dragon” arranged by trombonist Chris Crenshaw; “The Muffin Man” arranged by clarinetist/saxophonist Ted Nash; “If You’re Happy and You Know It” arranged by saxophonist Walter Blanding; and “Twinkle Twinkle” arranged by clarinetist/saxophonist Vincent Gardner, this performance has been popular for audiences of all ages since its debut in 2009.
The program will showcase each arranger’s musical instincts, revealing how they conceptualize music for the Orchestra when the foundation is simple, but the possibilities are endless. A free pre-concert discussion about the origins of the nursery song tradition in jazz will take place at 7pm each night in the Agnes Varis and Karl Leichtman Studio, located in the Irene Diamond Education Center.
“Singing with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis is always a thrill and joy for me,” says Marilyn Maye. “I’m so excited to be a part of this concert, Nursery Song Swing. It gives me the opportunity to revisit my childhood through these songs. My mother began teaching me to sing when I was only three years old. She played piano and together, we began performing for live audiences when I was nine, so I grew up quickly. I believe some adults are ‘forever kids’. I’m sure this audience and I will channel our childhood through the music of this swingin’ orchestra and these songs.”
For decades, jazz artists have been transforming novelty nursery rhymes into inspired, original compositions. Ella Fitzgerald and Chick Webb’s swinging reworking of “A-Tisket A-Tasket” captured the heart of an entire generation, and bebop era horn players like Sonny Rollins, Fats Navarro, and Dexter Gordon, folded simple children’s songs into boundary-pushing solos. No mere exercise in nostalgia or novelty, Nursery Song Swing will showcase the adaptability and diversity of jazz: transforming even the most familiar songs into something new.
Nursery Song Swing will take place in Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Frederick P. Rose Hall, located at Broadway at 60th Street, New York, New York. For additional information and to purchase tickets, visit jazz.org
Live webcast on: wyntonmarsalis.org/live