Transcript of Wynton’s speech at Jazz in Marciac opening

Yesterday, Wynton spoke in Marciac for the official opening of the Jazz Festival. He was introduced by the producer Jean-Louis Guilhaumon. Here is the transcript of his speech:

Jazz music was born in New Orleans and really comes from the french part of New Orleans.
Because musicians…people who was slave, who played drums in Congo Square, and after the Louisiana purchase in 1804, there was always an attempt the keep them from playing.

But musicians continued to play and create music that celebrates freedom of the human spirit and many of the great early New Orleans musicians had french names, the greatest of which was Sidney Bechet, who became also an hero here.
So there’s a natural relationship between the music of jazz and the french people.

For me, personally, I learned how to play classical music because I was given a recording of the great french trumpeter Maurice André. I was a country boy, lived in Kenner, Louisiana.
I will go home and put this recording on of Maurice AndrĂ©. I red that his parents were coal miners, they worked in a coal-mine, and I said, this man could learn how to play classical trumpet and their parents work in coal mine…
I can learn how to play classical trumpet coming from Kenner, Louisiana !

On that album he was playing german music.
But the spirit of music and arts is international. And if the art is rich enough it is epical, it speaks across epochs. So over many year of working I was fortunate enough to come here to Marciac in the late ’80. I have had the chance to play with the great Guy Lafitte, and experience the international power of jazz music.
This is a place of such soul, such feeling, with the people of the community coming around the music. I had experienced that in no other place in the world except than in New Orleans.
In many places the art is just a matter of business. Here, for this time of the festival, it is incorporated into a way of life.

We have beautiful young people playing and learning how to play, we have people from all over who volunteer their time to participate in this wonderful happening. And through this we celebrate the greatest gifts that jazz music has to give all of us.
One is that we are all individual and important as ourself.
Two is that the greatest thing we can all do is to work together and be a part of a singular greatness of the group.

The proudest things for me in my life is to be part of Marciac Jazz Festival.
Musicians all over the world talk about it. Talk about how they wanna come, what is going on, how is it.
The fame of the festival is growing and growing and growing.
It is important for us to realize that is not a matter of how big we are but how good we are.
The initiatives we have…there’s a new 500 seat theater… “Les Deux Maisons”…something that will be very important in terms of using jazz music and this region and establishing a very strong tradition that we can pass on to celebrate international nature of us coming together run this very very great art form.

It’s always an honor for me to be here with the great Jean-Louis.
I remain at service of the festival and I wish I could do more.
Thank you

Wynton with his manager and Jean-Louis Guilhaumon
Wynton with his manager and Jean-Louis Guilhaumon

Wynton speaking at Marciac Jazz Festival 2007 opening
Wynton speaking at Marciac Jazz Festival 2007 opening

Wynton speaking at Marciac Jazz Festival 2007 opening
Wynton speaking at Marciac Jazz Festival 2007 opening

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  1. I know the ACTUAL Wynton Marsalis won’t reply or probably even get this, but hey, its worth some fantasy of mine.

    Let me begin by saying that you are incredable; i know you’ve heard this 8 billion times, but its true.

    I am 15 and play the trumpet in my highschool band, but my dad is a long time “wanna-be jazzer” from college, and now plays for fun with me and my brother in our basement. (My brother plays set, and my dad piano, and sax) We mess around with loads of music, my favorite, on trumpet, is Mood Indigo, and your take on it is what i try to base mine upon. Improvisation is amazing, it gives me so much control and freedom, and i just can’t get enough of it, kind of weird coming from a white teenage boy, i know, but i just love your music, and what you do with it.

    I just stumbled on this site, and decided i’d entertain myself by saying i “wrote wynton” But i’m sure you get this all the time.

    Keep it FREE man-

    Nathan Ford on Mar 2nd, 2008 at 6:45pm

  2. Thanks Beverly.

    Wynton Marsalis on Aug 2nd, 2007 at 3:05am

  3. Bon Jour Wynton!

    I was reading the liner notes from the Marciac Suite CD for the 4th time today. I’m certain this year’s festival will be an absolute success as well. By the way, I also like “The Feelin’ of Jazz” you did with Dianne Reeves – it reminds me of the Dakota Staton and Jonah Jones collaborations. Music like that will always cause the doves to fly back home.

    Much continued success,

    Beverly Joy Douglas
    Waterloo, IA formerly of New York, NY

    Beverly Joy Douglas on Jul 31st, 2007 at 3:11pm