Wynton Marsalis and Ken Burns honor the life of Jack Johnson

Jazz at Lincoln Center proudly commemorates the Jack Johnson Festival in its new home, Frederick P. Rose Hall, for two special evenings of jazz and film on Friday, November 12 and Saturday, November 13 at 8:00pm.
During the first half of the program, acclaimed filmmaker Ken Burns, along with Wynton, will provide commentary and present clips from Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson, Mr. Burns’ upcoming documentary on the heavyweight-boxing champion, author, patent-holding inventor and aspiring bass player.
Wynton composed the original score and, with the Wynton Marsalis Septet, will perform this extraordinary music during the second half of the program to round out a knockout evening.
More info about tickets on

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  1. On Saturday 11-13, The Jack Johnson Festival was, in the 1st half, a well put together display of some of the efforts that it takes to bring to life an historical documentary, using mostly newly written “period” music as part of his lively thread. Still pictures gave an idea of the involved thinking and concentration from everybody on board(from musicians to script writers, etc)

    I wonder why a sample of the historical, artistic and musical dilemnas wasn’t fully exposed, to truly give the audience the opportunity to really grasp what it takes to make certain choices, from story and pictures telling, to musical moods?
    Not everybody has flirted with the challenges of making creative choices, even in less artistic disciplines, and it is always enlightening to discover how creators think!

    In the 2nd half, we were moved by thoughtful, swinging and soulful solos of Vincent Gardner trombone, Victor Goines “in the groove” clarinet, Sherman Irby nice and surprising alto sound, Eric Lewis sensitive piano touch and “out of this world” chords (or where they from Mr. Marsalis sophisticated feather touch?), and the Maestro himself, giving full life to his own compositions.
    The gusty life of Jack Johnson appeared with the whole spectrum of human emotions, so well rendered by all involved.
    A+ TREAT ! I can’t wait to see the documentary in its entirety.
    Thank you Mr. Burns.

    Frederique on Dec 15th, 2004 at 1:17pm