Wynton Marsalis at Webster: ‘Be Real for Real’

Marsalis was joined on stage by Bob Holden of the Holden Public Policy Forum and Paul DeMarinis of the Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts.

Jazz legend Wynton Marsalis shared stories from his music career, his views on jazz and his philosophy on life with a full house at Webster University’s Community Music School Friday, Oct. 18.

Marsalis was ushered into a classroom by former governor of Missouri Bob Holden and music professor Paul DeMarinis. Welcoming Marsalis and thanking him for taking time out on a special day, Webster President Elizabeth “Beth” Stroble presented a cake and led the audience in a rendition of “Happy Birthday.” Marsalis turned 52 Friday.

While Marsalis touched on jazz and other music disciplines during his 25-minute talk, he truly moved the audience with answers that reflected his humanity. Through personal anecdotes, he emphasized the gratitude he feels for the chief influences on his life and the knowledge they imparted to him — specifically his mother, father, and the many jazz musicians he’s encountered over the years.

He then opened the floor up to questions. Questions ranged from his views on the acoustic musician’s struggle to make a profit in the day of Pandora to getting children to practice their instruments. He even touched upon his famous disputes with Miles Davis.

“My basic attitude is one of gratitude,” Marsalis said. When asked about his gifts, Marsalis replied, “The fact — and it’s a fact, not a slogan — is that we are all the same.” He explained that community and togetherness is what helped him get as far as he has, and he’s made it a point to internalize the lessons he’s learned from older musicians.

Among those lessons, as he told the audience: “Be real for real.”

Marsalis was invited to Webster by Governor Bob Holden and the Holden Public Policy Forum at Webster University. His appearance was co-sponsored by the Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts.

by Dominik Jansky
Source: Webster Today

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