Wynton on the Colbert Report. Watch the episode

Last night,Wynton was featured guest on the Colbert Report. Watch the full episode.

During the interview, Wynton took one of Stephen’s snide taunts and gave such a beautiful quote, read it now:

Stephen Colbert: I’ve never been our for an entire jazz game…How do you win at jazz? Is there a point system?

Wynton Marsalis: Let me tell you what. When you start to play and you see people jumping up and down in the audience, and hollering and screaming, and wanting to get up on the tables… and then some other people next to them have tears coming out of their eyes and another person is sleeping, and the whole room erupts in a volcano of feeling?

Stephen Colbert: Yep.

Wynton Marsalis: You won.

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  1. Go Wynton. Don’t let that Stephen Colbert bring down jazz.

    Daniel Rutkowski on Feb 3rd, 2010 at 1:16am

  2. i’ll ask him on monday why he went on this show!! Mr. Marsalis is so passionate about his music…he also has a funny sense of humor..but he’d hate anyone poking fun at his music. i hated the end piece with mr.M playing the trumpet and colbert acting like a jackass!! i guess its his job..but pleeeeeeeeease!!

    namden DORJI on Jan 29th, 2010 at 6:55pm

  3. I think it didn’t go as well as I hoped, and possibly JALC. Regardless as Art Blakey said as long as “they” say something, good or bad , they said something and it’s better than if they said nothing. I also noticed an article in Energy Times which is not a very mainstream magazine. I think it is a little difficult to get the kind of exposure that is necessary to really hit the mainstream unless you are Alicia Keys or Beyonce, so I applaud any efforts to do so. I find it hard to believe that Jazz is not a little more revered in mainstream media at this point. For example. All of this focus on “living your best life”, longevity, gourmet cooking, taking ourselves more seriously, learning, etc, it amazes me that even classical music is not discussed. Or the arts for that matter. There is no reason why higher learning in the arts can’t be another facet of American society. It’s almost as simple as having a 10 minute spot on 3 high profile talk shows or news programs every year (ok, maybe it takes more. Expecially now since audiences are even more inclined to sit through something that they are told to sit through because they think they are doing something. I think any exposure is good, and have noticed some audiences that don’t know what they are experiencing, but are there because they think it is a little more intellectual than what they are normally exposed to. I don’t mind that they don’t know what they are experiencing at first, but if a few of them like it and become interested. It is much easier to find the information, and the music than ever before. So there is no reason why America’s Art Form(s) should be out of the mainstream for much longer.

    Gkls on Dec 5th, 2008 at 6:02pm

  4. Yeah! That’s how to win a jazz game.
    Wynton’s quote is simply intelligent and true !

    François on Nov 26th, 2008 at 4:18am

  5. Folks, please don’t forget that Colbert is playing a character. It is my guess that he is a great fan of Wynton, and it seemed to me that he loved having Wynton as his guest. Wynton is a smart man and would not put himself into a position to be made fun of. Please stop taking everything so serious and see the humor!!

    Wendy Mellberg Haecker on Nov 9th, 2008 at 7:43pm

  6. Great point David, I hadn’t thought of it like that. Now that you bring that up, I myself wonder why he didn’t try to get his book featured on a different more serious program. Maybe Colbert offered him the spot? But I guess we may never know.

    Kellon on Nov 9th, 2008 at 7:19pm

  7. Kellon, I agree that Wynton is certainly an inspiration to all. Additionally, nobody likes their lives or passions to be made fun of. But for that reason, most people wouldn’t go on a show that does just that. That is why it was odd for me to see Wynton’s behavior. Any show is lucky if they can get someone like Wynton to appear. So, if he didn’t want Colbert to do his very normal routine of poking fun, then he should have offered an interview to NPR instead. None of the contents or agenda of that show is a secret to the willing guests.

    David on Nov 9th, 2008 at 3:01pm

  8. David, you question Wynton’s behavior, but I would have personally acted the same. Wynton did not seem humored because Colbert here was questioning and attempting to make fun of the music that Wynton is trying to enlighten people about, a music that is dying in this nation because people would rather listen to “rap” music that “has a cool beat” that really a 3 year old could play on pots and pans. I understand that Colbert was just doing his job and just making some jokes on the subject, but if some one pokes fun at something that your passionate about and you love, as Wynton is about jazz music, it’s hard to laugh back. For example, if some person were to invite you to their house, with a few people over, and poke fun at your sickly grandmother, which you have worked so hard to pay the hospital bills for, whilst the other people in the room laugh and giggle at the situation….How do you react? Now, it doesn’t take a genius to compare those two situations.

    Kellon on Nov 9th, 2008 at 1:04am

  9. Wynton, as usual you are a class act. I love Colbert and loved watching him with you. He is obviously a fan of yours and seemed almost giddy. And the duet was great! And thanks, too, for your latest effort with Willie Nelson. Superb!!!

    Wendy Mellberg Haecker on Oct 28th, 2008 at 7:49pm

  10. This was funny! I enjoyed the rapport between Wynton and Stephen. Wynton took Stephen’s jabs in stride and actually turned them into something meaningful. Good job Wynton!

    Sonalii on Oct 23rd, 2008 at 12:35pm

  11. Wynton,

    I think your music is great; you are connected with the people; you are an honorable person. However, you were sort of a drag, especially in the beginning. Lighten up, it’s a COMEDY show.

    David on Oct 21st, 2008 at 9:34pm

  12. Congratulations Mr. Marsalis! Once again you have exemplified superb musicianship. First of all, happy belated birthday. Presentation is everything. You don’t look a day over thirty.

    Secondly, your taste in clothing is impeccable. You looked very conservative in your attire. In my view, you display some of the same characteristics of the late Great Duke Ellington. He was not only a great composer, and a sharp dresser, but also very articulate and well versed in the area of Jazz.

    Thirdly, you are jovial. You can dish it out and you can take it. Jazz is truly a music of integrity. The music teaches us to listen. When you listen, you develop a sort of discipline. Jazz can change your life! I am a witness!

    You did an excellent job as usual. Someone told me that it only takes thirty seconds to make an impression. Well, I know that America is impressed with you. Jazz is here to stay. Mr. Marsalis, keep telling the world how they can win with Jazz. They won’t regret it. Take care!

    Jazzically yours,
    Lady Dale

    Lady Dale on Oct 21st, 2008 at 8:22pm

  13. This piece was more enlightening than amusing. Here we learned more about the host than the interviewee. Colbert was a good sport! Next time he should try reading the book prior to the interview.

    Our anthem spoke volumes, providing an unmitigated contrast to the content of this show in its entirety.
    And doesn’t this brief clip put contemporary music criticism into perspective?

    Bravo to both participants!!

    gloria on Oct 21st, 2008 at 6:59pm

  14. My son is in beginning band, he plays the trumpet and drums. When he heard you play, he wanted me to make him a CD so he could learn to play like you. Thank you. Your music has inspired a new generation.

    Thanks so much

    Stacy on Oct 21st, 2008 at 3:33pm

  15. I just love Wynton, he’s so crafty and aware. His ‘music critic’ quote was classic!!

    CJD on Oct 21st, 2008 at 3:06pm

  16. Thanks for the great music! And the laughs.

    Eric on Oct 21st, 2008 at 2:02pm

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