Wynton Marsalis, Keeper of the Jazz Flame

Wynton Marsalis speaks with Alec Baldwin at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall in Manhattan on October 29, 2019.

Wynton Marsalis was on the cover of Time as the avatar of the “New Jazz Age.” His central role in reviving the genre is thanks partly to his gorgeous, virtuosic trumpet-playing, and partly to his founding of Jazz at Lincoln Center.

JALC established jazz at the heart of American high culture. That “officialness” turned off some jazz musicians: wasn’t their music supposed to be looser, smaller? But Marsalis tells Alec that the desire to relegate jazz to small underground clubs is “ghettoizing.”

In front of a live audience at JALC’s Rose Hall, Marsalis also goes deep with Alec Baldwin about his father’s influence — and his racially fraught interactions with professors and conductors at Juilliard when he showed up from Louisiana in 1979.

Produced by WNYC Studios

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