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  • Wynton Marsalis reaches out to the young

    Posted on February 10th, 2015 in Profiles & Interviews

    No event in Orchestra Hall’s jazz season generates greater anticipation or larger audiences than a residency by Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.
    And none of this year’s three concerts, starting Friday, will make a bigger impact on the future than the Saturday matinee, a Jazz for Young People program. For during the course of this event, Marsalis won’t just play with his formidable ensemble but also will discuss the music, aiming his commentary at young listeners unfamiliar with jazz, as well as those already smitten.

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  • Wynton Marsalis and JALC concert at Chicago Orchestra Hall

    Posted on March 29th, 2014 in Review

    There’s a palpable sense of occasion in the air when the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra returns to Orchestra Hall, and you feel it as soon as you walk into the room.

    The presence of so many listeners seated on stage around the band, crowding the terrace area behind it and filling every remaining seat in the house distinguishes this event from most concerts in the grand old venue. Major performances unfold here many nights a week, in other words, but Chicagoans turn these JALC appearances – led by the band’s music director, Wynton Marsalis – into something of a civic occasion.

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  • Wynton Marsalis’ Pulitzer-winning ‘Blood on the Fields’ returns

    Posted on February 12th, 2013 in Profiles & Interviews

    Sixteen years ago, newspapers across America riffed on an unexpected theme: For the first time, a jazz composition had won the country’s highest musical honor. “Marsalis swings a Pulitzer” trumpeted USA Today, its message echoing wherever cultural news was reported. Not since Duke Ellington had been snubbed by the Pulitzers in 1965 — prompting two jury members who recommended him for the award to quit — had jazz become so dramatically linked to the award.   Keep reading »

  • Wynton Marsalis plays homage to Von Freeman

    Posted on August 31st, 2012 in Review

    Just moments after Wynton Marsalis took the stage of Orchestra Hall on Tuesday night he addressed a subject on many people’s minds: Chicago tenor saxophonist Von Freeman, who died earlier this month at age 88.
    “He was a legend,” Marsalis told a crowded house, while a memorial service for Freeman was being held across town, at Christ Universal Temple, on South Ashland Avenue.

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  • ‘Congo Square’ a dialogue of eras

    Posted on June 26th, 2007 in Review | 4

    When Wynton Marsalis rocketed to stardom in the 1980s, he seemed poised to enjoy a long career as a hyper-virtuoso trumpeter.

    Though Marsalis remains a top-flight soloist, it’s his work as composer of epic scores that more deeply defines his art. Clearly, no one else in recent jazz history has produced a comparable list of vast compositions, including the thunderous “All Rise” (performed earlier this year by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra), the incantatory “In This House, On This Morning” (a jazz evocation of a gospel church service) and the incendiary “Blood on the Fields” (the first jazz composition to win the Pulitzer Prize in music, in 1997).

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  • Marsalis blasts political and societal inequities

    Posted on March 4th, 2007 in Review

    For those who think of Wynton Marsalis as a purveyor of gauzy romantic ballads and composer of epic symphonic works, the trumpeter has a surprise in store. “From the Plantation to the Penitentiary,” to be released Tuesday on Blue Note Records, ranks as Marsalis’ most explicitly political statement to date, even as it draws on themes from earlier recordings.   Keep reading »

  • CSO thunders gloriously with Marsalis’ `All Rise’

    Posted on January 20th, 2007 in Review

    Call it a tonic for troubled times.
    Wynton Marsalis’ “All Rise”—an epic work that addresses fundamental questions of faith, crisis and deliverance—does not go gently into the night.

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  • Wynton interviewed by Chicago Tribune

    Posted on January 27th, 2006 in Profiles & Interviews | 1

    Wynton Marsalis is the first jazz musician to win the Pulitzer Prize in music. He’s got a basketful of Grammys. And he’s become the music director of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, which lands in Chicago for two gigs this weekend.
    So is there anything he can’t do? You bet. He can’t get his kids to stay awake during a symphony concert.

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  • Marsalis, Roberts renew musical bonds in impromptu reunion

    Posted on April 19th, 1995 in Review

    Two reigning jazz virtuosos were reunited in impromptu fashion Tuesday night, and the results were as profound as they were accessible, as technically brilliant as they were musically direct.   Keep reading »

  • A change of key - His Septet behind him, Marsalis takes a new direction

    Posted on April 9th, 1995 in Profiles & Interviews

    It was one of the most sublime jazz bands of the late ‘80s and early “90s, an ensemble so distinctive in personality, so lustrous in tone and so brilliant in technique as to set a standard toward which other young groups aspired.   Keep reading »