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  • Wynton Marsalis going strong at 50

    Posted on October 7th, 2011 in Profiles & Interviews

    By jazz standards, 50 is young — at least when you consider that pioneers such as saxophonist Benny Carter and trumpeter Doc Cheatham were playing beautifully into their 90s.   Keep reading »

  • ‘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).

      Keep reading »

  • 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.

      Keep reading »

  • 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.

      Keep reading »

  • Pulitzer changes put the emphasis on American music

    Posted on June 13th, 2004 in Review

    In American journalism, the Pulitzer Prize towers over all other honors. In literature and drama, it conveys palpable prestige and often spikes sales.And in music . . . well, to put it kindly, the award has a checkered past.   Keep reading »

  • Marsalis hinting at introspective change of pace

    Posted on October 21st, 2003 in Review

    Chicagoans have heard trumpeter Wynton Marsalis fronting all manner of ensembles, from the choral-orchestral forces that performed his oratorio “Blood on the Fields” to the radiant septet that played his devotional instrumental suite “In This House, On This Morning.”   Keep reading »

  • Tunes of ‘Glory’

    Posted on December 9th, 2002 in Review

    Ten years ago, the leaders of a South Side church came up with a bold idea: Engage great gospel and pop artists to perform in a holiday concert, invite the public to attend for free and put the show on TV on Christmas day, so that all Chicago could see the glories that unfold at 63rd and Dorchester.   Keep reading »

  • Marsalis has a kick with kids

    Posted on April 30th, 2001 in Review

    Sophisticated jazz isn’t for adults only, as Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra clearly established over the weekend at Symphony Center. The occasion of Marsalis, the leading jazz musician of his generation, sharing the stage with at least 30 kids from the audience—and trying to teach them the basics of improvisation—had to be seen to be believed.   Keep reading »

  • A Dixie feast

    Posted on April 30th, 2001 in Review

    A hot New Orleans breeze blew into Symphony Center over the weekend, inspiring more than a few Chicagoans to stand up and holler as if they were on Bourbon Street rather than Michigan Avenue.   Keep reading »