Jazz again takes a turn on the showcase of the Paramount stage, and this time the featured artist is Wynton Marsalis, who is practically a member of musical royalty. Marsalis is coming, and he’s bringing an orchestra with him. Jazz at the Lincoln Center is not the name of an event, but is a the name of the arts institute he co-founded in 1987. A big band of the same name travels with him, and now they will bring their big sound to the big state of Texas. Needless to say, this is no small event. Marsalis is not just any artist, but an ambassador of classical music and of the great American musical form of Jazz itself.
Wynton, an amazing jazz trumpeter, hails from (what many consider to be) the first family of modern American Jazz. The Marsalis patriarch, Ellis, was a jazz musician from New Orleans who broke the mold of dixieland musicians decades ago. Over the years, he worked with scores of other artists and was regarded as one of he most influential pianists on the scene. Wynton and three of his brothers all became musicians in their own right, keeping the momentum of jazz propelling forward into new generations. He began studying trumpet at age 12, and moved to New York at age 18 to attend the Juilliard School of Music. Less than a year later, he signed with Columbia Records. Wynton released his first album in 1982, and has since created numerous jazz and classical recordings that have sold millions across the globe.
Naturally for someone of his caliber, the accolades have flowed his way like a series of cool jazz riffs. Marsalis has won nine Grammy awards, and is the only person to ever win Grammys for jazz and classical records. In 1997, he became the first jazz musician to win the Pulitzer Prize in music, for his epic oratorio, Blood on the Fields, about a couple moving from slavery towards freedom.
For the last quarter century, Marsalis and Jazz at the Lincoln Center have preformed around the globe. Wynton has performed in over 30 countries and on every continent, with the exception Antarctica. Penguins may be accustomed to cooler climates, but apparently they’ve missed out on some cool cool jazz.
When playing together, the big band is like a force of nature. Take, for instance, this performance of Marsalis and the Jazz at the Lincoln Center Orchestra a few years ago in San Diego. They perform a little John Coltrane, but it’s just… simply… wow. It’s hard for words to describe.
My goodness, just listen to that, will ya?
Incredible. Now, just close your eyes and imagine this sound without the restraint of your computer, smartphone or tablet speakers that you probably just heard this on. Imagine this filling the auditorium of The Paramount… where the sound can envelope you, fill you mind, and make a cool little smile creep up the side of your face like a rising balloon.
This man with a limitless work ethic is also a advocate for the arts and an educator to boot at the institute, never tiring in his pursuit in bringing classical music and jazz to masses the owrld over. And now, Wynton brings his signature sound to The Paramount. Join the band in the vaulted venue, and let him teach you a thing or two on this upcoming night.
Horns up, Austin (brass horns, that is). Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at the Lincoln Center Orchestra bring it on Wednesday, February 6th. And that’s truly something to get all jazzed up about.