Branford Marsalis, brother to the esteemed Wynton, has toured the world with some of jazz's greatest minds: Art Blakey, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and Dizzy Gillespie to name a few. In a recent interview at the San Antonio Current, Marsalis talks everything from classical to his gripe with Jay Z.
Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra will present a pair of concerts exploring the "Birth of the American Orchestra" Jan. 9 and 10 at the Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center, in New York City. Bebop pioneer Dizzy Gillespie once told JALC’s managing and artistic director Marsalis something that would forever change his perception of big bands: "One should not consider it an achievement to lose one's orchestral tradition.” According to the Lincoln Center website, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis delves into this American phenomenon through the syncopated dance beats of New Orleans, innovative ensemble virtuosity and the monumentality of swing and the blues. They will also explore the roles of orchestral instrumentation and the expansion of harmonic prospects, the evolution of the rhythm section and the distinctiveness of the master composers and arrangers involved. This show is partly inspired by Marsalis’s September 2013 Harvard University lecture "Setting the Communal Table: The Evolution of the Jazz Orchestra.” The JLCO is expected to perform the music of Don Redman, Fletcher Henderson, Bill Challis, Duke Ellington, Benny Carter, Eddie Durham, Chico O’Farrill and Gil Fuller. These jazz architects, along with Gillespie’s mantra, are the foundation of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra — an orchestra with an astonishing concentration of talented musicians and a collective regarded as the “finest big band in the world today,” said the website.
The legendary jazz drumming heavyweight, Roy Haynes, will celebrate an honorable 90th birthday with a slew of shows at New York's most beloved downtown jazz venue The Blue Note from March 13-15.
Yusef Lateef, innovative tenor saxophonist, oboist, flutist and composer, died on December 23 after a brief illness, his wife Ayesha confirmed. He was 93.
Marian McPartland, a British musician who hosted a jazz program on National Public Radio for more than four decades, has died at age 95, NPR said on its website.