Marsalis calls jazz democracy in action

19 Sep

He’ll bring his band to the Ford Center on Monday.

Want more from Marsalis?
Find more from our Q&A with Wynton Marsalis in Thursday’s edition of

By M. Scott Morris
Daily Journal

OXFORD – Jazz great Wynton Marsalis has rounded up a band full of talented folks and he’s bringing them to the University of Mississippi’s Ford Center on Monday.

Q: What’s the relationship between jazz and Democracy?
A: Jazz requires each member to improvise but it won’t work for a soloist or an ensemble if the musicians don’t play in balance.
When you’re playing in a group, you have rights and responsibilities in that group, you know the Bill of Rights, the Constitution, so you can make informed decisions – decisions on how to listen and decisions on how to respond.
From there, one can make a modern statement and a personal one. You work together to achieve the ultimate goal of an ongoing swinging groove.

Q: Do you have an iPod or MP3 player?
A: No, I don’t have an iPod or a computer but most of the cats in the band don’t leave for a tour without their iPods. I’ll listen to music that I want us to play for the season at Jazz at Lincoln Center like arrangements of Gil Evans or the best of big band music – two programs we’ll be doing this season in New York.

Q: By the way, my family loves “Joe Cool’s Blues.” Are those songs from the “Peanuts” cartoons as fun to play as they are to hear?
A: That was a fun album to play on because it took me back to when I was a boy.
Around that time, the only time you would hear jazz on television was when a “Peanuts” special came on and you heard people swinging on TV and the music is so upbeat and happy.
Vince Guaraldi composed for the “Peanuts” television specials and we were aware that my father knew him. So that made us think our father was important. Thinking back about that was always fun – the personal connection.

Q: What sized band will you bring with you? Any singers in the group?
A: We’ve played with singers for years, but on this tour, it’s just the band. The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra is made up of 15 of the world’s greatest jazz musicians, from all over: In our trumpet section we’ve got Marcus Printup, Ryan Kisor and Brandon Lee, who is filling in for Sean Jones.
In our trombone section, we’ve got Vincent Gardner; another young player, Chris Crenshaw; and our newest member is Elliot Mason.
Our sax section is 77-year-old Joe Temperly, Walter Blanding, Ted Nash, Victor Goines from New Orleans and Sherman Irby from Alabama.
And our rhythm section are Dan Nimmer on piano, Carlos Henriquez on bass and Ali Jackson on drums.

If you’re looking for something beyond the same ol’, same ol’, you’ll want to be at the University of Mississippi’s Ford Center at 8 p.m. Monday when Wynton Marsalis and his jazz band deliver the goods. Tickets range from $65 to $55, and they’re available by calling (662) 915-7411.

One Response to “Marsalis calls jazz democracy in action”

  1. Luigi September 21, 2007 at 2:34 am #

    We’ll link your interview on Wynton’s official web site.


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