As artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, a non-profit arts organization dedicated to the art form, Wynton Marsalis makes education a big part of his mission.
To that end, Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra offer Jazz for Young People, a program consisting of narrated hour-long concerts, traveling professional jazz ensembles in performance for students, and interactive lessons and master classes. As part of its upcoming residency at Symphony Center, Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra on Feb. 14 will present a Jazz for Young People concert titled “Who Is Dave Brubeck?” — an exploration of the pianist-composer-bandleader who helped to bring jazz into the American mainstream.
On his official website, Marsalis hosts a blog, which often features his educational outreach work. In a recent post, the master trumpeter discusses the lessons he shared with students at the Shenandoah Conservatory and the John Kerr Elementary School, both in suburban Virginia. “With my fourth graders, we talked about listening to yourself and others at the same time and about keeping your place in the time of the music. We said you should always look with support at someone who has messed up in the course of a piece and never tease or show your displeasure with them. [The students] told me that [their teacher] Mr. Stritcher says ‘make mistakes with confidence.’ Then we talked about the power of the word RESPECTFULLY as a way to behave and to listen and to respond to others.”
For more words of wisdom from Wynton, check out his blog.
While at Symphony Center, Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra also will perform two concerts for “grown-ups”: Feb. 13, a tribute titled “Jazz Titans: Duke, Dizzy, ’Trane and Brubeck,” and Feb. 14, a Valentine’s Day-themed performance featuring vocalist Rene Marie.