FirstWorks will present Wynton Marsalis, described as the most outstanding jazz musician and trumpeter of his generation, with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Providence, Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium. This rare Providence performance is a major cultural event and will include a repertoire across the full jazz spectrum, from the music’s New Orleans roots to the infectious sounds of modern jazz. Tickets are on sale now at www.vmari.com.
From his New Orleans beginnings and fiery debut with legendary drummer Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers to his string of acclaimed albums and current role as artistic director of jazz at Lincoln Center, Marsalis has amassed an unrivaled number of awards and accolades, including nine Grammys and the Pulitzer Prize for Music, the first ever awarded to a jazz artist.
Together, Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, a 15-piece assemblage of the finest jazz soloists and ensemble players today, have modernized the notion of a "big band” while honoring the rich heritage of Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong. World-traveling ambassador of the American experience, an esteemed lecturer and educator, Marsalis has also become the world’s most prominent jazz journalist, as CBS network’s new cultural correspondent.
“Wynton Marsalis is an internationally acclaimed musician, composer, bandleader, educator and a leading advocate of American culture,” said Kathleen Pletcher, executive artistic director, FirstWorks. “We are thrilled to share his expansive range of brilliant music with FirstWorks audiences in Providence. This promises to be a fantastic performance of jazz at its best.”
In addition to the Jan. 27 performance, FirstWorks has planned a series of educational and community programs for students in schools and universities across Rhode Island. Utilizing the Wynton Marsalis and Sandra Day O’Connor Let Freedom Swing: Conversations on Jazz and Democracy curriculum. This FirstWorks arts-learning program will include a number of in-school workshops and performances, each with a unique theme, led by teaching artists and jazz ensembles. Rhode Island K-12 teachers and administrators will be provided a special professional development session led by Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra education staff and musicians to assist with implementing the multi-disciplinary curriculum across social studies and arts. The course, which will be taught in advance of the school residencies, also provides rich resource materials and allows for deep engagement between students, teachers and musicians.
These initiatives are part of the FirstWorks unique arts learning program, designed to provide integrated, arts-based learning to students and teachers in some of the neediest schools across Rhode Island. The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra residency will reach an estimated 1,500 students over the course of two of months.
Tickets are on sale now for Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis. Prices start at $23 and are available at vmari.com or 421-ARTS (2787).
FirstWorks is a non-profit arts organization that presents world-class performing arts programs that build the cultural, educational, and economic vitality of our community.
Since 2004, FirstWorks has offered Rhode Islanders access to some of the most exciting artists of our time including Yo-Yo Ma & the Silk Road Ensemble, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Laurie Anderson and the master artists of Pakistan through Caravanserai project (2011-12). Beginning with an unprecedented collaboration with Providence’s Department of Art, Culture + Tourism, FirstWorks has produced 22 groundbreaking arts festivals, attracted more than 132,000 participants, presented over 361 international artists and innovators, engaged more than 100 nonprofit community organizations and schools, and grown into a multidimensional arts organization recognized with 14 National Endowment for the Arts grants.
The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra has performed in hundreds of cities on six continents for people of all ages. JLCO Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis has been appointed as a United Nations Messenger of Peace for his work touring around the world with the JLCO and bringing people together through swing.
Formed by Jazz at Lincoln Center Managing and Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis from members of his septet and surviving members of the Duke Ellington Orchestra, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (JLCO) is one of the world’s finest working big bands. The members of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra are 15 of the best soloists, ensemble players, and arrangers in jazz. In residence since 1988, it is widely regarded as the “finest big band in the world today” (Daily Telegraph, UK). This remarkably versatile band celebrates jazz’s large-ensemble tradition by performing a vast repertoire of masterpieces by legends of the genre, including Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Fletcher Henderson, Thelonious Monk, Mary Lou Williams, Billy Strayhorn, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman, Charles Mingus, Chick Corea, Oliver Nelson, and many others, as well as original works and arrangements.