Big band musicians to perform at Eisenhower Auditorium

Wynton Marsalis directs Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.
Wynton Marsalis directs Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Photo provided

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis will return to Happy Valley on Oct. 7 for Marsalis’ seventh appearance at Eisenhower Auditorium.

Marsalis is a trumpeter, composer, educator and orchestra leader who directs JLCO, a group of big band musicians with a mission to further music performance and advocate for music education.

“Music and the arts address the substance of our internal lives ... music is the art of the invisible,” Marsalis said during an online interview.

A nine-time Grammy Award winner, Marsalis continuously shares his love of the arts through teaching. His combined career efforts have culminated honorary doctorate degrees from universities such as Harvard, Yale and Princeton. Marsalis received the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for Music following the release of “Blood on the Fields.”

JLCO produces an orchestra composed of four trumpets, three trombones, various ranges of clarinets, more than half a dozen saxophones and the loveable requirement of jazz’s must-have trio: Piano, bass and drums.

The driving directorial force behind JLCO was born in a place of foundational roots within jazz: New Orleans. The making of a future horn-blowing legend was inevitable when Marsalis first picked up a trumpet at the age of 12. He entered the Juilliard School at 17, where he studied trumpet. By age 21, he made his recording debut and has since performed alongside Herbie Hancock, Dizzy Gillespie and Sarah Vaughan, to name a few legends.

Marsalis now shares his abilities with global audiences through master classes, television specials, live radio broadcasts and concert hall appearances with symphony orchestras across the globe.

“Jazz is very personal, where you can embrace other people in the way that they actually do things. You’ve got to go there to know there ... nobody can tell you how to swim or tell you how to ride a bike, they can’t tell you what a banana tastes like, that’s how music is too,” he said.