Jazz music and the spirit of New York City will be arriving at the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center (PAC) on Wednesday, Sept. 29, as Mercyhurst College welcomes the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.
This world-renowned group is led by artistic director and revered musician Wynton Marsalis, considered the best jazz musician of his generation.
The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra is devoted not only to music, but to the promotion of jazz into the future through ample outreach into the community by way of classes and lectures for all ages.
Marsalis himself is not only a great leader but also a teacher and composer. He began his musical career in his hometown of New Orleans, performing with the New Orleans Philharmonic at the age of 14, along with other esteemed groups throughout his teen years.
By age 17, Marsalis became the youngest musician ever to be admitted to Tanglewood’s Berkshire Music Center and receive its prestigious Harvey Shapiro Award.
He attended the Julliard School of Music and began working at various venues in New York City.
In this new environment, Marsalis worked under many jazz legends and learned his band-leading techniques from jazz master Art Blakey.
He then lent his expertise to many aspiring musicians who later became jazz legends themselves. Among them were James Carter, Harry Connick Jr., and Eric Lewis.
Marsalis started his own band in 1981 and took it on tour. Many believe he re-kindled the spirit of jazz around the nation
As a composer, too, Marsalis is extraordinary for being the world’s first jazz artist to perform and compose across the entire jazz spectrum of musical styles, ranging from New Orleans roots to bebop to modern jazz.
Marsalis co-founded the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in 1987, and it became a new constituent of Lincoln Center in 1996. Jazz at Lincoln Center is a great educational nucleus, in addition to being the preferred spot for New York and worldwide jazz fans.
The Center includes Band Director’s Academy, a concert series for kids, Jazz for Young People, Jazz in the Schools, a Middle School Jazz Academy, and an annual High School Jazz Band Competition and Festival that reaches more than 2,000 bands in 50 states and Canada. They also provide online learning opportunities.
The French Ambassador Pierre Vimont once said of Marsalis’ jazz, “…Jazz is more than just a musical form. It is part of American History…it is the sound of democracy. And from this democratic nature of jazz derives openness, generosity and universality.”
Inquiries about tickets may be made by calling the PAC box office at (814) 824-3000 or online at http://pac.mercyhurst.edu.