[JPL] In the Mood for Festivals at Jazz at Lincoln Center

r durfee rdurfee2003 at yahoo.com
Wed Mar 7 18:11:27 EST 2007

March 7, 2007
In the Mood for Festivals at Jazz at Lincoln Center 
A theme of romance threads through the 2007-8 season
for Jazz at Lincoln Center, Wynton Marsalis, its
artistic director, said in an interview yesterday. 

Another theme, though unstated, might be
consolidation. The schedule for the season, from
October to May, promises more of what has worked
before: festival programming by coordinating the
booking of Rose Hall’s three performance spaces; a
concert by the audience favorites Dave Brubeck and
Ramsey Lewis; the return of the ever-popular Duke
Ellington to the repertory rotation; more concerts of
Afro-Cuban, Spanish, and Brazilian jazz hybrids; and a
few landmark concerts stemming from the gospel
tradition, which seem likely to generate audience

But back to romance. In addition to the Valentine’s
Day concerts — organized into a festival in February,
including an “Ellington Love Songs” program at Rose
Theater and a concert by the singers Kurt Elling and
Nancy King in the Allen Room — Mr. Marsalis said many
of the season’s concerts will have “aspects of a man
and a woman” in their programming. Among these are a
concert of new music commissioned from Frank Foster,
the former Basie band saxophonist and arranger, which
will follow a love-story narrative; and a
singers-with-big-band show, “Best of the Big Bands,”
with Freddy Cole and other vocalists. Presumably the
Brazilian festival in May 2008, including concerts by
the bossa-nova singer Rosa Passos and the composer and
performer Ivan Lins, will contain some romance as

Last year Mr. Marsalis noted that the John Coltrane
festival particularly stood out as a success. In it
Coltrane’s music was approached from different
perspectives in different halls. So next season, he
explained, there will be more such programming. First
will be the “Golden Pen” festival, celebrating jazz
composition. The focus would be on Gil Evans, and the
festival includes three nights of his music — “the
whole span of it,” Mr. Marsalis added, “not just what
he did with Miles Davis” — played by the Jazz at
Lincoln Center Orchestra. Mr. Marsalis’s brother, the
saxophonist Branford Marsalis, is to lead a band for
two nights of Mr. Evans’s small-group jazz in the
Allen Room. 

As part of the “Gospel Jazz Festival” in April 2008,
Wynton Marsalis will write a work commissioned by Jazz
at Lincoln Center for the 200th anniversary of
Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, based on the
church’s Mass; it will involve the church’s full
choir, as well as the Jazz at Lincoln Center
Orchestra, and will be performed at Rose Theater and
at the church. During the same weekend, the pianist
Eric Reed will collaborate with the gospel singer
Edwin Hawkins in the Allen Room. 

Also in April, Wynton Marsalis and the Spanish pianist
Chano Dominguez will reprise “De Cadiz a New Orleans,”
a jazz-flamenco work written by Mr. Dominguez and
presented in 2003. Mr. Marsalis said that it deserved
a better performance and a better hearing, as well as
a live recording.

The hall’s Nesuhi Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame, Mr.
Marsalis said, would become a greater part of the
concert scheduling. This year’s inductees — Clifford
Brown, Benny Carter, Charlie Christian and Django
Reinhardt — will be the subject of concerts next
season. The concerts will go beyond standard repertory
programs, he suggested, with actors playing the
musicians through various stages of their careers.

There will be continued Latin jazz, but after the
current season, the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra — the
in-house Latin jazz orchestra led by Arturo O’Farrill
since 2002 — will end its affiliation with Jazz at
Lincoln Center to tour on its own, said a
representative for Jazz at Lincoln Center.

New schedules for the organization’s 22 educational
programs, as well as nightly bookings at its jazz
club, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, will be released in the
spring. Tickets for all the concerts presented at Rose
Theater and the Allen Room go on sale today, at


Roy Durfee
P.O. Box 40219
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87196-0219
rdurfee2003 at yahoo.com

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