Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Hot Ticket: Jazz at Lincoln Centre Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis

The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra is a fifteen-piece big band, led by Wynton Marsalis, which performed at Massey Hall in Toronto on Feb. 1, 2011.

Peter Power/The Globe and Mail

He has performed on every continent except the Antarctic, sold millions of albums, landed nine Grammys and a Pulitzer, been handed prestigious honorary degrees, was named a UN Messenger for Peace and is a living jazz legend. But after every show he and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra perform, trumpeter, composer and bandleader Wynton Marsalis sticks around to greet any fans who want to say hello.

"Sometimes, he has been there as long as two or three hours after a concert," says JLCO saxophonist Victor Goines, who went to kindergarten with Mr. Marsalis in New Orleans and has performed with him for decades. "He is a part of the history of jazz music on the highest of levels, but at the same time, very accessible to the people."

That same warmth and communicativeness are also hallmarks of the music of Mr. Marsalis, who is performing a rare Chan Centre concert with the JLCO that will feature the music of Blue Note Records, from Thelonious Monk to Dexter Gordon to Herbie Hancock.

Story continues below advertisement

"Once he puts the horn in his hands, it's almost hypnotic in that it makes you come to it. It's like a potion, a spell," says Mr. Goines, who adds that Mr. Marsalis's breadth of ability is also what sets him apart. "He can play the most wildest of wild that you're going to hear on his instrument, and then he can play the sweetest of the sweet. And that's a rarity that few artists have had throughout the history of jazz music."

First formed in 1988 and featuring top jazz soloists, the JLCO regularly performs at Lincoln Center, commissions works from top jazz artists and tours around the globe. Passionate about music education, the group also runs youth programs in New York and offers workshops while on tour. But no matter where they happen to be on the planet, the musicians are most at home on stage, putting their masterful spin on jazz music.

"Jazz music is about life. It's about evolution. It's about the past, the present and future. We don't necessarily know where that's going to be every time we stand up to play a solo," he says. "But we are willing to take the risk that wherever we go, it's going to be better than where we were."

Jazz at Lincoln Centre Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis is at the Chan Saturday (chancentre.com).

Follow me on Twitter: @jvanevra

Report an error
Comments

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.