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JALC

  • UpClose: Wynton Marsalis

    Mike Lawson | December 1, 2002

    When Wynton Marsalis walks into the room, music begins to play. Actually, it’s spilling right out of his mouth, filling in the silent spaces, but not intruding into conversations. It’s just the music in him, searching for a way out.

    After a long day of press interviews promoting a new interactive jazz curriculum, the trumpet virtuoso is still buzzing with musical energy. He’ll soon be heading off to take a private lesson. Yes, even the world-renowned Marsalis – who has 40 jazz and classical recordings, nine Grammy Awards and a Pulitzer Prize to his credit – continues to take private lessons whenever his schedule allows. The artistic director of the Jazz at Lincoln Center educational program and the music director of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra hasn’t finished learning all he can about music. Like the thousands of children and teens he’s coached during the past two decades through Jazz at Lincoln Center’s numerous educational outreach initiatives, Marsalis still considers himself very much a student.

    “I still feel like one of them,” he says of the music students he meets every year. “I’m still trying to learn. There’s so much to learn.”

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