December 10, 2014. Posted by WBGO.Ellis Marsalis celebrates his 80th birthday in concert at Jazz at Lincoln Center. (Image Credit: Lawrence Sumulong/Jazz at Lincoln Center)
Ellis Marsalis is a father figure of modern jazz — in quite a few ways. As a pianist, he was among the first generation of musicians to bring bebop to New Orleans, and even worked with Ornette Coleman before the saxophonist recorded his landmarks of free jazz. As an educator, many great musicians came through Marsalis' tutelage, whether in New Orleans' arts high school or at various university programs. And of course, he is also the actual father of several exceptional musicians named Branford, Wynton, Delfeayo and Jason Marsalis.
He turned 80 in November, and to celebrate, Jazz at Lincoln Center — where his son Wynton is managing and artistic director — hosted him and his band. Jazz Night In America fetes Ellis Marsalis with a special birthday performance from Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola.
- "Monkey Puzzle" (James Black)
- "Homecoming" (Ellis Marsalis)
- "Bloomdido" (Charlie Parker)
- "Beautiful Old Ladies" (Harold Battiste)
- "Sweet Georgia Brown" (Bernie/Pinkard)
- "Creole Love Call" (Duke Ellington)
- "Happy Birthday" [encore with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra]
Ellis Marsalis, piano; Derek Douget, saxophones; Jason Stewart, bass; Herlin Riley, drums.
© 2014 WBGO
December 4, 2014. Posted by WBGO.
Mezzrow is New York City's newest listening room: an intimate club for solo and duo performers where silence and attention are more than encouraged. It's a bit of a throwback, as is its Monday night host Johnny O'Neal. A virtuoso who shot onto the scene in the 1980s, the pianist is now re-establishing his presence in New York after decades off the radar. And on Mondays, he holds court at Mezzrow, singing the blues and welcoming guest after guest onto the tiny stage.
Jazz Night in America stops into the Greenwich Village club to listen closely.
© 2014 WBGO
November 19, 2014. Posted by WBGO.The SpokFrevo Orquestra is led by the saxophonist known as Maestro Spok. (Image Credit: Frank Stewart/Jazz at Lincoln Center)
During Carnival in Brazil, music fills the streets. And often that music is frevo, a genre drawing from marches, Brazilian quadrilha, polka and classical music.
The SpokFrevo Orquestra brings a jazz-influenced take to that joyous celebration. Fronted by virtuoso saxophonist and arranger Inaldo Cavalcante de Albuquerque, better known as Spok, the 17-piece orchestra presents an adventurous program featuring special guests Melissa Aldana (saxophone) and Wycliffe Gordon (trombone) inside the Appel Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Jazz Night in America offers highlights from this exhilarating performance, while tracing the origins of Brazilian Carnival music.
© 2014 WBGO