Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Valentine for Wynton Marsalis

acrylic painting by Neil Barbosa @ absolutearts.com
He's not always there, because
of his busy schedule, but the
kids and parents who came
to The Rose Theater
just before
The Blizzard of 2006
got lucky! There WM was, strolling left and right and around and around the
telling about Count Basie and about conniving, and jamming and cor-r-r-r-
mixed right in with childhood photo from achievement.org explanations of Stride, and tempo, a startling display of dynamics, and then introducing Gregory Porter, who showed us all exactly what it means to Sing the Blues (Going to Chicago and Every Day I Have the Blues). We also found out why it's a good idea to be nice, and what to do when you have a job (show up). WM offered the happiest explanation of improv I ever heard -- he said it's like talking instead of reading out loud. www.artsandlectures.ucsb.edu/archive/2003-2004 The kids (aged three to twelve, I think) soaked it all up like sponges, easily echoing complex melody lines in whatever syllables came, as if they'd all been scat-singing in the shower since they could speak. Possibly some of them had-- I heard they often bring their mini-instruments to play along. Fine to hear them all call out "Fats Waller!" on cue, and also to hear them, to a child, yell, "Five by Five!" twice over, when all WM was looking for was for them to call out, "Jimmy Rushing!!!"
portrait of WM from images.adobe.com
Now. I'm not actually in the loop for doing this and indeed I was sitting among young Dalton-
going families, where, strictly speaking, I don't belong. It was because of R that I got to see it all. Later, I asked her if she had seen the video of WM at the Apple Conference celebrating the d├ębut of the new generation of iPods, and she hadn't, so R., THIS LINK is for you. Hit number eight down the page for some great music and click here for the iPod ad with WM for fabulous imaging added.

While I'm adding links to videos, here's a terrific one of WM speaking at Tulane on Martin Luther King Day. Did everyone else already know he's a great orator too?

As WM belongs to New Orleans as much as to New York, watching the Tulane video put me in mind of THE FIRST POST-KATRINA MARDI GRAS which is in two weeks exactly, February 28. My cyberfriend, New Orleans artist Jamie Hayes, has made posters to celebrate Mardi Gras 2006, and is selling three editions, mit and mitout varying applications of gold and silver leaf. He can be reached at:

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