The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis (JLCO) comprises 15 of the finest jazz soloists and ensemble players today. Led by Wynton Marsalis, Jazz at Lincoln Center managing and artistic director, this remarkably versatile orchestra performs a vast repertoire ranging from original compositions and Jazz at Lincoln Center–commissioned works to rare historic compositions and masterworks by Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Fletcher Henderson, Thelonious Monk, Mary Lou Williams, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman, Charles Mingus, and many others. JLCO has been the Jazz at Lincoln Center resident orchestra since 1988, performing and leading educational events in New York, across the United States, and around the globe. Alongside symphony orchestras, ballet troupes, local students, and an ever-expanding roster of guest artists, JLCO has toured to more than 300 cities across six continents. Guest conductors have included Benny Carter, John Lewis, Jimmy Heath, Chico O’Farrill, Ray Santos, Paquito D’Rivera, Jon Faddis, Robert Sadin, David Berger, Gerald Wilson, and Loren Schoenberg. JLCO has been voted best Big Band in the annual DownBeat Readers’ Poll for the past three years (2013–15).
In 2015 Jazz at Lincoln Center announced the launch of Blue Engine Records, a new platform to make its archive of recorded concerts available to jazz audiences everywhere. The first release from Blue Engine Records, Live in Cuba, was recorded on JLCO’s historic 2010 trip to Havana and was released in October 2015. Big Band Holidays was released in December 2015, and The Abyssinian Mass was released in March 2016. To date, 14 other recordings featuring JLCO have been released and distributed internationally: Vitoria Suite (2010), Portrait in Seven Shades (2010), Congo Square (2007), Don’t Be Afraid ... The Music of Charles Mingus (2005), A Love Supreme (2005), All Rise (2002), Big Train (1999), Sweet Release & Ghost Story (1999), Live in Swing City (1999), Jump Start and Jazz (1997), Blood on the Fields (1997), They Came to Swing (1994), The Fire of the Fundamentals (1993), and Portraits by Ellington (1992).
Trumpet player and composer Wynton Marsalis is the managing and artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center. Born in New Orleans, he began classical trumpet at 12, entered The Juilliard School at 17, and then joined Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. He made his recording debut as a leader in 1982, and has since made more than 60 jazz and classical albums, earning him nine Grammy Awards. In 1983 he became the first artist to win both classical and jazz Grammys in the same year, a feat he repeated in 1984. A teacher and spokesman for music education, he has received honorary doctorates from dozens of U.S. universities and has written six books. In 1997 he became the first jazz artist to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize in music for his oratorio Blood on the Fields, and he is a United Nations Messenger of Peace and cultural ambassador for the U.S. in the State Department’s CultureConnect program. He was instrumental in the Higher Ground Hurricane Relief concert, which raised more than $3 million to benefit those affected by Hurricane Katrina in the Greater New Orleans area.
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