Thread: Wynton Marsalis
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Old 12-20-2010, 12:59 PM
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Default Re: Wynton Marsalis

Matt, I would bet a lot of that 50 million dollars went to constructing that building. But the money will come back over time. It's big business. It's an investment. One could question the legitimacy of having jazz at Lincoln Center to begin with. Opera and the classical music have always been funded by the aristocracy, and expressed their concerns. But jazz has been a populist art form. Who owns jazz these days?:)

Wynton did an album with Willie Nelson. I think he's trying to show he can be hip in many ways. We've had the discussion here time and again. Jazzers often feel uncomfortable with their populist past, and often players have been uncomfortable with their populist present. It does get frustrating to hear musicians incessantly degrade popular music. One can enjoy Jay Z as much as Boulez, and one can also get pretty tired of either one of them pretty quick. It's always exciting to me when composers can find a bridge between worlds. Copland and Bernstein were able to do that. There hasn't been a populist classical composer since Bernstein passed. No one came up to fill his shoes. I think Philip Glass tried; but once he started rewriting the same piece over and over again . . . That is really the tragedy of American music, and why that happened I don't know. Was it public funding of the arts? Was it over-commercializing of the arts? Was it just no one had any talent? There is a lot of mediocre talent that gets very far with hard work. I think that is the lesson of contemporary music.

I can see that the funding is a problem. Doris Duke used to present a lot of nice free concerts. But now they don't any more. I wasn't aware that it is because their funding is diverted to JALC, I thought it was the economy. Though it makes sense; they were doing free concerts at NYPL in Lincoln Center.

I would also agree that you can hear a major change in the composition of music, even since the establishment of JALC at Columbus Circle. It seems many of the younger are writing in a more conservative style. One of the things I do like is that you often hear a N'Orleans style of writing, and of course a renewed interest in history. I am one of those guys who sits in the middle. I don't mind it. I am patient. I've been waiting for something major to happen my whole adult life.

One can fight against the current. But that is the direction the wind is blowing. It will probably be that the better art will come out of those who struggle against the grain.
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Last edited by Deltadrummer; 12-20-2010 at 01:40 PM.
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