Power Source: Jamming with Wynton Marsalis

Reggie van Lee and Wynton Marsalis at the Washington Performing Arts Gala, 2009. (Photo by Kyle Samperton)

and at the Washington Performing Arts Gala, 2009. (Photo by Kyle Samperton)

On November 6th French Ambassador Pierre Vimont conferred upon Marsalis the insignia of chevalier of the Legion of Honor for Marsalis’ contribution to French culture and his globally pioneering work as Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York. The highest award bestowed by the French government, the National Order of the Legion of Honor was founded by Napoleon Bonaparte to recognize outstanding achievement in the military as well as in the public and private sectors. This award comes at the pivotal moment where Marsalis is crossing a new threshold for his contribution to music with the release of: Blues Symphony.

Blues Symphony (Atlanta’s WABE’s Lois Reitzes speaks with Wynton Marsalis about Blues Symphony and about working with ASO conductor Robert Spano.) is the first work composed by Marsalis exclusively for symphony orchestra. Symphonies deserve a reverence for their ability to transform the consciousness of the listener, and Marsalis engineers a symphony influenced entirely from the blues. As a methodical musical technician, Marsalis’ Blues Symphony is a new manifestation of the majesty of symphony and American artistic accomplishment. With seven movements that reflect American history beginning with Revolution, Marsalis’ work ethic ensures the new material will be groundbreaking and relevant.

A methodical perfectionist, Marsalis’ consistent album releases, world travels and effective outreach led Time magazine to name him one of Americas 25 most influential individuals. A native of New Orleans, Marsalis poured every bit of his soul into a live performance in Silver Spring, MD that left the crowd in awe after Hurricane Katrina.  Anticipation in Washington DC is extremely great for his return to the Kennedy Center in March 2010. 

Marsalis’ hard work and creative powers continue to inspire all. View the video of Wynton Marsalis dazzling and inspiring his audience with a moving lecture mixed with performance titled The Ballad of the American Arts.

Even with his extensive and celebrated musical catalogue, Wynton Marsalis greatest gifts to the world are his three sons and daughter that radiate their father’s excellence and integrity. With no hint of arrogance or pretension, the Power Source believes these young men’s future contribution to American culture will definitely be significant.

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