Wynton Marsalis at KCPA

Written by Ashleigh Cox

The orchestra just before intermission

The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra performed at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts and it was an absolute delight to see and hear! The performance featured individual performers as well as the entire ensemble and played a wonderful blend of fast-paced, energetic songs and slower pieces.

For me, the performance on Friday reminded me of my grade school days when the jazz band and choir from Ottawa Township High School would come to play for us. Those were some of my favorite days as a child and, I think, motivated me to join the school band when I was in fifth grade.

It also made me miss performing with a group a lot because I could tell from my seat that the group was working together as various moving parts to bring a dynamic and well-done performance to the audience.

Foellinger Great Hall (interior)

This performance felt more like a traditional band performance than Chris Botti’s and featured soloists in a different way. The soloists seemed to have an intended purpose within each song. In comparison, the Botti performance, it appeared to be more about emphasizing each person’s individual talent. This one seemed more cohesive and fluid, but there was also less interaction with the audience than Botti had.

Another difference was the types of instruments featured. There were more saxophones, a cellist, and three trombone players in the orchestra and Botti had a guitar, bass guitar, a vocalist, and a violinist in his performance. I really loved the song that focused on the trombone section because I played an instrument in the low brass area and hearing those instruments have fun and exciting parts is always a treat!

Ticket to the show!

Despite these differences, I fully enjoyed seeing both of these performances and I’m grateful to be reminded of what music and performing meant to me.

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