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.
Jazz has always been something that I’m interested in and Chris Botti has already amazed me last time. Last week I was lucky enough to watch another show presented by Wynton Marsalis and his band, which gave me a whole new experience with Jazz music.
The show featured both ensemble playing and solo showcase. The combination of the two factors was something I had never seen during a Jazz performance. At that night, the band usually start with group playing, and musicians would go by different order to show us a solo part of several instruments. After a part was finished, Wynton Marsalis would introduce the musicians who just played solo to us to let the audience get familiar with each of them. This kind of performance really let us interact with everyone specifically in the band instead of listening to a whole group of people without knowing them in detail.
The show was completely different from the show by Chris Botti. Wynton Marsalis gave us a show that was more of a traditional Jazz performance with everyone dressed officially and present us with all kinds of things that were originally included in Jazz. Chris Botti’s show was more of a modern Jazz performance on the other hand. All of them dressed causally and I found them to be a city band in a society that fits the world today. Also, their instruments are more modern and I even saw electric guitar during the show.
The show didn’t have a specifically one moment that stood out to me, but the show itself had already surprised me with the valuable experience. I haven’t watched a traditional band performance in years and I nearly forgot how they performed. Wynton Marsalis reminded me of all the shows I had seen before when I was young and I was just missing a lot of things during the show.
Wynton Marsalis and his ensemble perform various jazz compositions at Foellinger Great Hall at KCPA on November 1st, 2019.
Walking in to the auditorium, I was amazed at the interior design and symmetry. And, because of the way the auditorium was built, the sounds from the jazz band were loud and crisp.
In each piece, there were solo showcases, including trumpet, clarinet, piano, saxophone, and more. When it was the soloist’s turn to play, the ensemble went from mezzo forte to mezzo piano and the soloist played loud and clear, while still blending in with the ensemble. The clarinet, trumpet, and saxophonist all played very high notes with complex rhythms and dynamics. In particular, I enjoyed the pianist’s solo that showcased very upbeat yet rhythmic tones. It really stood out to me, considering I played the piano since I was very young. I love the sound of the piano and I enjoyed hearing the pianist play fast, staccato melodies.
In comparison to Chris Botti, I felt that Botti’s playing was more loose and carefree in relation to Marsalis’. Both had various solos that used a wide range of dynamics, both very loud and quiet, while still allowing for the rest of the ensemble/band to be heard.
Totally memorized and jazzed up by the Wynton Marsalis
I really love how they incorporate both solo and group showcase in the performance. It is absolutely sensational when they played their pieces. It was really a huge chemistry among the entire jazz how everyone will pull back right on the dot to showcase each solo from every jazz performer.
For the solo piece, each solo is approximately a minute long!! It is really amazing how they are able to remember each note that is played and also the emotions they put in as they played their instruments.
For the jazz band, they are extremely tight. Especially with
a super-fast tempo and not having a conductor to coordinate everyone, it is
With the balance between the solo and group showcase, it really gives so much more flavor in the entire performance. You got a huge variety of performances to watch and you will always be entertained.
Unfortunately, I did not attend the Chris Botti performance
so I cannot do the comparison.
One thing that really stood out for me is how the front row performers have more than 2 instruments to play. What struck me is that during one song they will change it simultaneously from one instrument to others. On top of it all, they play each instrument tremendously well.
By playing so many instruments in that one song, it gives a
whole new sound to the piece.
Using an analogy of a cake, the drums and cello is like the base of the cake and then the icing of the cake is all the extra instruments such as the flute and clarinet. Making the whole cake delicious!
Another stupendous moment for me will be the guy playing the
saxophone. Ooooo he really plays with style, groove and emotions. The way he moves
his body as he plays with the saxophone release such an appreciation to the
music he is playing. As he grooves by swaying side to side, I myself start to
sway side to side with him. I was so connected to his music!
Overall, this jazz performance was absolutely stunning.
Definitely recommend others to go and hear their music.
Wynton Marsalis has crafted music for over thirty years not only alone but with his diverse ensemble. Bringing together some of the best jazz soloists together to form a group that really develops and hones their compositions to bring together something that really allows the audience to listen and appreciate what they have mastered. In this 2 hour performance, accompanied by a 20 minute intermission in between, we were presented with various compositions, both original and pieces added with a unique flavor, that really showed why Wynton Marsalis and his ensemble have achieved as much as they have.
Wynton Marsalis is a trumpeter and director whose skills left the Foellinger Great Hall in awe. Leading the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra is not an easy work, but Marsalis created a synergic experience in which every member shone whenever a solo performance made everyone applaud. The structure of the melodies played were perfect for building up either a strong joint piece or a striking solo. The mastery of the artists got a well-deserved double standing ovation at the end.
Another first experience checked: attending an orchestra performance. I must say, this really blew my mind! As someone who played a trombone in the school band, it made me appreciate the performance 10 times because they are so crazy talented!
It was really interesting that the performance incorporated both ensemble playing and solo showcases. I find myself being more engrossed in the performance as I am so excited to hear the next solo showcase to immerse myself in the beauty of the sound created by the instrument.
It also brought more depth and personality to the whole performance as each instrument gave a different “feel” to the music piece that was performed. The group dynamics was amazing! I felt that they respected each other’s talent and gave them each their own time to shine. At the same time, the ensemble playing demonstrated their amazing teamwork and how each and every one of them has a part to play to bring to life their music. It was certainly a heartwarming performance and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
A moment that stood out for me was when they started playing a happy birthday song for one of their orchestra players at the end. They played a version of the song that was jazzy and it made me really happy. It was also really cool that they did this surprise for their friend. Everyone in the audience sang and clapped along to the song! To me, it felt like the whole theater was performing a special song together. It must be a very special moment for the birthday guy too to have everyone celebrating his birthday together.
Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Orchestra serenade the audience at Krannert Center of Performing Arts.
This past Friday night I attended a jazz performance starring Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Orchestra at Foellinger Great Hall. Entering the Krannert Center, I was slightly shocked to see the amount of people waiting in line to watch the concert. The lobby was completely filled with jazz enthusiasts both young and old; by far, this performance had the largest and most diverse audience age-wise compared to the previous shows I have attended for this class.
Throughout the performance, there were a number of instances where solo showcases were incorporated within the ensemble playing. For example, during the first half of the show drummer Jason Marsalis and trumpeter Wynton Marsalis were given lengthy solos as a transition to the next song. Personally, I think the incorporation of solo playing elevated the entire performance by exhibiting the individual talents of the instrumentalists. The solo showcases provided a contrast to the majority of concert by giving it a refreshing sound as opposed to continuous songs being played in unison with other instruments. Overall, I think the individual solos were beneficial to this performance by providing a healthy balance of group vs. individual song.
One moment for me that stood out during this performance was the drummer’s solo during the second song of the concert. The drummer is actually Jason Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis’s youngest brother. I was captivated by his solo not only because he was able to keep a steady tempo throughout the entire performance, but he simultaneously created new patterns and rhythms that were offbeat as well. Jason’s ability to detach himself from a singular beat and maintain a multitude of tempos in rhythms with just his two hands is something that can only be learned through years and years of experience. For this reason, I recall Jason Marsalis’s solo as a notable moment from the Lincoln Center Orchestra.
Overall, the performance by Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Orchestra was a great opportunity to experience the all time classic music genre, jazz. Although I am not a jazz connoisseur, I can definitely say that the show was entertaining and I would gladly attend a similar show again.
Chris Botti showcases his talent as a trumpeter and performer alongside his company of musicians from across the globe.
On Saturday, September 14 Chris Botti and company performed at the Krannert Center of Performing Arts, demonstrating just the many reasons as to why he is so distinguished from other trumpeters. The award-winning musician and composer made his appearance on stage along with a variety of other instrumentalists, including a guitarist, violinist, pianist, and many more.
The majority of the performance was instrumental based, which was different from all the other concerts I have previously been to. However, as a piano accompanist I would say that it was pleasant surprise to see a performance where the instrumentalists are the center of attention. And they definitely deserved the attention too; the musicianship of all the players on stage was absolutely insane. Each of their solos really allowed them to show off just how much control they had over their instrument, and how extensive their experience was in regards to performing.
Although I enjoyed listening to all the instrumentalists, I feel as though the singer gave the band a refreshing sound at the end of the first half of the performance. There was a new type of energy when singer and songwriter Sy Smith joined the company of musicians, and her funky soul-voice definitely livened up the crowd. I think she blended well with the jazzy instrumentals that was previously being played, and ultimately gave the song an edge.
I think my favorite part of the performance was Lee Pearson’s drum solo midway through the first half of the performance. His short showcase exhibited so much emotion and energy that people were constantly clapping and cheering. I found that the fast and complicated rhythms that he was able to complete were mesmerizing, and his overall showmanship was exciting to watch. I also liked the way he was able to entertain the audience with little tricks such as playing with the sticks behind his back, or throwing up the sticks in the air as he plays. Most importantly though, it was obvious that Pearson’s energy was genuine; you could see how much heart he put into this performance.
Overall, the Chris Botti performance was a refreshing change from the previous concerts I have attended. I greatly enjoyed the music and the energy of the show, and would definitely recommend this experience to anyone who is interested in instrumental music.