How Jazz Can Change Your Life

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Pulitzer Prize-winning musician and composer Wynton Marsalis says that understanding jazz can improve your personal life, your creativity, and even your career! His new book is Moving to Higher Ground: How Jazz Can Change Your Life.

Wynton Marsalis will be in conversation with Geoffrey C. Ward
Tuesday, Sept. 2 at 7:30 pm
Barnes & Noble Lincoln Center


Wynton Marsalis

Comments [9]

Jeffrey Slott from East Elmhurst

By the way, I'm not that big a fan of jazz. I once tried to get into it, but everytime I would put on a Miles Davis or Gene Ammons record (to name two artists) my mind would always start to wander. For a while, especially since I am a musician as well as music-lover, I felt kind of ashamed by it. But what the heck. Different strokes for different folks and I'm not ashamed to admit it. For me, The Beatles, Elvis, James Brown, or Sandy Denny is what lifts me up, though I can get into certain vocal jazz of the likes of Nina Simone or Ella. I also like the ECM recordings of Keith Jarrett though I doubt that Mr. Marsalis would consider it jazz

Sep. 03 2008 11:46 AM
Jeffrey Slott from East Elmhurst

harmon michaels:
Ummm, methinks you doth protest too much.
Considering how little you think of this whole situation you seem to come off way, way too bothered by it all. Your comments are full of a rage that betrays your supposed stance.

Sep. 03 2008 11:35 AM
Chicago Listener

Leonard. Let me say that your interview with Wynton was in itself a great collaborative improvisation strengthened by your own understanding of music and culture and your and his tremendous and delightful intellect and open-mindedness.

This interview is really one for the archives. I'm saving the podcast.

Brilliant. Just brilliant.

Thank you.

Sep. 03 2008 01:20 AM
harmon michaels from jersey city, nj

#5: who cares if people who fetishize things out of proportion to their real worth spend thousands of dollars on old jazz recordings? people who do things like that are as unconnected to the real world as people who spend millions of dollars on art or furniture. fetishizing one's own preferences and insisting that they simply must have some relevance to others is the biggest problem that human beings seem to have. it's not sad to see things as they are. and it's not smart to think that anyone who disagrees with your aesthetic preferences is somehow wrong. if people didn't insist on acting as though their own artistic tastes and preferences were somehow the result of some objective thought process we could likely agree. but no, like most "fans" you are almost personally offended when someone disagrees with you. i love music but the chills i get listening to charlie parker or johnny griffin or beethoven or sonic youth have nothing to do with my life otherwise. and people who don't share my enthusiasm aren't missing out on anything. i've known many absolutely beautiful soulful people to whom music was simply not important. i've never been so contemptuously smug that i would dare to feel sorry for them. jeez.

Sep. 02 2008 02:37 PM
SebasFe from Brooklyn NY

Don't you have any passions or great loves in your life? Surely you don't subsist solely before and after the hours of your "real job". You've never heard or seen something beautiful and shared it with someone? The popularity of a music form cannot be defined by the monetary transactions and physical artifacts that surround it. To do so is only falling victim to subtler notions of hyper-consumer culture and more pronounced notions of our shifts and relationships with technology and its advancements. The most sought after records (78s and others) are jazz and early American recordings released by Bluebird, Victor, RCA, Columbia, etc. How long ago were these records released? "People are too busy living their lives to give a crap about music and musicians" Is this even an argument or simply a disgruntled reaction to the talent and innovation that perhaps you lack? What is wrong with people pursuing things that they have a talent in? What's wrong with people being successful because they have great talents? I am sure many to all of jazz listeners, as well as anyone who enjoys any music at all has or has had a "real job". Myself included. Our history is where we came from as a people, how can you detach our current times with our passed times? It is a an aural tradition that is still being passed down. The anonymity of modern society eliminates the need for music? What a sad statement.

Sep. 02 2008 01:33 PM
MichaelB from UWS of Manhattan

It is so great to hear Mr. M expanding the waaay-too-often repeated cliche that Jazz is simply "Black music" and left at that.

I have always thought that was limiting and wrong, because I always heard other threads that were obviously around during the development of classical jazz.

Good to hear a master give voice to this important sentiment.

Sep. 02 2008 12:58 PM
Jane from Brooklyn

Oh, this is great. My 18 year old son got into jazz about 5 years ago, and he's been explaining to me how one should listen to jazz. It has made my appreciation of jazz so much greater. As someone who has no music education, I would love to be able to take a comprehensive course, or read a book to help me understand the different styles of jazz.

Sep. 02 2008 12:51 PM
Mark from Manhattan

The Baroque Duet CD you produced with Kathleen Battle is one of my favorite CDs of all time. (The PBS special about the production of it was great too. Is that available on DVD?)

Sep. 02 2008 12:41 PM
harmon michaels from jersey city, nj

why are smart people often so wrong? jazz isn't going to change anybody's life unless somebody listens to this interview and suddenly decides to quit their job and become a jazz musician. why more people can't simply like what they like and leave it at that is a mystery to me. no, it always has to be some bigger thing that's really important. there are 6 billion people on the planet and even the most popular records rarely sell more than a couple of million. let's not even mention how few copies the average jazz cd sells. people are too busy living their lives to give a crap about music and musicians. people who've never actually worked for a living talk about what they do in this manner and it's almost offensive to me. get a real job and see how important jazz is to your life when you can barely pay your bills and eat. making music as a communal activity is a throwback to an entirely different time in our history. this is why music is simply not that important to most people. the anonymity of modern society eliminates the need for it. by the way, i love jazz myself. i just don't feel that weird compulsion people like marsalis have on insisting that anyone who disagrees with them is missing out on something important.

Sep. 02 2008 12:39 PM

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