This weekend marks an exciting time for jazz fans, and music fans generally, when the 15-piece ensemble called Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis makes an exceedingly rare appearance on the West Coast. Even rarer, actually, is the ensemble appearing in such an intimate venue as the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, but Marsalis loves the acoustic perfection of the Chan, and thus, he brings his ensemble here on March 1. Marsalis is managing and artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, and co-founded the Orchestra in 1987. Surviving members of the Duke Ellington Big Band, and Marsalis’s own Septet, were the core of the original Orchestra, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2012. From his debut as a member of legend Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, and on through the recording of over 70 albums, Marsalis is a jazz musicologist and virtuoso performer, who is now himself part of the pantheon of jazz legends he has, for so many years, celebrated.
Big band photo: Frank Stewart.