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Wynton Marsalis wowed Cuban Jazz lovers and tourists on Cuba holidays

  • 21-Oct-10 17:17
  • Cuba
  • Holiday Industry

Cubans and tourists alike enjoyed a week-long of an amazing jazz fest at the hands of US trumpeteer Wynton Marsalis who was joined in a series of concerts by Cuban Jazz legends like Grammy-award winning Chucho Valdes and Omara Portuondo.

Wynton Marsalis wowed Cuban Jazz lovers and tourists on Cuba holidays

An island known for groundbreaking jazz got an amazing, culturally enriching week-long visit from one of America’s leading trumpeters, who spent his time in the island jamming with Cuban legends in a series of concerts that put musicians from the two Cold War enemies on stage together.

The visit by Wynton Marsalis and his Jazz at Lincoln Centre Orchestra kicked off a season of unprecedented cultural exchanges – with the American Ballet Theater scheduled to perform in Havana next month in honour of Cuban ballet legend Alicia Alonso.

Marsalis, seated next to Cuban jazz great Chucho Valdes and Buena Vista Social Club diva Omara Portuondo at a news conference on Monday, said it was a thrill to be in Havana for the concerts. While Marsalis has been in Cuba before, it was the first trip by New York’s Lincoln Centre jazz group. “It’s a great honour for us as musicians to come here to Havana because of the long tradition and the great musicians who have come from here,” Marsalis said.

Marsalis, 48, spent 8 days playing with Cuban musicians at concerts and impromptu jam sessions, and also recording music with Cuban Grammy-winners Chucho Valdes and Omara Portuondo. The concerts ran from Tuesday through Saturday, and there were also master classes for promising young Cuban musicians.

U.S. trumpeter Wynton Marsalis wowed Cuban musicians, students and tourists enjoying Cuba holidays last week in Havana with four performances in theatres, and a master class, giving an in-depth explanation of the essential elements of jazz: swing, blues, and improvisation.

"Marsalis is absolute wonderful", said David, a Canadian who was enjoying Cuba holidays in Havana during that time and saw one of the Wynton shows.

Between the dates October 2nd and October 10th Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Centre passionately shared their music with children, musicians, and the people of Cuba. The Cuban music community welcomed the JLCO with open arms and the residency resulted in an all-encompassing exchange of music and culture.

C Jam Blues, by Duke Ellington, was the first piece that Marsalis and his band, the Jazz at Lincoln Centre Orchestra, chose to break down the basic components that define the genre of jazz, which emerged in the 19th century in New Orleans, Louisiana.
When it comes to jazz, you have to give it more sentiment, a lot of feeling, a lot of soul, he said.

One of the high points of the class was the performance of Every Day I Have the Blues, a New Orleans blues standard that brings to mind the soundtracks of U.S. films from the 1950s.

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