Today on WNYC AM Radio I listened to Wynton Marsalis being interviewed about his early days and his career.  He's been head of the Lincoln Center Jazz Program for 25 years.  That's amazing.  Anyway, the interview was very moving.  We usually hear about Wynton's father and brothers.  In the interview he talks about his mom.  I recommend it highly.  It was broadcast on August 18 on WNYC at 2:00 PM.  Hopefully that will help you find it in the station's archive.

Back in the early 90's I had the very intense pleasure of booking Wynton and his quintet to perform at the Cab Colloway Memorial Concert the Music Conservatory of Westchester was producing at SUNY Purchase.  As head of the Conservatory's jazz department it was my job to line up all the musicians.  In addition to Wynton's band, I booked many of the Cab Colloway alumni plus Cab's dancers.  Back stage was literally crawling with jazz greats.  Initially I interacted with Wynton's handlers, who of course said that Mr. Marsalis would need so many dressing rooms, so many bottles of water, etc., etc.  I figured I was dealing with a prima donna who had to be handled with kit gloves.  Just the opposite was true.  As soon as Wynton saw all of the old timers from Cab's bands backstage I don't think he ever went to his dressing room.  He hung with all the cats for the duration; played a great set and was a gas to work with.  After the concert he of course was invited to hang with all the V.I.P.'s, donors, guests and the Board of Directors of the Conservatory at their fancy reception.  He thanked me graciously, but said he was going to stay with his band until the van was ready to take them back to Manhattan

Comments

Alissa December 11, 2012 @11:49 am
 

My memory is a bit... different. But then I was just a flunky :) And I was having too much fun hanging out with Panama & his wife. That was the first Cab Calloway event, right? What a great night. Thanks for bringing that great memory back.

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