JLCO Septet with Wynton Marsalis: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert
NPR Music's Tiny Desk series will celebrate Black History Month by featuring four weeks of Tiny Desk (home) concerts and playlists by Black artists spanning different genres and generations each week. The lineup includes both emerging and established artists who will be performing a Tiny Desk concert for the first time. This celebration highlights the beautiful cornucopia of Black music and our special way of presenting it. We hope you enjoy.
Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra Septet recorded their Tiny Desk (home) concert at Dizzy's Club, or what they call "the house of swing." It begins with "Sloganize, Patronize, Realize, Revolutionize (Black Lives Matters)," a bold statement about humanity and the consequences of racism. Marsalis says this piece — as well as the rest of the music on his new album, The Democracy! Suite -- deals with the timeless human issues we see exacerbated during the times of the pandemic, like social challenges and matters of the heart.
"Deeper than Dreams" is a reverential piece Marsalis wrote for those who have lost loved ones during the pandemic. Marsalis knows this kind of pain all too well; he lost his father, the legendary pianist and jazz patriarch, Ellis Marsalis, to complications from COVID-19 last spring, and speaks affectionately of "the times when our old folks come and sit with us in the spirit realm when we are sleeping."
To close, "That Dance We Do (That You Love Too)" is playful and funky and inspires a hopeful message, one that Marsalis says is "for everybody who got out and got down during this time on behalf of freedom."
Marsalis has been writing music about democracy and the call for justice for decades. "I hope that the social and political corruption and turmoil of these times cast a light on the individual investment required to maintain a libertarian democracy," he wrote on his blog in January. "May the events of these times inspire us all to engage even more deeply in the rights and responsibilities we have as citizens."
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