Wynton Marsalis has been added as the featured guest at the Jazz House Kids’ eighth annual Inside the Jazz Note Education Fund Benefit, taking place May 19 at the Kasser Theater at Montclair State University. Sonny Rollins had been the original guest, but is unable to attend.
Marsalis will appear in concert and conversation with bassist Christian McBride during the 7:30 p.m. event.
Tickets are $40 to $150; visit jazzhousekids.org.
“Learning from the masters is an intrinsic part of the jazz tradition, and Wynton Marsalis, whose name is synonymous with jazz education excellence, truly embodies the mission that Jazz House Kids holds dear,” said McBride, Jazz House Kids’ artistic chair, in a press release.
McBride first met Marsalis in a Philadelphia high school classroom when McBride was just 14. Marsalis is a longtime Jazz House Kids supporter, and said in a press release that the organization’s students “consistently impress, not only because of their musical abilities, but also because of their focus, presence and commitment to quality. Besides having a great name, (the organization) is doing much more than educating musicians: they are developing cultural leaders — something we desperately need at this time.”
Marsalis and McBride will be backed by the Jazz House Big Band, directed by Julius Tolentino. The big band competed at the 21st annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York last weekend and won 10 awards (best rhythm section, best saxophone section, and eight soloist awards).
During the event, McBride and his wife, Jazz House Kids president and founder Melissa Walker, will also launch the new Jazz House Kids’ Music + Education Fund, which will support music education in New Jersey schools and communities across New Jersey.
Previous Inside the Jazz Note guests have included Chick Corea, Pat Metheny, Dianne Reeves, Esperanza Spalding, Al Jarreau and Sheila E.
Inside the Jazz Note master classes, hosted by McBride and featuring saxophonists Ron Blake and Chris Potter, will be held on May 18 at Montclair State’s John J. Cali School of Music.