10 Memorable Moments from Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra’s Residency
The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra’s relationship with UMS dates back more than 25 years, with 20+ appearances in Ann Arbor since 1994!
In October 2022, Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra completed its most extensive UMS residency to date, complete with learning and engagement opportunities at the University of Michigan and across Southeast Michigan, plus a weekend of unforgettable performances in Hill Auditorium.
Enjoy a recap of our favorite JLCO residency week moments below. Thank you to our Residency Sponsors, Elaine and Peter Schweitzer, and all our supporters, for making this week possible.
1. Engaging Local Schools
Members of Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra coached young musicians at a number of schools across Southeast Michigan, including Community High School and Scarlett Middle School in Ann Arbor, Lincoln High School in Ypsilanti, and the Detroit School of the Arts.
UMS teaching artists Allen Dennard and Tariq Gardner also visited more than a dozen local schools, leading educational workshops in advance of Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra’s School Day Performance for K-12 students.
2. Coachings on Campus
JLCO’s Obed Calvaire and Vincent Gardner coached big bands at the School of Music, ensembles composed of Jazz Majors at U-M.
3. Music as a Universal Language
Ted Nash led a class visit connecting communication in language to communication in improvised music. The class was composed of international students continuing to hone their English language skills.
4. Prison Creative Arts Project Performance
JLCO artists Marcus Printup, trumpet, and Abdias Amenteros, tenor saxophone, joined U-M students and musicians Zachary Reed, Anna Thielke, Anne Hayes, and Mercer Patterson to perform for inmates at FCI Milan, a federal prison. UMS collaborated with the Prison Creative Arts Project (PCAP) to facilitate the visit. More than 150 inmates enjoyed the performance and a dynamic Q&A session with JLCO artists and students.
Reflecting on the visit, student Anna Thielke shared that “playing jazz for this group of people was one of the most special and affirming moments I have ever had. As musicians, we are so often playing music for events where no one is paying attention. This experience was the complete opposite of that. The inmates in the audience were probably the most receptive and grateful audience I have ever played for…there were so many musicians in the audience and it was so special to be able to connect with them — people who lead lives vastly different from my own — on such a deep level about music.”
5. Art and Athletics Meet
In a special Penny Stamps Distinguished Speaker Series event at the Michigan Theater, Wynton Marsalis sat down with Warde Manuel, the University of Michigan’s Director of Athletics, to explore art, athletics, and the creative process. The conversation between the two New Orleans natives was facilitated by Chris Audain, managing director of U-M’s Arts Initiative.
We were also honored to welcome Dr. Santa Ono, University of Michigan’s new president, to the audience:
What a pleasure to hear a dialogue today with Wynton Marsalis and Warde Manuel as part of the Penny Stamps Speaker Series @UMich. Marsalis said “If @UMSpresents could be replicated in every college campus, the world be a much better place” 〽️ pic.twitter.com/SwFJtuGa7y
— Santa Ono (@SantaJOno) October 12, 2022
6. Introducing Young Audiences to Jazz
In our first School Day Performance of the 2022/23 season, UMS welcomed more than 2,000 enthusiastic K-12 students to Hill Auditorium for a program that the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and Wynton specifically designed to engage with young audiences. UMS also live-streamed the performance for classrooms unable to attend in person.
7. All Rise Explodes in Hill Auditorium
250+ artists on stage. And 3,100+ in the crowd, including 850 students! Conductor Kenneth Kiesler led Wynton Marsalis’s massive All Rise (Symphony No. 1), which came to life through the combined forces of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, the University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra, U-M Choirs, and the UMS Choral Union…all on a custom-built extension to the Hill Auditorium stage!
8. From The Big Easy to The Big House
The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and Wynton Marsalis joined the Michigan Marching band for “A Night in New Orleans” halftime show at Michigan Stadium, featuring Big Band favorites including Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good” and Louis Prima’s “Sing, Sing, Sing.” Watch the full set below!
9. Business Hours
(UMS) and +Impact Studio at the Michigan Ross School of Business convened a design jam — a collaborative brainstorming session geared towards identifying solutions in a fun, creative environment — to coincide with the Ann Arbor residency by Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.
This event brought together a select group of 25 artists, business leaders, faculty, students, and arts lovers who combined their expertise to incubate new forms of organizing around the arts. The event featured a visit from Wynton Marsalis, in dialogue with UMS President Matthew VanBesien, to share his insights into the intersections between music and business. Attendees concluded the day of intense discussion and dialogue with UMS’s presentation of Wynton and the JLCO in a big band performance at Hill Auditorium.
10. A Grand Finale
The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra’s week in Ann Arbor came to a close with a fun-filled, family friendly Big Band performance. More than 3,000 audience members packed Hill Auditorium for a triumphant close to an unforgettable week.
Thank you to everyone who joined us throughout JLCO’s 2022/23 season residency, and to the many supporters whose generosity makes opportunities like this uniquely possible here in Ann Arbor.
Elaine and Peter Schweitzer
Menakka and Essel Bailey
Gil Omenn and Martha Darling
Dallas and Sharon Dort Endowment Fund
Nancy and James Stanley
Jay and Christine Zelenock and the Zelenock Family
School Day Performance Sponsors
David and Kiana Barfield Family Foundation
Prudence and Amnon Rosenthal K-12 Education Endowment Fund
UMS Performance Playground: An Introduction to Jazz
Donor Spotlight: Elaine and Peter Schweitzer
Sometimes, attending a UMS concert can lead a person on an unexpected and fulfilling journey…
Peter Schweitzer knew about UMS as a student at the University of Michigan (LSA ‘61), but after graduation, a busy career in advertising took him all over the world. After retiring, Peter and his wife, Elaine, moved from New York City to Ann Arbor — at the same time UMS President Matthew VanBesien made the same trip, leaving the New York Philharmonic to become UMS’s seventh president.
Elaine and Peter attended a swinging concert of New Orleans jazz by Henry Butler, Steven Bernstein & The Hot 9 held at Ann Arbor’s Downtown Home and Garden, as guests of UMS president emeritus Ken Fischer, whom Peter knew well from his involvement with the U-M Alumni Association. Ken introduced Peter and Elaine to Matthew, and they instantly hit it off, connecting through their time in New York and appreciation for New Orleans jazz. Later that fall, Matthew introduced Peter and Elaine to another NOLA/NYC artist — Wynton Marsalis — at a reception while the legendary musician was in town for a holiday performance.
What followed was a self-guided education about jazz.
“During my cross-country road trips, I listened to recordings of Wynton, NPR programs he hosted, watched Ken Burns’s documentary on him — really anything I could find. I became a member at Jazz at Lincoln Center so I’d get updates and new educational resources, and when UMS brought JLCO’s ‘Swing University’ series to its community during the pandemic, I watched every episode.”
A year or so later, Wynton spoke to the UMS National Council, a volunteer fundraising and advisory group for which Wynton has served as Honorary Co-Chair since 2018. “I had the great fortune to hear Wynton speak to us about his philosophy on music, on education, really on life broadly speaking,” said Schweitzer. “I’ve really come to admire him as someone who knows exactly what he’s thinking and doesn’t hold back on sharing it, always in the most eloquent way. In my opinion, he has both feet on the ground.”
Peter and Elaine’s admiration for Wynton and the ensemble led them to sponsor the JLCO in a one-week residency this October:
“The impact that an artist, educator, and thinker like Wynton Marsalis and, really, all the musicians in the band can have when they are able to sit down in Ann Arbor for a week is just extraordinary.”
In addition to their performances — which include a special, one-hour session just for K-12 students — JLCO musicians will be coaching jazz ensembles in regional high schools; rehearsing for “All Rise” with University of Michigan students in the jazz, orchestral, and choral programs; arranging a brand new set of charts for a half-time show with the Michigan Marching Band; conversing with Athletic Director and fellow NOLA native Warde Manuel as part of the Penny Stamps Speaker Series; and much more. Complete details for all public events can be found online at ums.org/jlco.
“Our message to fellow U-M alumni and to residents of the greater Ann Arbor region is this: if you want our students to have these sorts of incredible opportunities — experiences that will inspire them to reach higher, experiences with the greatest performers and artists in the world that they will remember for the rest of their lives — join Elaine and me in supporting UMS through donating and sponsoring UMS’s work. We’ve taken tremendous satisfaction and pride in helping to make the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra’s week of activity possible, and had a lot of fun in the process.”
The Origins of Wynton Marsalis’s Massive ‘All Rise’
On October 14, 2022, UMS will present Wynton Marsalis’s rarely heard All Rise (Symphony No. 1). This MASSIVE work requires a jaw-dropping 200+ artist ensemble, which includes the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, the University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra, University of Michigan Choirs, and the UMS Choral Union. And even in a venue as large as our iconic Hill Auditorium, the stage needs to be considerably extended to accommodate all performers!
This epic joining of forces comes to life through the artistic leadership of music director and conductor Kenneth Kiesler, U-M choir director Eugene Rogers, and UMS Choral Union music director Scott Hanoian. Rehearsals by the U-M ensembles and the Choral Union have been well underway since early September, including guest coachings with New York based vocal artist and conductor Damien Sneed.
It’s an honor to share this collaborative work as part of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra’s week-long residency at UMS, made possible by residency sponsors Elaine and Peter Schweitzer.
“We chose, and still choose, to swing.”
All Rise was commissioned by the New York Philharmonic for the millennium, and premiered in December 1999. Read more about its origins, from its debut performance to its 2001 recording with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, which epitomized resilience, hope, and community in the days after the September 11 attacks.
From Program Notes contributed by Wynton Marsalis:
All Rise is structured in the form of a 12-bar blues, and separated into three sections of 4 movements. Each section expresses different moments in the progression of experiences that punctuate our lives. It is a personal and communal progression.
The first four movements are concerned with birth and self-discovery; they are joyous.
The second four movements are concerned with mistakes, pain, sacrifice and redemption. They are somber and poignant.
The last four are concerned with maturity and joy.
All Rise contains elements of many things I consider to be related to the blues: the didgeridoo, ancient Greek harmonies and modes, New Orleans brass bands, the fiddler’s reel, clave, samba, the down-home church service, Chinese parade bands, the Italian aria, and plain ol’ down-home ditties. Instead of combining many different styles on top of a vamp, I try to hear how they are the same. In attempting to unite disparate and large forces, everyone has to give up something in order to achieve a greater whole. The fun is in the working together.
All Rise was commissioned by the New York Philharmonic and Kurt Masur as the last of the millennial compositions of 1999. This piece for me was the culmination of a ten-year odyssey during which I sought to realize more complex orchestrations for long-form pieces based in American vernacular music and jazz.
In February 2001, I sent a score and recording of this performance to Esa-Pekka Salonen. Some 18 years earlier, Esa-Pekka and I had recorded an album of trumpet concertos. Through the years we maintained a very high level of professional respect for one another. He agreed that we would perform All Rise with the Los Angeles Philharmonic on September 13, 2001. Because we are both Sony Classical artists, we felt that with proper negotiations a recording would be possible. With much strategizing and calling on friendships and professional relationships, The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Morgan State Choir from Baltimore under Nathan Carter, the Paul Smith Singers, and the Northridge Singers of California State University at Northridge all came together to perform and record All Rise. Many of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s senior management came out for the event, and a truly warm feeling surrounded our first rehearsals.
Then came the attacks of September 11th. Jazz at Lincoln Center Director of Publicity Mary Fiance Fuss called to tell me a plane had flown into one of the twin towers. As we watched the news, we caught the second plane hitting the second tower. Within minutes everyone in the band was on the phone. Later that day, a meeting was called to discuss what to do. The decision was unanimous: stay and play. Our next rehearsal was made forever memorable by the outpouring of concern and love from the members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Initial portions of our September 13th concert appeared on CNN; the station broke from Ground Zero coverage to broadcast our joint performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The performance, though justifiably somber, was energetic and meaningful.
The recording was another issue. Due to the suspension of national air travel, our producer, Steve Epstein, perhaps the only person in the world with the experience to make a quality recording of such large and diverse musical forces, was stranded in Kansas City. And our engineer, Todd Whitelock, was stranded in Detroit. With the recording scheduled for September 14th, we were in trouble. As we were about to cancel the recording, several uncommon acts of dedication saved the sessions. A close personal friend and colleague, “Boss” Dennis Jeter, was driving from Los Angeles to New York to tend to a family crisis. When called, he drove to Kansas City and brought Steve Epstein to Rifle, CO, where our road managers, Raymond “Big Boss” Murphy and Eric Wright, were waiting to drive Steve on to L.A. Rodney Whitaker, our bassist from Detroit, called Koli Givens, a trumpeter and close personal friend. Koli and his cousin, Quintin Givens, drove non-stop from Detroit to L.A. and delivered our engineer. Even though time was limited and the recording schedule was tight, a deeper sense of community and inspiration guided us through these sessions.
After the recording, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra was scheduled to play Benaroya Hall in Seattle, WA. We drove 27 non-stop hours by bus directly from the session to the stage. Waiting for us on the bus were pillows and blankets for the entire band provided by Evan Wilson (violinist, Los Angeles Philharmonic) and his family, a gesture of friendship and love that will forever remain with the LCJO. Our concert was scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. – we entered the city limits at 7:00 p.m. Out on the stage we received an extended standing ovation from a sold-out house that had waited patiently to be, in the words on one patron, “reminded of who we are.” The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra was back on the road. We heard that some acts chose to cancel their tours following September 11th. We chose, and still choose, to swing.
– Wynton Marsalis
Get tickets to Wynton Marsalis’s All Rise on October 14, 2022. This concert is part of a week-long artist residency that also includes a Big Band concert with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and Wynton Marsalis, in addition to many other activities.
Thank You to Our Supporters of All Rise
Elaine and Peter Schweitzer
Menakka and Essel Bailey
Gil Omenn and Martha Darling
Jay and Christine Zelenock and the Zelenock Family