Combined ensembles give Minnesota premiere of nationally renowned trumpeter and composer Wynton Marsalis’ Swing Symphony
Wynton Marsalis to appear as soloist alongside the Minnesota Orchestra and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, an ensemble he formed in 1987
Conductor William Eddins leads Orchestra in program that also includes Leonard Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story
The Minnesota Orchestra opens a brand-new season with iconic American sounds and the legendary artistry of the United States’ premier large jazz ensemble, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis. They will join the Orchestra on September 23 and 24 for the Minnesota premiere of Marsalis’ critically acclaimed Swing Symphony (Symphony No. 3), a work that crafts a musical narrative encapsulating the history of jazz and music in many styles from ragtime to the present that are touched by the rhythms, harmonic progressions and philosophy of swing. The program, which opens with Leonard Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, will be led by William Eddins, a conductor whose longstanding artistic relationship with the Orchestra includes a role as its former associate conductor and a host and writer of the broadcast and livestream series This Is Minnesota Orchestra.
The concerts will be performed at Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis on Friday, September 23, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, September 24, at 8 p.m., with ticket prices ranging from $42 to $135. More information is available at minnesotaorchestra.org and by phone at 612-371-5656. For further purchasing details, refer to the information section at the conclusion of this press release.
About the Music: Bernstein and Marsalis
In 1949, Leonard Bernstein, along with choreographer Jerome Robbins and librettist Arthur Laurents, began discussions of a re-imagined Romeo and Juliet. Originally given the working title of East Side Story and set as a forbidden love affair between a Jewish girl and a Catholic boy on New York’s Lower East Side, West Side Story would eventually center around the gang activity of the time in New York City’s Upper West Side. In 1961, Bernstein revisited his score to extract nine of the musical’s most popular selections for performance by the New York Philharmonic, which would become Symphonic Dances from West Side Story.
Wynton Marsalis’ Swing Symphony (Symphony No. 3) was a joint commission by the Berlin Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic and London’s Barbican Centre. It was premiered by the Berlin Philharmonic in 2010 under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle with Marsalis performing double duty as lead trumpeter and bandleader of the 15-piece Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. The composition masterfully combines the two ensembles in the work allowing for true collaboration—not a symphonic jazz arrangement, but a synthesis of two ensembles. The Swing Symphony embodies Marsalis’ three core beliefs and foundations for life as he sees them: improvisation (individuality), swing (collective cooperation) and the blues (persistent optimism).
About the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra
The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra is the performing ensemble at the core of Jazz at Lincoln Center. The mission of Jazz at Lincoln Center is to entertain, enrich and expand a global community for jazz through performance, education and advocacy. With the world-renowned Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and guest artists spanning genres and generations, Jazz at Lincoln Center produces thousands of performance, education and broadcast events each season at its home in New York—Frederick P. Rose Hall, “The House of Swing”—and around the world, for people of all ages. Jazz at Lincoln Center is led by Chairman Robert J. Appel, Managing and Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis, and Executive Director Greg Scholl.
The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, led by Wynton Marsalis, is made up of 15 of the finest soloists, ensemble players, and arrangers in jazz music today: Ryan Kisor (trumpet), Kenny Rampton (trumpet), Marcus Printup (trumpet), Tim Coffman (trombone), Chris Crenshaw (trombone), Jacob Melsha (trombone), Sherman Irby (saxophone, flute and clarinet), Ted Nash (saxophone, flute and clarinet), Victor Goines (saxophone and clarinet), Julian Lee (saxophone and clarinet), Paul Nedzela (saxophone and clarinet), Dan Nimmer (piano), Carlos Henriquez (bass) and Obed Calvaire (drums). Learn more at jazz.org.
About Wynton Marsalis
Wynton Marsalis is an internationally acclaimed musician, composer and bandleader, an educator and a leading advocate of American culture. He has created and performed an expansive range of music from quartets to big bands, chamber music ensembles to symphony orchestras and tap dance to ballet, expanding the vocabulary for jazz and classical music with a vital body of work that places him among the world’s finest musicians and composers.
Always swinging, Marsalis blows his trumpet with a clear tone, a depth of emotion and a unique, virtuosic style derived from an encyclopedic range of trumpet techniques.
Marsalis’ body of work as a composer includes over 600 original songs, 11 ballets, four symphonies, eight suites, two chamber pieces, one string quartet, two masses, one violin concerto and a tuba concerto composed in 2021. In June 2021 his work All Rise was performed with the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra as part of the remembrance of the centennial anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre. Learn more at wyntonmarsalis.org.
About William Eddins
William Eddins has a multifaceted musical career as a conductor and pianist. He is the music director emeritus of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, a former associate conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra and a frequent guest conductor of major orchestras throughout the world.
Across the past two years he has appeared at Orchestra Hall as a conductor, pianist, and frequent host and writer of the This Is Minnesota Orchestra broadcast and online livestream concert series. This past July he was featured at a Grand Piano Spectacular concert at Orchestra Hall alongside fellow pianists Jon Kimura Parker, Scott Cuellar and Andrew Staupe.
His engagements in the U.S. have included concerts with the New York and Los Angeles philharmonics, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the symphony orchestras of Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Cincinnati, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Milwaukee and St. Louis, as well as the Buffalo Philharmonic. He was the principal guest conductor of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra in Ireland. He is the co-founder of MetroNOME Brewery LLC, a socially missioned brewery in St. Paul established in the wake of public unrest in the summer of 2020 with the objective of nurturing outstanding music education in the Twin Cities metro area. Learn more at williameddins.com.