Wynton at 60

Jazz icon Wynton Marsalis celebrates his birthday with a concert

When Wynton Marsalis and his Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra take the stage, hot mambo sounds are combined with frantic bebop. It swings and grooves with Charleston, slow tango and Kansas City swing.  On his 60th birthday, which he will fortunately celebrate with a guest performance at the Philharmonie Berlin, things will certainly be no less swinging. We are delighted to give the jazz icon a stage on this occasion and cordially invite you to this unforgettable birthday party.

In 2010 the Pulitzer prizewinner presented the world premiere of his Swing Symphony at the Philharmonie Berlin, a work he composed for the Berliner Philharmoniker and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra at the suggestion of Sir Simon Rattle. Now the musical multitalent, who has received Grammy awards for both classical music and jazz, is celebrating his 60th birthday with a surprise programme drawing on the unlimited resources available in the wealth and diversity of various jazz styles.

Get yourself a ticket and celebrate with us!

From Funk to Haydn

Marsalis, today one of the most successful jazz musicians and jazz composers of his generation, received his first trumpet when he was five. At twelve, he began his classical training and made his debut only two years later with the New Orleans Philharmonic as soloist in Joseph Haydn’s E flat major Trumpet Concerto, which he later recorded on CD. He was also a member of many funk, jazz and marching bands in his native city of New Orleans, with its rich musical tradition and incredibly vibrant, wide-ranging music scene. He later studied at the Tanglewood Music Center in Massachusetts and at the Juilliard School in New York City. Marsalis’s international breakthrough came in 1980, when he joined jazz drummer Art Blakey’s band, the Jazz Messengers.

“We come to make people happy so that they enjoy life.”

After his first album with Blakey, he signed a recording contract with Columbia Records, also recording albums with such jazz greats as Dizzy Gillespie, Chico Freeman, Art Blakey and Herbie Hancock. Marsalis is co-founder of the jazz department at New York’s Lincoln Center and long-time artistic director of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. He emphasizes traditional repertoire from the history of jazz with the band, thus keeping the memory of the styles, composers and interpreters of the past alive. His message to the Berlin audience: “Swing! My mission is always the same: we come, as Louis Armstrong said, in the cause of happiness. We come to make people happy so that they enjoy life.”