The greatest big band in the land returns to Savannah March 1 at 6 p.m. in the Trustees Theater for an evening of full-tilt swing. Celebrating the 50th birthday of bandleader Wynton Marsalis, the orchestra will perform a retrospective of his own compositories and arrangements of big band classics – from the music’s New Orleans roots to bebop to modern jazz.
Wynton was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, on October 18, 1961, to Ellis and Dolores Marsalis, the second of six sons.
At an early age he exhibited a superior aptitude for music and a desire to participate in American culture.
At age eight Wynton performed traditional New Orleans music in the Fairview Baptist Church band led by legendary banjoist Danny Barker.
At 14 he performed with the New Orleans Philharmonic.
Wynton’s love of the music of Bach, Beethoven, Mozart and others drove him to pursue a career in classical music as well. He recorded the Haydn, Hummel and Leopold Mozart trumpet concertos at age 20. His debut recording received glorious reviews and won the Grammy Award® for “Best Classical Soloist with an Orchestra.” Marsalis went on to record 10 additional classical records, all to critical acclaim. Wynton performed with leading orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Pops, The Cleveland Orchestra, Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, and more.
Wynton has produced over 70 records which have sold over seven million copies worldwide. SMF has added five more acts in nine individual productions to its 2012 festival, which begins March 22nd and runs through April 7th. Tickets to these additional productions are on sale at the Trustees theater located at 216 E. Broughton Street, 912-525- 5050 and online at savannahmusicfestival.org.