The 2017/18 Symphony Center Presents (SCP) Jazz series opens with world-renowned trumpeter and bandleader Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (JLCO) for a two-day residency, which includes concerts and youth-oriented programs, October 13 and 14. Activities include the annual appearance for Marsalis and JLCO on the SCP Jazz series (October 13), a Jazz for Young People® concert about jazz legend Count Basie (October 14), and a Symphony Center Presents Special Concert featuring Jon Batiste, the bandleader of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (October 14).
Wynton Marsalis and the JLCO open the 2017/18 SCP Jazz series on Friday, October 13, at 8 p.m., with a program titled All Jazz is Modern: Jelly Roll Morton to the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Marsalis leads this world renowned big band, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this season, in a program that honors the musical legacy of New Orleans jazz legend Jelly Roll Morton. Through both classic and never-before-heard arrangements of essential tunes like “King Porter Stomp,” “Jungle Blues,” “Black Bottom Stomp” and “The Pearls,” Marsalis and the JLCO showcase the compositions and musical intellect of Morton and demonstrates the contemporary power and depth of possibility in the earliest jazz music.
With a commitment to exploring jazz with the next generation of audiences, Marsalis and the JLCO present a Jazz for Young People® concert titled Who is Count Basie? on Saturday, October 14, at 11 a.m. Piano virtuoso and bandleader William “Count” Basie captivated Americans in the post-Depression years with the elegant and irresistible swing that kept the dance floor moving. This hour-long interactive program brings Basie’s exciting career and infectious music to life with a performance by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, crowd participation and Marsalis’ engaging storytelling.
Special guest Jon Batiste joins Marsalis and the JLCO on Saturday, October 14, at 8 p.m., with a program featuring music from their recently released album The Music of John Lewis. Few captured the sleek, swinging sophistication of jazz better than pianist, composer and bandleader John Lewis, who had a long, deep, personal relationship with Jazz at Lincoln Center. When the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis set out to celebrate the esteemed pianist and composer, they teamed up with then rising star Jon Batiste, the bandleader of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and a prodigious pianist in his own right. From the blistering bebop of “Two Bass Hit” to the down-home blues of “2 Degrees East, 3 Degrees West”—from small group configurations to the big band might of the full JLCO—The Music of John Lewis captures the elegance and soulfulness of Lewis’ daring compositions.
In addition to their three performances at Symphony Center, Jon Batiste and musicians from JLCO extend their commitment to youth in Chicago through in-school workshops with young musicians at four Chicago Public Schools on Friday, October 13. The high schools involved are Kelly (Brighton Park), Kenwood Academy (Hyde Park-Kenwood), Morgan Park (Morgan Park) and Whitney Young (Near West), home of four ensembles that earned spots in the lineup in this past summer’s Chicago Jazz Festival following their superior performances at the All-City Jazz Band Festival sponsored by CPS and the Jazz Institute of Chicago. Students and jazz music directors from those high schools also will attend the Jazz for Young People concert the following morning or the ensemble’s concert featuring Batiste on Saturday evening. The educational opportunities provided in conjunction with these concerts are the start of several educational activities by SCP Jazz series artists during the 2017/18 season, which are generously supported by Dan J. Epstein, Judy Guitelman and the Dan J. Epstein Family Foundation.
Tickets for all Symphony Center Presents Jazz series and special concerts can be purchased by phone at 800‑223‑7114 or 312-294‑3000, online at cso.org/jazz, or at the Symphony Center box office: 220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60604.
Discounted student tickets for select concerts can be purchased, subject to availability, online in advance or at the box office on the day of the concert. For group rates, please call 312-294-3040.
Artists, programs and prices are subject to change.
The SCP Jazz Series is sponsored by Exelon.
The Jazz for Young People program on October 14 is sponsored in part by Allstate Insurance Company, the Youth Education Program Sponsor.
These presentations are supported by the Arts Midwest Touring Fund, a program of Arts Midwest that is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional contributions from the Illinois Arts Council Agency and the Crane Group.
Funding for educational programs during the 2017/18 SCP Jazz series has been generously provided by Dan J. Epstein, Judy Guitelman and the Dan J. Epstein Family Foundation.