Acclaimed trumpeter Marsalis composes Blues Symphony

Wed Dec 9, 2009 11:57am EST
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By Matthew Bigg

ATLANTA (Reuters) - Acclaimed trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, arguably the world's most prominent jazz musician, is set to premiere a major new project -- composing a Blues Symphony for orchestra.

In keeping with a career that spans jazz, classical music, band leadership and high-profile advocacy for the arts, Marsalis' symphony is epic in scope -- to celebrate American history from Revolution to the present through the blues.

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra at Morehouse College in Atlanta will perform the symphony in January at Morehouse College in Atlanta as part of annual events for Martin Luther King day. They performed two of its movements in November.

Marsalis, 48, was born in New Orleans, the self-proclaimed home of jazz.

The artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York made his name as a virtuoso trumpeter, composer and band leader, winning nine Grammy awards and a Pulitzer Prize for Music for classical and jazz performances and compositions.

He has previously produced two epic works: All Rise and Blood on the Fields, which won the 1997 a Pulitzer for music.

Marsalis talked to Reuters about composing the Blues Symphony and jazz great such as Duke Ellington and Jelly Roll Morton,

Q: What got you excited about the Blues Symphony project?   Continued...

<p>Jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis plays during a ceremony to mark the fifth anniversary of the September 11th attacks on World Trade Center at the site of the buildings in New York September 11, 2006. REUTERS/Shaun Best</p>