Last night, I went to the Kentucky Center for the Arts to see Jazz luminary Wynton Marsalis, and the Lincoln Center Jazz orchestra. I have heard live jazz music played before, but this completely changed my perspective of Jazz music. Marsalis is the winner of 9 grammy's and a Pulitzer prize. He took the stage and introduced everyone in an archetypal husky, but cool Jazz speaking voice. All we needed was for him to have shades on and be puffing on a cigarette. Man, the guy is an absolute musical genius.
Last night they played some of the definitive works by composers such as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Fletcher Henderson, Thelonious Monk, and Charles Mingus. They did do a few contemporary pieces as well. Marsalis broke this down into the "New Testament" and "Old Testament" of Jazz.
The crowd, including me, was held spellbound by not only the high caliber musicians, but the historical anecdotes that he offered about the pieces and their famous composers. I sat in the presence of Wynton Marsalis, a man who is already a legend amongst Jazz musicians, and I was awestruck.