When Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra appeared
in Russia for the first time, the concerts, classes and jam sessions
were videotaped by Emmy-Award-winning Daniel Wilson Productions, Inc.
By exclusive agreement with Jazz at Lincoln Center and Swashbuckler
Enterprises, Inc, DWP produced a lively 90-minute documentary video
highlighting the impact of American jazz in Russia.
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Duke Ellington,
Marsalis and his big band took St. Petersburg by storm.
With the city's historic sites as a backdrop, the band performed on
a riverboat during the annual White Nights Jazz Festival.
The Ellington Sacred Music Concert at Smolny Cathedral featured
American and Russian jazzmen playing together with reverence and
mutual respect. In Oktyabrsky Concert Hall where Duke Ellington
himself had appeared nearly 30 years earlier, LCJO and Marsalis
found a groove that brought the audience to its feet, dancing in
the aisles. Impromptu jam sessions at the airport, train station
and in clubs around the city resulted in some hot moments of joyful
and inspired playing in solos, small groups and battling big bands.
In Moscow, Marsalis appeared at the Moscow State Conservatory as trumpet
virtuoso and exponent of American jazz music. During a master class
at the Conservatory, Marsalis critiqued the performances of five trumpet
students. Then, joined by six members of LCJO, he presented a
lecture-demonstration entitled "What is Jazz?" for students and
faculty of the Conservatory. Finally, the public concert by Marsalis
and LCJO at Moscow's Rossiya Hall brought together jazz lovers who cheered
the American big band and brought them back for three encores with prolonged
standing ovations. As a bonus, Marsalis and the American musicians participated
in two jam sessions with Russian jazz stars.
Having produced several generations of their own jazz performers,
Russians are keenly interested in the original American art form.
There could be no better sampling of America's best jazz masters than
"Swinging into Russia with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and Wynton