Mar 10, 2014

All That Jazz

Years ago, my friend Ken Nahoum, who was a big time photographer, shot a lot of Wynton Marsalis's album covers. As a result, I got to hang out with him quite a few times. He's a lovely, easy going fellow. One time he took Ken and I into the studio to watch him record. Marcus Roberts the great, blind piano player was there. It was all very exciting. The only problem was that Ken and I were in t-shirts and everyone else was wearing Armani suits. No one made us feel out of place though. Another time Ken and I went to the Apollo theater to see him play and then we hung out afterwards. Another thrill. We were in New Orleans on another occasion and Wynton told us to come to the famous club, Tipitina's. It was on a week night as I recall. When we got there, the joint was packed. I was very surprised. Something didn't feel right but I couldn't quite figure it out. Wynton's band came out and played a song. then he made an announcement. He said the most talented high school jazz musicians were in the audience with their families. 20 or more kids stood up with instruments in their hands. Then they lined up along the side of the stage. Each kid got a turn to play with Wynton's band. The place went crazy. It was a night I will never forget. Now all these years later, Mr. Marsalis is in charge of jazz at Lincoln Center. Yun told me she had tickets to go see a show. I was all excited to see Wynton play. Yun informed it was not a night when he was performing. We went and I was still blown away. I loved every minute of it. Somehow I even got in a drawing of the festivities.