Best 180 of Wynton Marsalis quotes - MyQuotes

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Wynton Marsalis
By Anonym 13 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

Because the blues is the basis of most American music in the 20th century. It's a 12-bar form that's played by jazz, bluegrass and country musicians. It has a rhythmic vocabulary that's been used by rock n' roll. It's related to spirituals, and even the American fiddle tradition.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

For me as a person who's in the arts and as someone who understands the magnitude of our contributions and the price that was paid to contribute to that, that we just have not gotten that together. I will do all that I can to get in front of our kids, to try to teach them, but at a certain point the people have to want it and come towards it.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

The only justification for looking down on anyone is that you're going to stop and pick them up.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

And my identity...I never really wondered about it because, unfortunately, I sounded like myself. People be saying I sound like Miles or Clifford Brown.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

I always like to play very contemporary concepts of swing right next to New Orleans music because it highlights continuum.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

Having heard Clifford Brown play all those fast runs, I used to really practice Clarke trumpet exercises all day long so that I could play fast. That's all I wanted to do. I was like a child with a toy.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

It's our job to just do as much as we can to enlighten the people about it and to represent it by playing it with some integrity. That's what I try to do.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

This music heals people because music is vibration, and the proper vibration heals.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

Let the critics criticize and let the doers do.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

The history of jazz lets us know that this period in our history is not the only period we've come through together. If we truly understood the history of our national arts, we'd know that we have mutual aspirations, a shared history, in good times and bad.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

I remember when I wrote a piece, "Blood on the Fields," it was a while ago, it was about slavery and about two characters, and I studied so much of music, I would always go back to the original documents, and as much as I can get original chants and slave chants and different type of beats and rhythms and ring shout.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

We're blues people. And blues never lets tragedy have the last word.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

What takes its place is very dry education. And the tools that actually can teach you - singing and playing, learning how to participate with other people, spiritual richness - are replaced with a big emphasis on how to memorize things. That's such an incomplete education. Survival of the fittest used to mean being bigger and stronger.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

Trumpet players are just belligerant, and cocky, and you know, just hard-headed.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

I worry more about the marketing that's taken hold since the 70s. The Jazz era, the Swing era, those were huge. Entire decades were named for music. In the 1940s - after World War II - changes in taxation, ballrooms closing, people moving to the suburbs, and the onset of target marketing and the confusion of commerce with art caused some things to happen as a result that have taken us away from jazz and what jazz offers us.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

Grace Kelly plays with intelligence, wit and feeling. She has a great amount of natural ability and the ability to adapt. That is the hallmark of a first-class jazz musician.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

It was Dr. King's tireless activism that fostered our modern way of relating to one another.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

A beat is a moment in the life a groove.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

Don't worry about what others say about your music. Pursue whatever you are hearing... but if everybody really hates your music maybe you could try some different approaches.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

This is our bandstand. If you don't want to play, get up off the instrument and leave.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

We don't have the leadership or the understanding of the value of this, and when your political systems and your economic systems start to fail, it's only a cultural understanding that allows you to reconstruct them and to get back to who you are. For some reason, it hasn't dawned on us yet.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

Jazz is not the kind of music you are going to learn to play in three or four years or that you can just get because you have some talent for music.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

I feel like a lot of the fundamental material, I've assimilated. So now the question is: Am I going to really get into my spiritual inheritance of music and really develop my abilities?

By Anonym 14 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

It's harder to build than destroy. To build is to engage and change. In jazz, we call progressing harmonies changes. Changes are like obstacles on a speed course. They demand your attention and require you to be present. They are coming...they are here..... and then they are gone. It's how life comes. Each moment is a procession from the future into the past and the sweet spot is always the present. Live in that sweet spot. Be present.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

When I auditioned for my high school band the band director was excited because my father was known to be a great musician. When he heard me, he said 'Are you sure you're Ellis's son?'

By Anonym 15 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

The musicians, Duke Ellington, his thing was not about separating himself from the rest of America. Louis Armstrong - go to the forefathers of our music - Jelly Roll Morton - they're not preaching a separatist agenda. They're not taking their music and saying, "This is for me.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

The black hole in democracy is integrity. The great unspoken is integrity. When integrity is not first and foremost, it's quite palpable but not visible. It's always there. Jazz highlights it because musicians and jazz always represented a high level of integrity.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

Even if nobody's singing, just when you talk, you're singing. I'll meet somebody and say, "Oh, I'm tone-deaf." I say, "You're not tone-deaf, because if you were tone-deaf you would speak like that. But you're 'Oh, I'm tone-deaf.' You already sang a song to me.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

Music is the art of all the invisible things that are real. Art, emotion, spiritual essence, consciousness - these things are hard to prove. Music helps you to focus on your sound. We understand that for very young kids.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

The reason why the music [jazz] is important is because it's an art form-an ancient art form-that takes in the mythology of our people.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

Many a revolution started with the actions of a few. Only 56 men signed the Declaration of Independence. A few hanging together can lead a nation to change.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

Humility is the doorway 2 truth & clarity of objectives... it's the doorway 2 learning.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

I'm not a person who writes really abstract things with oblique references. I look at abstraction like I look at condiments. Give me some Tabasco sauce, some ketchup, some mayonnaise. I love all of that. Put it on a trumpet. I've just got to have the ketchup and Tabasco sauce. That's my attitude about musical philosophy.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

There's always the cliche of the choir shouting and clapping. OK, you have to do that, but there's also introspective parts, parts where you just follow someone that's preaching. There's lots of different emotions and moods that a service requires.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

My father was a teacher, my mama was a community worker, I taught in so many schools. So when you get that experience of how to communicate with younger people, put that hand on them and give them that old-school feeling, the maturity and adult, a lot of our kids just need the feeling of that love, and that's the frame of reference that I teach from and that's the frame of reference that all of our musicians in the Jazz at Lincoln Center.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

My thing is, once you start to put a backbeat on your music or something that has a machine in it, you have popularity, but you lose the flexibility. And you lose a richness.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

We fight for territory. We see it in our Congress, we see it in our political systems, we see it in our ways of life, how separated we are. When we moved out of the cities and we lost all of the memory that was in cities, and we - one of the highest achievements in our culture is to be able to segregate yourself from everyone else, and the deep thing is the deepest punishment is solitary confinement.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

If you're not making mistakes, you're not trying.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

My daddy expected that my brothers and I and our generation would make the world a better place. He had lived in an America of continual social progress.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

Our culture is what we did together. What did Walt Whitman represent for all of us? What was his message to us? That is an inheritance, and when we squander that inheritance we act outside. We don't know who we are; we don't know where we are.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

Sustained intensity equals ecstacy.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

I had to figure out how to survive in New York, and most of my time was occupied in getting an apartment and getting money. A lot of older jazz guys looked out for me and found me gigs and places to stay.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

Everything comes out in blues music: joy , pain , struggle . Blues is affirmation with absolute elegance.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

As long as there is democracy, there will be people wanting to play jazz because nothing else will ever so perfectly capture the democratic process in sound. Jazz means working things out musically with other people. You have to listen to other musicians and play with them even if you don't agree with what they're playing. It teaches you the very opposite of racism and anti-Semitism. It teaches you that the world is big enough to accommodate us all.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

But you listen to Coltrane and that's something human, something that's about elevation. It's like making love to a woman. It's about something of value, it's not just loud. It doesn't have that violent connotation to it. I wanted to be a jazz musician so bad, but I really couldn't. There was no way I could figure out to learn how to play.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

My mother always took my brothers and me to music lessons. There were six children. Our parents attended our concerts and encouraged us to study and enjoy many different types of music.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

When it comes to songs and music, yeah, people love to sing and dance and play music and tunes, and that stream of consciousness that exists in music, nobody knows where that comes from.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

How great musicians demonstrate a mutual respect and trust on the bandstand can alter your outlook on the world and enrich every aspect of your life, understanding what it means to be a global citizen in the most modern sense.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

You don't try to duplicate certain things that other cats do, because you could never do it as well as they do. Nobody can get on that tenor saxophone and play like Trane, because he's the only one who can spell out chords and sound good when he does it.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Wynton Marsalis

The people are not coming because of me. They didn't come before me. It's because of a lack of education and understanding, so it makes me more motivated. It's like my mother said about having an artistic child - she learned more from him and he gets more attention and more of the love, not less.