Closing night is dedicated to American legend Wynton Marsalis, one of the most accomplished and acclaimed artists and composers of his generation. Marsalis has helped propel jazz to the forefront of contemporary American culture through his performances, recordings, compositions, educational efforts, and his visionary artistic leadership of Jazz at Lincoln Center. Marsalis’ love of Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart has also driven him to pursue a career in classical music. He recorded the Haydn, Hummel and Leopold Mozart trumpet concertos at age 20 and won a Grammy Award for his debut recording. Tonight his friend and frequent collaborator Maestro Cristian Măcelaru welcomes Marsalis as composer in residence at Cabrillo for his first time, and leads the Festival Orchestra in two of Marsalis’ celebrated compositions.
Marsalis’ Concerto in D features acclaimed Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti, for whom it was written. In high demand across the globe, Benedetti has been described as “an artist who exudes star quality” (Herald Scotland) and her playing described as “always top-notch, her sound brilliant and clean” (The New York Times). This work draws inspiration from the violin concerto’s first formation in the Baroque era through its current manifestation in the 21st Century, incorporates a slow movement inspired by an African-American spiritual, and explores Benedetti and Marsalis’ own musical heritages in Scottish folk and American jazz music, respectively. It is not only a unique fusion of musical styles from around the world but a celebration and representation of collective cultures embodied in one work. Marsalis’ Blues Symphony features a compendium of his encyclopedic knowledge of blues, jazz, and other traditional American music. A six-movement work of staggering complexity, it is one of Marsalis’ only pieces composed for purely orchestral forces; it is a tribute to the blues as heard through a prism of different moments in American and, in particular, African-American history. An epic work brings an epic season to an unforgettable close!
MEETUP! Begin your 2019 grand finale experience this afternoon at 3:30pm with “Wynton and Cristi In Conversation” at the Civic (submit questions in advance here!). Then head to one of our downtown restaurant partners and enjoy prix fixe menus and special pre-concert surprises!