Wynton Marsalis quotes

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

    #Play #New Orleans #Swings

  • Louis Armstrong is jazz. He represents what the music is all about.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #Jazz #Armstrong #Music Is

  • What is deeper than respect and love? That’s what we felt: veneration.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #And Love #Love And Respect #Veneration

  • And that's the soulful thing about playing: you offer something to somebody. You don't know if they'll like it, but you offer it.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #Offers #Soulful

  • Through improvisation, jazz teaches you about yourself. And through swing, it teaches you that other people are individuals too. It teaches you how to coordinate with them.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #Swings #People #Jazz

  • Swing is extreme coordination. It's a maintaining balance, equilibrium. It's about executing very difficult rhythms with a panache and a feeling in the context of very strict time. So, everything about the swing is about some guideline and some grid and the elegant way that you negotiate your way through that grid.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #Swings #Feelings #Balance

  • 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.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #Mean #Opposites #Play

  • 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.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #Music #Mean #Understanding

  • 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.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #Graduation #Sweet #Past

  • The main three components are the blues, improvisation - which is some kind of element that people are trying to make it up - and swing, which means even though they're making up music, they're trying to make it up together. It feels great, like you're having a great conversation with somebody.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #Mean #Swings #People

  • Jazz music is the power of now. There is no script. It's conversation. The emotion is given to you by musicians as they make split-second decisions to fulfill what they feel the moment requires.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #Music #Decision #Splits

  • Jazz is democracy in music.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #Life #Democracy #Jazz

  • Sustained intensity equals ecstacy.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #Jazz #Intensity

  • The bandstand is a sacred place.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #Sacred Places #Sacred #Jazz

  • Jazz music is America's past and its potential, summed up and sanctified and accessible to anybody who learns to listen to, feel, and understand it. The music can connect us to our earlier selves and to our better selves-to-come. It can remind us of where we fit on the time line of human achievement, an ultimate value of art.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #Art #Past #Self

  • Everything comes out in blues music: joy, pain, struggle. Blues is affirmation with absolute elegance. It's about a man and a woman. So the pain and the struggle in the blues is that universal pain that comes from having your heart broken. Most blues songs are not about social statements.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #Song #Pain #Struggle

  • Jazz is not just 'Well, man, this is what I feel like playing.' It's a very structured thing that comes down from a tradition and requires a lot of thought and study.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #Men #Jazz #Study

  • A beat is a moment in the life a groove.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #Music #Moments #Groove

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

    #Pain #Struggle #Joy

  • I believe in professionalism, but playing is not like a job. You have to be grateful to have the opportunity to play.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #Jobs #Grateful #Believe

  • I believed in studying just because I knew education was a privilege. It was the discipline of study, to get into the habit of doing something that you don't want to do.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #Discipline #Want #Privilege

  • The nerves are a problem on trumpet, because when you mess up everyone can hear it. Just remember most people are too polite to say anything about it. That should calm your nerves.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #People #Say Anything #Nerves

  • Don't wish for someone else to do later what you can do now.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #Wish

  • I almost never watch TV, except for '60 Minutes' and pro football. I love Drew Brees, the Manning brothers and the Steelers' linebackers.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #Football #Brother #Tvs

  • Humility is the doorway 2 truth & clarity of objectives... it's the doorway 2 learning.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #Humility #Doorways #Clarity

  • Don't settle for style. Succeed in substance.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #Music #Style #Substance

  • New Orleans - the real New Orleans - is the soul of the country.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #Country #Real #New Orleans

  • 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.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #Years #Play #Four

  • We always hear about the rights of democracy, but the major responsibility of it is participation.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #Responsibility #Rights #Democracy

  • If you want to be different, do something different.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #Healing #Teens #Want

  • Jazz comes from our way of life, and because it's our national art form, it helps us to understand who we are.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #Art #Who We Are #Way

  • 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.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #Inspiring #Country #Rocks

  • 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.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #Different #Emotion #Cliche

  • The majority of the high schools and the public schools in N.Y.C. don't even have band programs. Hip-hop in a lot of ways is an outgrowth of a lack of instruments and a desire to play music, so we can't really fault the kids for that.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #School #Kids #Play

  • 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.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #Art #Together #Jazz

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

    #Play #Want #Jazz

  • 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.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #Machines #Popularity #Richness

  • 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.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #Mother #Brother #Children

  • Many of our greatest musicians abandoned all of their aesthetic objectives to try to become pertinent. And, at the end of the day, they never became pop stars. I counter stated that very strongly, and I continue to do that.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #Stars #The End Of The Day #Trying

  • Those who play for applause....Tha t’s all they get.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #Play #Applause

  • Thank the good Lord for a job.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #Jobs #Lord

  • When I was 12, I began listening to John Coltrane and I developed a love for jazz, which I still have more and more each year.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #Years #Listening #Jazz

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

    #Cocky #Player #Jazz

  • The Duke and Swing represent affirmation in the face of adversity.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #Adversity #Swings #Faces

  • 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?'
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #Father #School #Son

  • Instead of imposing your will on every situation...focus on including everyone else, and just that little adjustment of attitude gives you the space to understand where and who you are.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #Attitude #Space #Giving

  • Certain music, jazz in particular, has the ability to make you a better citizen of the world. It helps you expand your world view and gives you more confidence in your cultural achievements. Improvisational jazz teaches you about yourself while the swing in jazz teaches you how to work with others
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #Swings #Views #Giving

  • Don't bullshit' just play.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #Play #Bullshit #Jazz

  • There really have only ever been a few people in each generation who step out, are willing to put themselves on the line, and risk everything for their beliefs.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #People #Risk #Generations

  • My older brother and myself always played together in bands, but we never knew we would be professional musicians.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #Brother #Together #Band

  • There's the tradition in jazz of having the Battle of the Bands, and you do not want to get your head cut when you're playing.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #Cutting #Battle #Band

  • Through first-class education, a generation marches down the long uncertain road of the future with confidence.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #Confidence #Class #Long

  • What I really have in my head, my imagination, my understanding of music, I never really get that out.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #Imagination #Understanding #My Imagination

  • The blues. It runs through all American music. Somebody bending the note. The other is the two-beat groove. It's in New Orleans music, it's in jazz, it's in country music, it's in gospel.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #Running #Country #Two

  • It's important to address young people in the reopening of New Orleans. In rebuilding, let's revisit the potential of American democracy and American glory.
    -- Wynton Marsalis

    #New Orleans #People #Important