UPTOWN JAZZ ORCHESTRA
April 14, 2021 | 7:30 PM
Over the course of his prolific music career, acclaimed trombonist, composer and producer Delfeayo Marsalis has been praised for his “technical excellence, inventive mind and frequent touches of humor,” and heralded as hailed as one of “the best, most imaginative and musical of the trombonists of his generation.” Marsalis’ commitment to the idea optimism and progressive musical thought can — and, in fact, should — coexist in modern New Orleans jazz is a conceptual cornerstone for both the Uptown Jazz Orchestra and their latest cd, Jazz Party. Uptown Jazz Orchestra performances are always a big party, opening and closing performances with second line numbers and often engaging audiences by encouraging their participation in the music. Marsalis, an NEA Jazz Master, has shared the bandstand with jazz legends Art Blakey, Max Roach and Elvin Jones, as well as pop icons Fats Domino, Ray Charles and George Clinton. Jeff Simon of the Buffalo News observed, ” Delfeayo is, in many ways, the most fun of the Marsalises. He’s the family trombonist. And record producer. And he seems to be the family wise guy too!“
The latest Uptown Jazz Orchestra cd, Jazz Party, pays tribute to the soulful and funky sounds of celebration in music, with a jazz sensibility. It is the musical extension of their 2016 studio recording debut, Make America Great Again! Socially conscious, yet playful, the record uses the orchestra’s agile stylistic fluidity to fuse its hometown sound and musical history with songs associated with American patriotism to create a sound that reflects the United States today — a place Wendell Pierce calls in the title track, “a melting pot of diversity fighting a juggernaut of adversity.”
The Uptown Jazz Orchestra is stretching the boundaries of what is expected from big bands, playing with an extraordinary sense of joy and fun that could only be from New Orleans. Their repertoire consists of material that spans the 100+ years of American music with a contemporary flare. With influences from Louis Armstrong to Count Basie, James Brown to J Cole, Marsalis and Uptown Jazz Orchestra plays music that helps free the mind, warm the heart, and heal the soul.