Wynton Marsalis returns to Chautauqua to open and close a week on "Exploring Race and Culture in America with Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center." Through a Monday morning lecture, performances with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra throughout the week — including the second-ever performance of The Ever Fonky Lowdown — and a Friday morning Amphitheater conversation, Marsalis will convey his hopes, concerns, and insights about contemporary culture and society through a historically informed lens.
An internationally acclaimed musician, composer, bandleader, educator and a leading advocate of American culture, at 17, Marsalis became the youngest musician ever to be admitted to Tanglewood’s Berkshire Music Center. Since then, he attended Juilliard, performed 120 concerts a year for 15 consecutive years, produced more than 80 records and won nine Grammy Awards, two George Foster Peabody Awards and an Emmy Award. He is also the first jazz musician to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music.
In 1987, Marsalis co-founded the jazz program at Lincoln Center. Today, Jazz at Lincoln Center presents rich and diverse programming that includes concerts, debates, film forums, dances, television and radio broadcasts and educational activities.
Marsalis has been the recipient of countless honors around the world, including the Netherlands’ Edison Award, the Grand Prix Du Disque of France, and honorary membership to England’s Royal Academy of Music. The French Ministry of Culture appointed Marsalis to the rank of Knight in the Order of Arts and Literature. He also received France’s highest distinction, the insignia Chevalier of the Legion of Honor.
In the United States, he has received a National Medal of the Arts, the Louis Armstrong Memorial Medal, the Frederick Douglass Medallion from the New York Urban League and an Arts Education Award from the American Arts Council. In 2001 was appointed as a United Nations Messenger of Peace. Marsalis has received nearly three dozen honorary degrees and awards from colleges and universities across the country, most recently the President’s Award at Hunter College in 2014.
(Note: This biography was up-to-date as of the date of the lecture. Biographies are not updated over time.)