Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Skain’s Domain: An Intimate Weekly Conversation with Wynton Marsalis - Episode 4

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Wynton, you ready to kick things off? Yes, indeed. Alright, ready when you

are. Ready?

Welcome everybody, I'm glad to see you all coming back. You know, we

do at Skain's Domain, we talk about trivial and significant things with

the same type of passion and feeling,

and we're lucky in that we have two fantastic guests, Dee Dee Bridgewater

is full of great stories, great Chick Corea is full of great stories. And

I'm just gonna kick it off by saying a few things and then

I'm gonna just let them have it. And you're gonna get a chance

to see how we just talk when we're sitting around backstage,

or the type of conversation that normally goes on.

So, the first, I'm gonna talk about something called the coldest, truest

thing you ever heard, that you were ever told. So when I was

growing up, I'm gonna start with my father,

and he was always trying to get us to learn traditional New Orleans music,

and of course, we're playing in funk bands and we're playing like...

Music we played in the 1970s. The last thing in the world we

wanted to do was play some handkerchief here at New Orleans style music.

So there was a great trumpet player named Teddy Riley who played the

cornet at Louis Armstrong's funeral in 1971, and my father would always

say, "Man, call Buck." His nickname was Buck. "Call Buck, man,

call Buck." And I wouldn't call Buck. Finally, after like a year,

a year and a half or something, he said, "Man,

did you ever call Buck?" I said, "Man, I'm not gonna call Buck, Buck can't

even read." And he says, "Son,

people can either play or they can't play. Look at you,

you can read." So that kinda stuff... Oh! Cold, true statement that he would

just tell you. So I'm gonna tell you all another one before I... I

know Dee Dee has some good ones. I used to go to John

Lewis's, the great music director of the Modern Jazz Quartet, I used to

go to his home on West End Avenue, maybe once or twice a

week, I always made a point to go up

and play with, he and his wife, Mariana, she was a fantastic keyboardist,

played harpsichord and Baroque music. And one day I was was up there

just complaining about some bad reviews I got, and Mr. Lewis was very

quiet and considered dignified man, and he listened to it for a while,

and I kept going maybe a little longer than he wanted to hear

it. So then when I would do that, he would start tinkling on

the piano, as if to say, "Hey man, we heard enough of this."

But I was so caught up in my narrative about how wrong I

was being done. Then he stopped and he put the piano,

the covering of the keys over the piano and he said,

"Listen man,

when one goes on and on about themselves, even if it's negative reviews,

that is a form of extreme egotism. Could we please get to this

music and stop hearing about you and how you feel about people's opinion

about you." Ooh. So that's two of my cold ones. Dee Dee, what

you think about that? Ooh, I think, okay. I mean, that's the kind

of stuff that happens when we are young and we don't know,

and you were getting the words of someone with wisdom and experience,

so. But I cannot... I can't really pull anything up of my own

stuff. Wait a minute, I just got a girlfriend that called in,

I'm sorry. I can't pull anything up right now because that's... That's kinda

cold. What did that make you feel like? Did you know Betty Carter?

But did you know Betty Carter? I knew Betty Carter, I was Betty Carter's

puppy dog. I used to follow Betty Carter everywhere, so I didn't experience

Betty like a lot of other people did,

Betty kind of let me into her inner circles, but she would never

allow me to

come to any of her rehearsals. So she would always let me know

where she was playing in New York when I first moved to New

York, and I would always reserve a seat at a table by myself,

and I would just sit and I would just drink her in.

I do...

I do remember one time we were performing in Brussels,

and it was a concert where she was doing a duet with Abbey Lincoln,

so it was she and Abbey for one half of the show, and

then me for the other half. And

we were on an intermission break between the two shows, and we were

standing backstage, and I said, "Betty," I said, "You know, you did this

duet album with Carmen," and I said, "Now, you're doing these shows with

Abbey." And she said,

in true Betty fashion, with verbiage that we cannot use, she said,

"Don't ask me and I won't have to hurt your feelings."

And I said, "Okay Betty, I won't ask you." She said, "Thank you,

let's talk about something else." And that was it.

I got an opposite story. What? I got an opposite kind of story. But it's

a very cool story, talking about our heroes, I remember, after I played

with Mongo Santamaría's band in 19... 1960, I think, 1960 was my first

gig with a name band in New York,


it was thrilling, you know? And then after I worked... The timbales player

on Mongo's band at that time was Willie Bobo. You remember Willie Bobo?

Yes, yes, I remember Willie. He could dance. Oh, Willie Bobo could dance.

Yeah. You know, his last... His real last name is Correa, same as

mine, except... Oh! Except with two "Rs", he's from Puerto Rico. So

anyway, Willie formed a band after Mongo's band because he wanted to play,

he wanted to play jazz drums, he wanted to be a jazz drummer.

So he took me out of the band.

Larry... Larry, who played with Monk, Larry...

Gales. I don't know. Larry Gales. Larry Gales. Larry Gales was the bass

player, Joe Farrell was the tenor player.

I think Marty Sheller was the trumpet player

and we had this quintet, so

we played at Birdland, we got a Birdland gig.

And so

after one of the nights at Birdland... You know, I'm so new in

New York, and I'm trying to find my footing, I don't know,

am I doing good or not doing good?

I'm enjoying the excitement of it and I'm... It's after the, after the

night, after the two sets or three sets, however long we played.

And I'm at the bar nursing a drink. I think I was the

last guy there, and I see

down at the other end of the bar,

some guy starts walking toward me and I recognized him when he came

halfway, it was Tommy Flanagan, who was one of my heroes,

one of my piano heroes. So Tommy comes up to me and all

he, all he did was he kind of pointed at me and he

said, "Man, you've got some fresh ideas." And he turned around and he

walked away. And I... That was it? I was on a cloud for

two weeks, that's the kind of thing that kept me going in New York.

That's beautiful. What about you Dee Dee? What have you... That's an opposite

story. Yeah, that's good. That's a good story, that's a beautiful story.

Sometimes the opposite thing can have the same effect. You know, sometimes

somebody tell you something cold, it makes you practice. Sometimes they're

real friendly, it makes you... It's like the African chief. They gave him

some ice, he said, "This is a fire." Right, right, right,

right. I got a good one. What you got? I have a really good

one, guys. Okay,

when Cecil Bridgewater and I first married,

Cecil had also been hired into Horace Silver's quintet, so instead of us

doing a honeymoon, we did this tour. And

I was quite enamored with Horace Silver, I just love Horace's work,

I love his compositions. So we're doing this tour, and Andy Bey, of

course, is the singer, and we get to Detroit.

I'm from Flint, Michigan, so we get to Detroit, and of course,

all my family is coming up from Flint because they want to,

number one, meet my new husband, and then number two, hear him play

in Horace Silver's band, and then my, some of my cousins has said

and maybe you'll sing. And so, Andy and I decided, before we got

to Detroit, that I was gonna sit in, and this was when he

had The United States of Mind albums going. And so

this was the first album of that, I think it was a trilogy,

wasn't it? But anyway, it doesn't matter. The song we had selected was

Love Vibrations,

and so Horace had a tendency when he'd play to play with his

head down and his hair would just be in his face and so

he wouldn't see. So I don't know why Andy and I thought,

if he can't see, he can't hear. So,

I had asked Horace if I could sit in and he had told

me no, absolutely not. And so, Andy and I had decided

he's not gonna stop us if I'm singing. So he starts the intro

to Love Vibrations. And we're in a club in Detroit, I don't know

what club, I can't remember the club, but at any rate...

And so when it starts, "Emptiness surrounds my lonely heart," I start singing.

I got to,

"Surrounds my lonely heart and... ", to sing, "Life has lost it's thrill,"

I go "and", and he looks up... And he turns and he looks at me

and he says, "What are you doing on my stage? Get off. Get off now." Ooh,

harsh. "Get off." In front of all

my family, and my friends, and my new husband. And the band. And Andy is

standing on the side. So I just kind of slithered off stage.

But from that moment I said, "I'm gonna prove to Horace Silver that

I can sing his music." He's got such a close idea about who

can interpret his music and... And so instead of it making me feel

bad because I knew I was wrong, 'cause he'd already told me,


I just decided I'm gonna prove to him. So then when I decided,

when we fast forward... That was in the '70s, that was 1971, fast forward

to 1995, and I called him, you know, and told him,

I said, "I'm gonna do a whole album of your music,"

and he says,

"I can't believe it, I can't believe that a woman wants... I can't

believe a woman wants to honor me. How come it's none of my musicians?"

And I said, "Horace, I am a musician."

That's beautiful. That was kind of a bad story that had a great

ending. What a sweetheart. Hey, Dee Dee, 1971, 1971. Check it out...

You... Oh, you mean when... Go ahead. You and Andy, you and Andy

in 1971, what else happened in 1971 with you and Andy and me

and Stanley? And Stanley? Right. Unexpected Days and Sea Journey. That's

right, that was when we first met. Yep. I remember coming up to

your apartment. Stanley I would meet you, and Airto and Flora would come.

You remember? Yeah. Yeah, yeah, that's right. This was before... Were you

a baby, Wynton? Were you a baby, what were you, were you born?

1971, Wynton. I was 10. You were 10? I was 10 but I

like hearing about it. You were probably playing just like a...


That was still a long time ago. You were probably playing like a

demon at 10.

Were you playing the trumpet... No, no, man, I was terrible.

I love hearing about it though. Oh yeah, well, well,

I mean that... I love hearing it, but go ahead, don't stop.

Well, I mean, that was a memorable session, that was Stanley's first,

first... That was his first solo album. Yeah, I produced that.

You know, I have this producing technique that I did with Stanley, and

I've done it with some others. It's a really cool technique,

I recommend it. What, what, what I did with Stanley

is I sat down with Stanley, and I said, "Stanley, you gotta make

a record, man, you're amazing." "Alright," he said, "Yeah, yeah, I wanna

make a record."

So I said, "Okay, what do you wanna do?


what would you like to do?" And all I recommended was that he

write music, and that's all I did to produce, and he just came

up with that record. I didn't do anything. I played on it and

I was in the studio. That's how you produce a guy like Stanley Clarke. He

brought you in, Dee Dee, and he brought Andy Bey in, and I

got to meet you guys and that was a great experience.

That's where I met Bernie Kirsh on


On that album. Yeah, he was an engineer at the Electric Lady Studios.

Didn't we do that in Electric Lady? Do not ask me that kind

of a detail. I don't remember where we did that.

I don't have a clue. Where did we do that? Was it Electric


Yeah, I think it was. I think it was, but I got a

Horace Silver story.

You wanna hear a... I have a couple of Horace Silver stories. I'll

tell you the earliest one. Yeah. Okay. Earliest one was when I was

in high school in '57, '58, '59, in Boston,

there was a jazz club there called Storyville. You remember Storyville?

I mean, I remember hearing about it, I never went. George Wein. I

think it was gone by the time I was older though. George Wein, that's right.

George Wein. Yeah, that's George Wein's first venue. And

he promoted, he brought all of these great, this great music in to

Storyville. So Horace Silver Quintet came in one week, and

at that point I had devoured every Horace record that came out,

and I was already transcribing Horace tunes and learning his solos and learning

Blue Mitchell's solos, and

that was a real training ground for me.

So, me and my buddy, we went early in the afternoon.

We went like 4 o'clock in the afternoon. We went

to the... I think it was the Bradford Hotel,

to see if there was anything going on. We peeked in the window,

it was dark inside, but the door was open. So we opened the

front door, and we see a dark club, and there's this one

light at the piano with Horace sitting at the piano composing.

He had a pencil

and he was working something out.

So me and my buddy, we snuck in

the front door.

I'm getting emotional about this. And we sat

in the back, we just tucked ourselves in the back. And man,

for the next hour, we sat quietly and observed Horace write a tune, check

that off. Wow. That's right, him working it out on the piano,

and then him writing some stuff down, and then him working it out

some more, and then him writing, and that tune came out on Further

Explorations, his next record. What was the tune? Which which one was it?

It was one of the tunes on Further Explorations, but that was like

an incredible... That's the University

that I loved going to. You know what was wonderful about... Oh I'm sorry,

go on Wynton. No, go ahead, go ahead. No, go ahead. I just

wanted to make this little statement. What was wonderful about

the music is when I came along, I came along on the tail

end of this whole real, real true sense of community and family,

where as soon as the young musician would come on the scene,

they were just taken in by the older musicians, and

were protected, and

the older musicians would share all kinds of information

with the young musicians that could be useful. And

it was also the period, I came in on the end of people

sitting in at concerts.

You would go to a concert, and one of the beauties of going

to a concert in the early '70s is you never knew

who was gonna come out on the stage

of the artist's concert that you went to. Yeah, that's right.

And that was beautiful.

I came along after y'all, but I have to say that the musicians always

treated me like that. If I talk about John Lewis or Art Blakey or

any of the musicians, even recently I started to really know Chick later,

but it still was automatically a familial type of feeling and a kind

of love did exist because of the music. With Horace Silver, I used

to see him... One year I called him and asked him if he

would judge a high school jazz band festival and competition we have every

year, it's called Essentially Ellington, so it's rooted in Duke's music,

but we play a lot of other music as we go along.

So Horace came and he was one of our judges. And the judging

scale is from one to 10. So most of the time you give


good bands get eights, nines, almost never 10s, but sevens, eights and nines.

Kinda medium bands will get seven, six. Really, really bad bands would get

fives or fours. You almost never give anything lower than a five.

I know Horace, he tore them to shreds. Then we came from the first round

of judges, and there's like five of us judges, we're sitting in a room

and we're putting the scores up. We got like eights and nines, and

Horace got like twos and threes and ones. So they said...

So everybody started looking around, they said, "Man, you gotta talk to

Horace." I said, "Man, I don't wanna talk to him. You talk to

him." And he said, "No, no.

Talk to Horace." I said, "Okay." So I talked to Horace, I said, "Mr. Silver,

we don't normally give kids twos and threes and ones and stuff like


we try to come from more encouraging them. We don't try... " And he listened

to me very patiently, and he says, "Uh huh. Uh huh." And when

I got finished talking to him, we came back the next

round and then he was bam, hitting people with two's and four's and three's.

His highest score was like a four. Yeah. I said, "Man."

We got to the end of the judging and he looked at me and he said,

"Look man, when I was coming up, people could play when they were

18 and 17." He said, "People like Lee Morgan," so he started naming all

the people who could play. He said, "You got to hold these kids

to a standard." Yeah. "This is my score, I'm giving them two's and

three's." So to this day, that might have been 15 years ago, 17

years ago, whoever gives the lowest score as a judge, we say that

they have won the Horace Silver award. But Horace was a beautiful cat,

too. He would come to gigs all the time. He came to...

The last time I saw him was a gig we played in Los

Angeles at Royce Hall. He came and had a lot of really intelligent,

insightful comments about the music and what about just...

One thing, subject I wanna get on, the thing I noticed when I

was growing up, because I grew up more in the funk era, but

I always noticed how intelligent the Jazz musicians were. I got to stand

around because my father's a musician, and I would hear Dizzy talk or

Art Blakey talk or Sweets Edison or Woody Herman or all the musicians

he would play with, and it was always kinda shocking to me,

the intelligence of the musicians. So what you got for me in terms

of just when you were talking to somebody and you realize just the

depth of their intelligence, Dee Dee? Yeah, yeah. Hey check this out. Oh,

shoot. Hey Wynton, Wynton, while you were talking, I came across a little

thing on my wall. I don't know if you can, I don't know

if you can see it. See that there... I can see it if

you come a little closer. Bring the phone closer... Laptop, whatever it

is. Well,

I've got a laptop. Anyway, I'm gonna tell you what that is 'cause

it's about competitions and... I can't see it. It's a photograph of Béla

Bartók, right? And

the quote that Bartók says on it is, "Competition's up for horses,

not artists."

Oh. Ouch. Yeah. I like that. I like it on a certain level,

but on another level, I kinda... I think as long as you don't

think that it means the end all or be all of stuff,

and to me that means he probably lost a couple of them that made him mad,


I think it's... I don't... I don't know, I beg to differ a

little bit. I beg to differ... You have to have thick skin

in order to be easy with the "they like you, they don't like

you, they're up and down," you gotta be easy. But I do agree

with your philosophy of encouraging, being encouraging. I don't think criticism


other musicians or young artists gets them very much, personally. I think

that... I think criticism... But I agree with that. If it's constructive,

I think that criticism can be helpful.

If you... What I try to do is, if I want to say

something about...

Of course, I do a lot of vocal workshops, so if I wanna

say something to

a young singer who I feel is lacking in some areas,

what I try to do is to try to find some kind of

positive way to get

the area where I think that this particular person needs to improve.

I try to find something that is positive, that can

open them up so that they can be receptive to

a positive criticism.

So I try and do it so that... I'm gonna play devil's advocate, what's a

positive criticism? The takeaway is gonna be positive, no matter what you

say. What's a... Give me an example of a positive criticism.

"Don't come in here playing like that again."

Really, I'mma just... I'll tell you a story. I got a great story, I

got a great story. Freddie Hubbard, you ready? Freddie Hubbard at the in

San Francisco. Oh Freddie. Yeah. Freddie Hubbard, Freddie Hubbard, he's

up on stage playing

with, I don't know, it was a jam, I guess, Freddie's playing and

it was a jam session and a line of

horn players were coming up playing, right? So I guess he was getting a

little bit tired of it, and this one guy came up with his

trumpet, getting ready to play, and Freddie did... I used to love the

way Freddie look at these guys. He'd go...

Right, right. Yes. And

then he goes... And then rips up two of the most unbelievable trumpet choruses

you ever heard in your life. Right. And then turns to the guy.

Yeah, like... And smiles. I love Freddie. It was a withering experience,

it was a withering experience. That... Look, that could've worked back then.

Now that's, that kind of stuff doesn't work. And somebody can come up

and can't play their horn at all and they'll play 50 choruses, but

I think in terms of the positive criticism, a long time ago when I was...

I was in my 20's... Early... I was like 24 or something but

I was teaching a master class of classical music

to a kid who was in high school. So I was kind of

close to him in age, but I had already had a record out.

And he was the best trumpet player there,

and every time he would play something, I would stop him and tell

him something negative. And it was kind of the method more or less

that I had learned, just so he played, I'd tell him negative, played, I'd

tell him negative, played, I'd tell him negative. And I could tell it

was kinda getting to him because he was really respected in his school,

and he was very respectful and nice, so he wasn't the type of

person that you wanted to mess with, and I really wasn't trying to

mess with him. I was just trying to say, "You didn't do this right, you

didn't breathe right, you didn't do this." So after a while,

it just got to be too much for him, and he looked at

me and he said, "Mr. Marsalis, may I respectfully ask that you teach

me from the positive frame of reference?" And I never forget that because

when he told me that, it was a lesson for me.

Wow. So, I told him, I said, "Man, I don't really know how

to teach you from the positive frame of reference," but from this time

I start to try to always, when I teach a lesson or I

talk to somebody, I try to always acknowledge what they can do and

what it is that... Exactly. They are able to do and say, "Use

what you're able to do to educate what you cannot do."

Yes. Because if I don't tell you what you can't do,

I can't teach you a lesson. It can't all be positive reinforcement,

but I always like to start in the positive, and from what he said, the positive

frame of reference. That's a really good philosophy, man. That's very good.

And I think... I agree with that. Another is good, also,

Chick, it's good for people to see, we could have a conversation and we

don't have to agree on everything, and we don't have to demonize each

other. I think in our public life, it's so little, a disagreement has to

always be...

It's always like, if you don't agree with everything somebody says,

you're their enemy, or you hate them. Yeah. We talk about plenty things

we don't agree on. It doesn't mean your opinion or your thoughts or

anything are any less important or valuable than anybody else. Right. You

look at how different in the music world, each one of us creates

our music, just like really completely differently. We have different approaches.

This, electric, acoustic, fast, slow, pop, not pop, far out, far in. Right.

You can't put words to it, but it's the creative thing that you

wanna get out of everybody. Everybody's got a different talent, a different


I agree. Oh, I just thought of something. That's right.

Okay, I just thought of something. Right. It was like 1996,

Chick, I think we were in Oregon.

That particular year we did several festivals that where we were on the

same bill on the same day. That's right, that's right, I remember.

And we were riding to the festival together,

and you said to me... I don't know how we got into this

conversation, but we were talking about jazz clubs. I was living in France

and you said, "Dee Dee, you need to start doing the jazz clubs,"

and I said, "Chick, but I don't do clubs, I only do concert

work. I don't wanna do clubs." And you said to me something that

forever changed the way I thought

and think about doing club work. You said, "Dee Dee, if we don't

go into those jazz clubs and we don't play in those jazz clubs,

those club owners are not gonna be able to make the money that

they need for the lesser known artists to come in and to get

their start." I'm kind of paraphrasing. Do you remember that? I do,

yeah. Yeah, I do remember that. And... But you know what I do...

Huh? I'm sorry. What were you saying? Go ahead. Well, I remember that

Dee Dee, but I remember the one festival we played, and this kinda

ties into Wynton, in a sense, because... Do you remember the drummer that

you had during that time? That's when I met Ali. Ali Jackson?

Yeah. That's right. Oh, my God. Yeah, that's right, that's right. That's

right. Ali played... That's right. That's right, Ali was with me.

Yeah, that's right. That's where I first hooked up with Ali, and

that was Wynton's drummer for many years.

That's right. Okay, I gotta... Let's see now... That's right...

I got another Horace story. Can we do another Horace story? Is this gonna

be the Horace show... Maybe this is the Horace Silver Show. Sometimes those

are... Sometimes those are the best ones. Horace was... He was such a

big, big, big inspiration and influence. Fortunately, I got to meet him

later on. I got two stories. I mean, later on, what happened...

You remember the old Catalinas on the... In LA with the small tiny... Right.

Sure. On Cahuenga? Yeah, I had a gig there one time with my

trio with Avishai Cohen and Jeff Ballard, and we... The trio at that

point was a really tight group, and I had written

a lot of stuff for that trio, and

I swear, man, it was one of the memorable sets of my life

because you know when you got a group and after you play a

lot of gigs

in a row,

the group gets greased up. Yes. And you know, before you're gonna walk

out on stage, what's gonna be delivered. You know that it's gonna...

You have no question that that stuff is gonna smoke. It's just gonna...

Right. It's just... It's there now. So we were at that point at

Catalinas, and

who appears in the audience at one table,

but... Just one table? Herbie Hancock, Greg Phillinganes, Billy Childs,

and Horace Silver.

What? Yeah, and they all came down to check me out and check

my trio out, and

the trio smoked. I know you all did. I know you turned up

the heat. And we blew everybody away, and Horace was so,


encouraging and so validating, but here's my story with Horace. With Horace,

what happened is, since he first started playing with Miles Davis

and then

it was right around that time that he and Art Blakey got together,

and they were really the first Jazz Messengers. Right. Horace Silver wrote

the music to

those recordings, right? So anyway, I followed Horace's music and his albums

all the way through every album. My God, I learned all the songs

on his albums. I was just totally into Horace. So by the time I moved

to New York in '59, by 1964, Horace's band was at the top

of his game around '64.

He had Blue Mitchell, Junior Cook, Roy Brooks, and Gene Taylor.

But what happened is that Horace would take some time off,

and the group, Blue Mitchell and Junior, they wanted to keep working,

so they put a group together with the four of them,

Gene Taylor, Roy Brooks, Blue Mitchell, and Junior Cook, and they needed

a piano player. Uh oh. I don't know how, I still to this

day don't know how I got that gig. I don't know who recommended

me, but I ended up in that piano chair and I

worked with Blue Mitchell's group, I mean, with Horace Silver's group minus

Horace Silver for a couple of years, and can you imagine

the amazing experience that that was for me? Right, right. To follow in

my total hero's footsteps into a band of his musicians, that was like,

you know, Tuck University, wow. We played Minton's. We used to do these

six week stints at Minton's. Wow. We'd do three, four sets a night.

Starting at 10 o'clock at night. Yes. Going to 4:00 or 5:00 in

the morning. Yes. Oh man, that was a great period. That was a

great period. You know, there's something about... Sometimes you have a

band of people hook up and they get together and the impact that it can

have on audiences, you know. And it's... I remember I played with a

septet. And we reached a certain point where we would be playing,

man it would be like, we played on the airplane, the airplane had

to stop. We were going to Buenos Aires and something happened, and the plane

stopped in Europe where we were just stuck on the plane,

everybody pulled their horns out, started playing and people just went...

People on the plane just went crazy. We played outside in Ukraine or somewhere

in Eastern Europe. It was late at night, the restaurants was closed and

we said, "Man, maybe if we pull our horns out we'll get the guy to

open the restaurant up." We started playing, he opened the restaurant up

and cooked food for us. That's Jazz. And it is just like you were saying,

sometimes when you get a group, you get a certain kind of... Just

a relationship, a thing that happens and it's just... Like that band had

Reginald Veal and Herlin Riley and Wess Anderson. You know, just the vibe

of people playing. And cats would come check it out. I remember Milt Jackson

came down to check us out one night. Milt! And you know we'd

always be excited whenever people come. Dizzy would come to a gig.

I can just remember gigs that great musicians showed up to your gigs, Sweets

Edison or anybody

that you respected, when they showed up to

a gig... To go back down to... Man, didn't that make you feel proud?

So what Dee Dee was saying, yeah, you know all the musicians,

I had... Chick... One thing, I'm gonna just tell this story about when

the musicians older than you give you that kind of love.

When I was 18, George Wein had booked me on a gig to

play with Mel Tormé, and you know I'd just come to New York,

I was just turned 18, and I couldn't really play on chord changes. I

was kind of pentatonic, and the contractor had told Mel Tormé, "Man, I

don't know how this kid got on the gig 'cause he can't play,"

because the contractor knew me from playing some classical music. And Mel...

The first song we play was called 'One Morning in May', and it

was in the key of D, trumpet E. Of course, I didn't know

to play an E at all, but I just played something chromatic or

something. Mel stopped

the whole orchestra and everybody and said, "Man, this kid can play."

So, you know, for all those years after that when I saw Mel Tormé, he would

always look at me and say, "One Morning

in May." Yeah nice. And Gerry Mulligan around that same time,

I met him in Seattle, and he and I, when he met me,

he said, "Man, you're the kid from New Orleans." I said,

"Yeah." And he said, "Man, you know how to play that counterpoint?"

And I was thinking, wow, it was like, it was like a kid.

I said, "Yeah, let's see." We played contrapuntal pieces and I had to

think of all the years that passed, I would see Gerry all the

time, all of the different conversations we had, how serious they would

be, and they all go back to those early years. So,

I think when I see Dee Dee, you and Chick talk,

and y'all go back to, you know, 1971, this time that I met

you. It's hard kinda for people, if you don't have all those years

under your belt, you don't realize the type of impact that these long

term relationships have as they play out across time. That's right. This

is true.

Yeah, it's a beautiful thing. That a good point. That's a good point,

Wynton, it's true. Beautiful thing. We have the, you know, the musicians,

the musicians I find...

I've got this pride of being a musician, and because musicians like... And

artists, that spend their lives at it like Dee Dee and Wynton, you

guys and our friends that who we know who spend their life at

it, I think we all have an unspoken tacit agreement about

what we're doing, we don't put it in words.

We all agree on that, and I see it as a kind of

mission and I talk to the young people like that

young musicians

who are

really interested to do something, but they're scared to commit themselves

to a lifetime or really get deep about it, and I try to

explain to them the fulfillment of being a part of

this tacit agreement of making people feel good and inspiring them like

that and inspiring each other. It's really a great gig we've got.

It's a great gig. Right. I wanna pick up on what you said and ask Dee Dee

something because... What? I've seen her... I mean, you have such a tremendous

range in your singing and also you're bilingual, maybe trilingual, I don't

know how many languages you speak, but I know you speak French and you sing

in French... I can sing in more languages than I can speak.

You know,

but one thing I noticed about your singing is you're able to

affect many different characters. So I was thinking about what Chick said

that we know what feeling we want to create.

So I just want to ask you,

do you try to create a different feeling when you're in another language,

or is the feeling the same, but just the language is different?

Oh, I try and create a different feeling with every song that I

do, and

when I sing, I'm of course most comfortable when I sing in French

because I spent so many years there, and that really is my second

language, so I'm fairly comfortable when I sing in French. But I have

to say I've been doing some French songs

recently with my trio, and it was very interesting when we would switch

from the songs in English to the songs in French.

I would take on

this kind of French

attitude, which is kind of hard to say... I mean, for people to

understand if you haven't lived in France, but... I mean there was...

And the way that you pronounce the words. And so

it brings up other kinds of emotions because

you have to treat the language so much

more different than you would if you were speaking in English.

So, I would say,

when you sing in another language, when I sing in French or when I sing

in Spanish or when I sing in Italian, what I have noticed that

I do most is, is I take on

the ambiance of people that I have seen sing in those languages.

If that makes any sense to you. Yeah, that makes sense.

And then I try

and paint a picture for the listening audience who may not know

the language. And so they're going to only be reacting from a visceral point

or an emotional

point. I just try and create

a kind of scenario, or I try and do gestures with words that

suggest what the word is that I'm saying, so that these people in

the end, when the song is finished,

even if they don't know it, they've had an emotional reaction to it

because of the way that I presented it. So

that's what I do, but for me,

I was thinking, and I was talking with this about

the young musicians that I'm working with in my trio,

I think of it as... You know, for me, I'm a musician.

I use words

but I also have to know the music, I have to know the

melody, I have to know... I have to have an understanding of all

the chord changes and stuff so that I can waltz around in that

world. But I was saying to these young people, I said,

"You know what? When we're performing this music, you don't know what I'm

saying. So I want you to just watch me, watch my body.

My body's gonna tell the story." Mm hmm. So that, you know, you'll

be able to apply

the kinds of hits that you need to at a certain moment just

because of that. Don't worry about the fact that you can't understand what

I'm saying. That's not important. When you go

to the opera,

you hear an opera in Italian. You don't know what they're saying.

You know... That's why I don't go to opera. Or you hear a

French opera. You don't know what they're saying or you hear a German opera.

You don't know what they're saying. I love you. Why did you break my heart?

Where did he go? Exactly. Do you know what I'm saying? What do

we react to? The emotion that is being projected by

the people that are spewing out these words in

the... Right. And the situations that they're in. So

yeah... I've never gotten comfortable with people watching while I'm playing.

Really? What did you say, Chick? You're not comfortable... I mean,

I've never thought about body language or anything, and

when I see myself on a video, you know, I go oh yeah, maybe

I ought to do something with that.

Well, wait. So you talk about that, and that brings me to your

Spanish hearts.

Remember what I told you after I saw you at North Sea? I

was so freaked out. I just loved it so much.

Do you remember what I said, Chick? Do you remember what I said?

No, you don't remember what I said. Don't put him on the spot. That's okay,

I'll just tell you again. No, I was so moved by

the band and by the performance and also by the way that you

had everybody set up on the stage, so it was this

enormous cluster, but it was, it was visually

so sumptuous.

Oh, wow. And

I just remember, I was so swept away

by the visual aspect, because the music was already insane for me,

and then to see the way that you had clustered everybody together and

it was this like... Have you seen this, Wynton? Have you seen him do

it? Oh yeah, I've seen him. The Spanish hearts? Got the great Mikey Rodriguez,


Ooooh! I've got the same kind of love for pulling a group together

that Wynton does. Yeah. When I first came and worked with Wynton,

with the band, the thing that... One of the things that struck me

was the way Wynton had his musicians kinda

organized into a group that really was... It was a group,

but everybody was an individual. Yes. And encouraged everybody to really

be themselves and somehow pull it together with the repertoire. Yes. So

forth, you know. But I love that, Dee Dee. Thank you for that

compliment. That means as much to me as what Tommy Flanagan said.


here's the thing, because... Here's something that I have always felt, guys,

if you will allow me. Something that I have always felt has been

kind of detrimental to our music is the visual component.

And there are not enough musicians out there playing that add a visual

component to the performance when we're doing concerts or even in a club

setting, that it draws the audience in, and...

Well, give me some advice. Oh no, I...

What do I do with this hair? What do I wear?

I'm not talking about that, Chick. You're so silly. He's so silly. I'm talking

about... Sometimes... Tell him, Wynton. Yes. She tells, sometimes, people

on a band stand, if they're not playing, they look like they wanna

be somewhere else.

It is a loss of integrity... Amen. To really listen for the intensity and

give yourself over to the music as if... Yes. All we got going

for us is music and we don't have light shows, we don't have...

We don't have different degrees of nudity we can get into.

Well, you got it better though. You got to choose. You got... We

gotta be played, we gotta... Also we can't have half our group that's not

soloing acting like they rather be at home.

Thank you. And it's such a blessing to play. And if you listen to musicians,

they're so great. If you really listen to what somebody else is playing

and follow them on a gig, you've had such a better time listening

to the other musicians play. That's right. It's so much more fun than

just sitting up there waiting for yourself to play. That's right.

Yes. You go home with a hollow feeling when you've done that,

but when you listen to other people... Because people are coming up with

so many unbelievable things. Right. That's right. Right. And what Chick

is saying... Yeah, I've been blessed, my musicians, I love them with such

an intensity because of the enjoyment I've had playing with them. Yeah,

sure. And it's not even... It's not like a kinda... Music is such

a spiritual thing, but what you were saying, and everything we've said tonight.

Chick what you were saying about the musicians and your relationship with

Horace and how you can remember with Herbie and them came to the

gig and sat down and everything is so personal. And Dee Dee talking about

the musicians and how it was like a family. But if you think

about it, it's really still like that. We just gotta figure out...

How I think this space that we have has allowed us the opportunity

to really think about what we have. Because I know when I got

with Chick and he came with the band, he wanted to roll with

them without me and they loved him. They were calling me every night

talking about all what he played, what he was teaching people about playing

in the rhythm, and what they learned from checking him out.

And I know with you, when Ali was with you or you playing with

Irvin Mayfield and all the musicians you play with, they love you and

they talk about you in a very familiar way, how they gonna... What

you're gonna do for them and all the stuff you did for New Orleans, you

did to keep everything going down there. So I think it's still there, we

just gotta figure out how to let more people know that's actually how

we are.

Yeah, I'm with you, man. I am in agreement, I'm in agreement.

Nice. Chick writes me some of the most beautiful notes, and I wanna

say it while I have him here, and Gayle, too. If something happens, it

doesn't have to be something major like the death of my father, it could

just be he heard a record or he did this or he did...

In the midst of all that he has to do, in the midst

of all of what Gayle is doing, she will write me a note,

and she use a lot of icons in her notes, so it's always,

you always happy when you read them. But it'll be... It's so thoughtful,

and this is the thing that... Yes.

I was told a long time ago by Pearl Bailey, when she was

with Louie Bellson, we played at a jazz festival together, and she came

backstage. I was on the same building... Well, kind of a Cool Jazz

Festival, and she brought me a gift, and she said, "I brought you

this gift because I wanted you to know that this is how we

used to treat each other," and then I was maybe 25 or 26,

so I don't buy people gifts, but I still think about it.

That's beautiful, man. That's really beautiful. Nice hanging with you, too.

Isn't it

a lot of fun? Yeah, man. So we gonna open it up for

some questions.

Okay. people, just be 10 or 15 minutes of some questions,

I don't know, Adam is gonna tell me what's happening. Okay,

this is good. That sounds about right. What you saying, Adam? Yeah,

10 or 15 minutes is I think right on schedule, so we've got

a number of people with their hands raised. To those of you who

do have a question to ask, we'll try and get to as many

as we can. We might not have enough time for everybody,

but we'll get going on it right now. So the first question coming

in is from Robbie Wheeler. Robbie, go ahead. Hi Wynton, it's Robbie Wheeler,

I'm from Milwaukee.

I recently met you at the last concert here in December,

after... My son couldn't come with me. You actually signed his ticket saying,

"Andrew, do your homework, man."

And I've just... I've had so many opportunities over the years to watch

you perform, meet you at the concerts, and I just want to say,

first of all that all of that time has been so appreciated to

me. The first time was in 1998, I was a grad student at

the time, and over the years you've given my boys countless memories as

we look at these pictures with you guys, and

so I just appreciate that time, and just want you to know that

I've talked to them about just how humble you are in your character over

the years, and I think that you've shown your father through that in

our countless meetings, so I just wanna tell you how much I appreciate

that time that you've taken for my boys and myself after all that you do.

And I think everybody would agree that you are a

representative of your father in how you handle yourself both on stage and

off stage.

My question for you is, you've talked so much about all of these

things that you've done over the years, these great memories, and I'm kinda

wondering how you feel you're currently growing as a musician.

It's easy to look from the outside and say, "You're Wynton Marsalis, man.

You know what there is to know about the industry, about playing jazz,

but any educated person also knows that the more you know,

the less you know. And I'm kinda wondering, what do you feel is

sorta the next step for you? Are there things that you're hoping to

embark on to help you grow as a musician?

Sure, well, first thank you for your comments, but it's just

to become better. If you think, Dee Dee, I was saying... I was

listening to her and I was checking out just the type of way she

inhabits songs. Okay, I'm trying to... I was thinking, if I could play

my horn and inhabit these songs like that and play with that type

of... And one minute it's very effusive and in the next second it's

very intimate. Or just with Chick being on the phone, Chick and I

had a conversation, maybe, I don't know, three or four months ago about

writing classical pieces and working together on a piece, and when I see

him, he's talking about coming to New York in 1959

and he's still practicing and playing and thinking about music and writing,

excited about stuff. I saw Chick, and this is what I think about...

So you asked me the question about, "How do I want to grow as a

musician?" We played a gig in France, and we played after Chick played.

Now that gig started at 10 o'clock, so

he's already on European time, which is 5, 6 hours after American time,

so it's basically two or three in the morning where he's coming from.

He has an hour ride on a bus back to his hotel.

He stayed around after his gig and heard our band where I had

some of my young students from Juilliard who really could play.

He stayed around after the gig and then commented on the songs and said,

"Man, that one second movement where you all played Something About Belief."

He remembered the name of the song, and this was just last summer,

and I just looked at him and said, "Damn.

I hope I can maintain that type of integrity about music.

So he played a gig already, and then it's like 1:00 or 2:00 in

the morning in France. And I just thought, I mean, I'm humbled by

the fact that he'll get on the phone with us

tonight and have that type of enthusiasm, and it's the same way that

he approaches it, and it's the same way Dee Dee approaches songs and

dealing with the music, that type of youthfulness and liveliness. So that's

what I'm working on, and I'll throw it over to Chick because I'm

talking about him, but tell them how true that story is,

Chick. Yeah, that was sweet. But do you remember, wasn't that the night

I sat in with the group? That's right, you sat in at the end. I

played with that amazing young piano player, man, he showed me...

Isaiah. Yeah, Isaiah, he showed me the changes as we were doing it.

Oh, how fabulous. That's right. But he waited till the end of the

gig and came out and played. I forgot that you actually went out to

the end. But that makes sense. It has to be at the end,

Wynton. He couldn't come in 'cause it would be, it would disrupt.

Yeah, we'd have to get off the stage. But, but...

I didn't just walk on, I mean, I was invited.

No, I want you to... Of course. Of course. But, but for the... She

didn't walk on uninvited. She walked on after she was told,

"Don't walk on." Yeah. Then there's that. But then that was when I

was very young, so I would never do that now. And

it's really important to the young man that had asked you the question,


I think for artists, for those of us who are really true to

our music and our art, the thing that is most important for us

is to keep pushing the envelope and to keep pushing ourselves to do

something new, to keep challenging ourselves so that we are always renewing

the energy and renewing the love and renewing all of the wonderfulness that

goes into being an artist.

I feel that if the day that I stop trying to be creative

is the day that I can check out.

I wanna push


so many musicians that push. Look at,

oh lord, I just lost the name. But there are so many musicians.

Look at Ray Brown who played up until he went to play a

game of golf and he had had a knee surgery and we had

all said, "Ray, don't go up, don't go out bro." Roy Haynes is 95. Look

at Roy Haynes

and still out there. And don't tell him not to go.

Right, right. You know what I mean? And Roy has dementia. Right. And

I've been to a couple of his shows where there have been young

people in the audience who don't know that he has dementia. And so

he'll repeat himself, say the same thing after each song. And then there

are these young people, "Why does he keep repeating?" You know?

But the beauty is that as soon as he sits down behind that drum... That's

right. He doesn't forget anything. But you know, another thing is to realize,

for me, I love my young people. I love Isaiah Thompson. He can

play, he's serious. When I see him, I hug him and I tell

him, "Look man, people are comfortable when you're mean or you're negative

toward them. But I wanna hug you, because I want you to know

the depth of the love." So, when Chick came out on the stage,

the type of graciousness that he had and the love that he showed. Now, we're

talking seven, eight months later and he remembers that. He said,

"Yeah, beautiful young piano player that was up there and the way he

played." And that's how we keep the feeling of the music going.

Yeah. Yes. And that's what my man with his sons, yeah, when I

see people come with their sons or their fathers, their mothers.

Yes. I always say, "Hey, that's your momma, she's out here, it's 11

o'clock at night." And I always try to... 'Cause that's a special thing,

you know. It is. And my mother died of dementia. So I just

think of people's parents taking them to stuff and the type of love

there for their kids and the blessing we have to be able to

interface with people and their children and to give them some love,

and a good feeling. They go home, feeling right. Like, "Yeah,

we didn't like the music, but the guy was nice." So you know that's important.

Mm hmm. Exact... Yes, then there's that. Oh, we love the music,

we love the music.

I'm just playing, man. I'm messing with you.

But I know you, I love you. I thank you for coming all.

Thank you Wynton. Yeah, you right. Alright, thanks Robbie. Alright, next

question is from Sara Frischer. Hi. Sara, go ahead. Hi Wynton. Hello Dee

Dee. I've been spending a lot of time with Chick, Wynton you know... Oh,

I recognize you.

You've been coming on the live stream. I can't miss one evening.


I'm not so sure I have a question in as much as I

was so happy to be in everybody's good company.

The word I had written down was integrity, which every one of you

have Dee Dee, Chick and Wynton. And the fact that, the way you

nurture each other, is that each musician, should do his best

so that the whole

is the best that it could be. Yes.

In my life, I've had that pinned up on my walls,

I've just escaped the regular double screen

to go back to painting, which I always did, and with Chick's inspiration,

I have actually been painting, because he says, "Do it."

That's wonderful. Thank you. Talk about your live stream, Chick.

Well, I did it as,

I didn't know much about this fellow here. You know, and then someone...

'Cause I wasn't liking the sound on my old iPhone, so someone said,

"You ought to get a new iPhone." I'm not trying to promote iPhones,

by the way, but I got a new one, and the sound was

so good, I thought,

"Gee, I'd like to try and... " Someone was talking about Facebook,

I never got on Facebook ever. Not my thing.

But then someone showed me how to do it. I thought that'd be

an interesting experiment, so I just put the phone up like that,

and she showed me how to go on live, and I just practiced.

I said, "Well, if everyone's there, I'm just gonna practice and you know...

And I'd... No. I'd try a tune and I was on for an

hour, and then I turned... Then when I learned how to look at

it, I saw a lot of people would tune in. He loves it. But

they were saying how nice it felt during this time to have some

music, so I just kept doing it. So today I finished Day 25.

And I'm having a ball because when we were young,

if money is your basic motivation, you don't get too far.

We didn't start out trying to make money. We started out,

we started out because it was fun and it was engaging and it

was something you really wanted to do, and you gave... And then getting

older, it turns out that you see that other people

gain something positive by it, when you get old enough to appreciate that,

which is, I don't know, it took me a while to appreciate that.

First it was all about me, and then I started to see that

other people enjoy it, it makes you wanna do it more and having

fun, so that's why I've been practicing on Facebook for 25 days.

That's very cool Chick, that's

very cool. Thank you Sara, thank you. Thank you. Thanks, Sarah.

Alright, let's take another question. We've got one from Jeffrey Ocampo.

Jeffery go ahead. Hi, how you guys doing? I'm from Fort Lauderdale.

My question to you guys is, how do you guys, throughout the years

that you guys have been playing professionally, how do you guys balance

out your musical career with your life, as in like, starting a family

or just having a social life in general?


You just do it. You do it. You just do it.

You don't... It's not something that I think that you can spend time

thinking about.

You're concerned about

making money when you start out, and so you're just trying to get

gigs. You know that when you do those gigs, you gotta...

Well, in my case, I had to get a babysitter, I didn't have

the money, I would take my first daughter with me to the gigs. I

would ask the coat check lady, back then we had coat checks,

I would ask her if she would watch the baby while I would

sing, and I would give her my bassinet, and she would keep it

in the coat check room, and I'd sing my songs, and then I'd run and get

my baby in and I'd go back into the kitchen.

And I say that to say that I think

when you wanna do something bad enough,

you figure out how to make it happen,

but you have to want to do it.

So, I knew that I wanted to be a singer, I knew that

I also wanted to be a mother, I figured it out.

I made it work for me. Now, what I figured out may not

work for another person, another woman, another man, that wants to have

children and have a career, but I think that it's something that can

apply to anything in life that you wanna do. When you decide that

you want to do that thing, you will work everything out.

You will work everything out, and then you've gotta remember that you are

not alone, and that there are people around you that love you and

that will help you if they see that you are serious about that

thing that you want to do. Talk about it.

So whatever it is that you wanna do in life,

you can do it. Once you decide up here, in your head,

that this is the thing that you wanna do, you can do it.

Then you just set about doing it and it just works itself out.

Now, that's not to say that there may be some issues

that result from it.

My children suffered a little bit, but here they are now,

all my kids are adults, and they've landed on their two feet.


it's all about your choices, I think,


doing things that you really truly believe in. If you're passionate,

there has to be some passion in it. If you're passionate about the

thing that you wanna do, then I think that you can figure out

a way to balance

your personal life and your professional life, but I will say this,

it ain't easy.

Right. It ain't easy, but you can do it. I got one comment

to add, that all that Dee Dee says is true for me too,

but I got a very simple comment to add that, if you lose

your dream, you lose your future and you lose your life.

All you've got is your dream.

So, if you compromise with your dream, you ain't got much left.

There we go.

There we go. You just gotta be able to envision other people as

a part of it if you have a family. Yep. And it's not

that you do is not gonna be sacrifice, it doesn't matter what,

that sacrifice is always a part of it, for them and for you.

That's just a part of it. You can just look at your... Our parents,

look at

other adults, when you were growing up and how those people were able

to manage their lives,

so it's no different. Perhaps it might be a little bit more complicated

today because we are just pulled in so many different ways.

But as Chick said, if you don't dream,

if you don't have the dream, what is the life?

I always say to kids, dream and dream big.

The bigger your dreams, the better it's gonna be when you realize them,

envision. And then when you

realize those dreams, dream some more. Don't you think also that the...

The actual doing, the actual doing of it is the pay?

Yes. It's not

the end of the gig or the applause or the money,

it's like the doing of it. You know, when I'm writing music,

and I've got my pencil and I've got my score paper,

and I've got my piano, and I'm touching these things and I'm moving

this pencil around, and I'm pressing the keys, that's the shit.

Yeah. Oh, I'm sorry. That's okay. We've heard that word. Yeah. We gotta

put a beat on it and make it into a song.

That's right. Yeah, it's the doing of it, and

you gotta have... If it ain't fun, it ain't worth doing.

Right, because with any dream or something, you don't know that you're gonna

attain that. And then when you have a collective dream, you also don't

know about that. Mm hmm. That you could achieve something personally but

you might have a dream for you and a lot of other people,

you might have a dream for your neighborhood or your country or your

family. Mm hmm. Or the world. And it's just like Martin Luther King

said, he had a dream, we so far away from realizing that, but what... Should

he have not had the dream? Somebody like me is a result of

part of his dream. Mm hmm. And many of us, many of us.

Mm hmm. Some of us suffered because of it. Some of us had

great advantages, some of us... You know... Well, there are many dreams

going on on Earth all the time. And you know, we gotta go

down that road, you gotta go... Just like that old song,

you gotta walk that lonesome valley. Yeah. You could get other people to

dream with you, they're not always in your family.

That's right. You know, your family comes in lot of forms.

Yeah, no, the reason I ask is, just that's my biggest concern.

I'm only 16, but like I said, once I go into this professional

journey or hopefully one day,

that's probably one of my biggest concern is just, 'cause I see,

like I see you, Mr. Marsalis, usually when I see you,

you're usually always on the road, so I always wonder how do you

maintain a family while you're always on the road. Don't worry about it.

You can't be... Well, you're 16. Yeah, so

you should not even be... No, no, plenty of time. I know,

I know, I know. Don't use me as an example.

I'm gonna give you some good advice. Do not use me as an

example. But you know when I was young, I'd always have,

my older kids always would be on the road with me, man,

and you know.


they're 32 and 30. I mean, they are grown. And it's like what

Dee Dee said, you gotta bring people with you.

When I grew up, my father was at home, he always wanted to

be out on the road. He sacrificed a lot for us,

he just was there and it was a lot of us,

and I wish to make a point, our family life was not like

Ozzie and Harriet.

It had all the kind of challenges and dysfunctions the people at that

time had ever had. And with my family life and everything,

I have all the challenges and dysfunctions that people in my type of

situation have, but that is what the definition of life is.

There's no foolproof plan. Only thing I can tell you is,

try to avoid doing things that you know are stupid.

When you know something is stupid, don't do it. Don't tell yourself, "This

is stupid, but I'm gonna do it anyway." Please don't do it. When

you know it's stupid, don't do it because then you gotta tell yourself,

"Man, I knew this was stupid, I did it.

'Cause the most harm is gonna come through things you do yourself.

That's the one piece of advice I'm gonna give you. Don't do things

you know are stupid. Settle to things that you think are stupid, not

that you know.

And a family is the most beautiful thing you can... I'm also gonna say family

is the most beautiful thing you can have. That's the most beautiful thing

you have. Have you had enough advice? Have you had enough advice now?

Of course, yes sir. But it's never enough. Thank you so much.

Thank you, kid. Appreciate you guys. Thanks, Jeffrey.

That's right, thank you, man. Practice that horn, too.

Alright guys, we've got time for just one more. Wanna remind everybody quickly,

we've got a pretty good line up that's continuing of

question answer sessions with Wynton and master classes conversations with

members of The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.

That's gonna continue to go on in the coming days and weeks.

Our last question will be coming from a friend of Jazz at Lincoln Center,

she's a great musician and a vocalist. Alexis Morrast, you there?

Yes, I'm here. Can you hear me? Yes, we can. Hello. Girl, you

should be in bed. What time is it? It's past your bed time. Hi, Alexis.

Hi. Alexis. Alexis. Alexis. I love you, Alexis. I love you,

too. This girl should be sleeping. Oh my lord, oh people, people,

people, you need to check Alexis out, oh my lord. What a blessed

child. Okay. Go ahead. Thank you.

She is. She's blessed. Where is your mom and dad. Do they know

you are up? Yes.

My dad is listening in with me, and my mom is a...

She's around the house doing something. Give my love. I most definitely

will. I just wanna thank you guys for doing this, this is such

a wonderful thing that you're doing for everybody, especially with everyone

going through the hard times that we're in right now, this is just

a way to brighten everybody's spirit. But I had some questions for Ms Bridgewater

about repertoire building, first, and then building a brand.

With me being a young musician, and already having some experience under

my belt, but with still a whole lot left to learn,

I find it challenging sometimes just to stay

caught up with all of the music. There's so much to listen to

and so many options to choose from,

but I just wanted to know how you continuously build your repertoire.

And then when it comes to making sure that,

you know, you have something that makes you who you are.

The first time I met you,

I was taken back. You're such a beautiful woman. You came in with

the funky glasses, and the boots, and the hat. I was taken back,

that made you who you are. And I think I'm, in all of

this, I'm trying to build my musicianship but also find my voice in everything

else that's going on. Well, okay. Alexis, in terms of building your musicianship

and building your repertoire, it's very simple. You just have to do material

that speaks to you, that speaks to your spirit, because that is the

material that you are going to be able to really breathe life into.

So, I just try and find songs that tell stories that touch me,

that move me, and that I feel will move other people,

because if I'm moved and I believe in something, then it's going to

be much easier for me to convince people who have come to share

an evening with me that that thing is real. You know, so

a lyric is really important. I don't know how that is for you.

Do you... Do you

choose songs because of the story that the songs are telling?

I think it would be 50:50. I choose it because it has a

significant meaning to me when it comes to lyrics, but then if the

music is great, I also choose because of that. I'm moved by a lot of

things when it comes to music. I am a vocalist, but because I've

grown up with my dad, who's a piano player and an organist,

and I've been around drummers. And you can play. You can play, too. Right,

I listen for authentic... Skip over. You can play. Yes. I listen to authentic...

So Alexis, When I was starting out, I was like that too.

So I would pick songs because I dug the melody,

maybe the story was trite, but because I was just trying to build

my chops, you know when I was, because for me when I was

growing up I was trying to do the scatting. Scatting isn't as important

as it used to be to be a jazz singer. But

it's okay to pick a tune because you like the melody.

Right. You know, and not so much because of the story.

So, but as long as the song has some kind of meaning to

you, then that's going to come across when you do that song,

okay? Okay. And then in terms of your brand, baby, you're young,

please. You are young, so your brand, your look, all of that is

going to be in constant flux until you get to a point where

you can settle and be really comfortable about

the who that you have created and the look that you have created.

And then it will just be second nature to you.

So, you're young, so you're learning. So, what I would say to you

is just be the you that you are today.

Thank you.

Be the you that you are today, because tomorrow you're gonna wake up

and you might feel another kinda way. Right. So,

then what people are going to perceive is all these different facets of

you, and then eventually it's gonna all come together and it's going to


your brand, your image.

But just keep being the you that you are and doing the things

that you like and dressing how you like and how you feel comfortable.

Just keep doing that. Honey, you're too young to, for it

to be completely solidified. I'm 70 the end of May.

And I've been doing this for 50 years,

I been doing this.

So, the Dee Dee Bridgewater that I am today, that I am in

this particular moment, with all of you tonight,

is the culmination of my 70 years on this earth,

and my 50 years as an entertainer, and making mistakes, some picking myself

up and doing it again, you know. And you're talking about

bad reviews, bad critiques. People used to critique me because

they would put me down because I moved on the stage.

How dare a singer move? They put me down because I was changing

up my repertoire. Who did I think I was, they would say.

A musician? Right. Because a singer is supposed to, for some reason,

as the singer, we're supposed to stay in one lane. I refused.

So, now as a result of that, and

for me, weathering all of the bad criticism, not listening to it,

just keeping on my path, on my truth.

I have arrived at a place today where

all of those years and all those experiences have created this individual

that is sitting here with you tonight. And the other thing that I

would say is, Alexis, continue to walk without fear. Okay. Thank you. And

if you have fear, you have got to push through that fear.

Thank you. You've got to bath in that water,

it maybe cold and it may be deep,

and you may struggle, but you will come out in the end.

So, you've just got to do those things that you feel,

operate on those feelings when you feel them. Dress how you wanna dress,

that makes you feel comfortable.

Be you, there's only one you. There's nobody else like you.

Mm hmm. In the whole wide world, girl.

And that's it, period. Well, thank you. Alright. Thank you so much.

It's lovely to see you again. Because listen to me, baby. Here,

listen to me,

you are, you... You have a sense of the music and you have

a sense of stage and you have a sense of yourself that is

uncanny for someone as young as you are. So you are already on... That's

true. Isn't it? You ain't lying. Oh, you ain't lying about that.

So, you are already on the right path. Thank you. So just keep

going there, baby, and don't be afraid. Thank you. Yeah. Okay?

Yes. And the last thing is, don't be afraid to fall.

You can pick yourself back up. Okay. That's right. Alright? Yes. Sorry.

Thank you. You're welcome. Thank you

so much.

You're so fabulous! Thank you, so are you. Thank you, Mr. Marsalis. And

I've never had the opportunity of meeting you Mr. Corea, but I have

seen you play live once at a... What was it? BB Kings with

Lalah Hathaway. And I must say, you are incredible, sir. Incredible.

Thank you so much, and... And my dad,

my dad loves you. My dad is like a cheerleader. He can play. I

look forward to hearing you. Absolutely. Oh, Chick, you'll love her. You'll

love her. Nice to meet you. You go... Yeah, she can sing,

Chick. Yeah. Don't forget about that... Really. She can sang. She can't

sing, she can sang. Don't forget about that intellectual development. Don't

forget about those books, that intellectual development. Listen, I still

gotta get with you so we can study. Well, let's go,

because you know... Listen, all we got is time now. We locked in the house.

Hey, I'm coming... But I can't come by the house now.

We've been quarantined, but I'm coming over there and get my Sunday dinner.

We're ready, we're ready, we're ready. Yeah, we're gonna see about them

Black Eyed Peas and the red beans and all of that.

Woo hoo! Yes! We're ready. We are ready. Y'all get ready.

We're gonna see. Alright, thank you guys so much. I really appreciate all

the advice. Thank you. Aw, you are so welcome, Alexis. Yeah. Thank you.

That's beautiful. Oh, my goodness. Thank you, Alexis. Yeah, you gonna love

her, Chick. Oh really, Chick. Oh, my goodness. Oh, my goodness.

Amazing. Alright guys. I think that's about all the time we have for

tonight. I want to say thanks again to everybody for joining us.

To our supporters and donors, we can't thank you enough.

I'd also like to mention that Jazz at Lincoln Center's Gala,

a worldwide concert for our culture, is premiering this Wednesday, April

15th at 7:30 PM. We'll be having guest performances from some of the

world's greatest musicians representing 11 different countries around the

globe, in addition to a few performances from the Jazz at Lincoln Center

Orchestra. You can go to for all the info. I'll put that

in the chat right now as well., and we hope you'll tune

in on Wednesday. So thanks again to Chick Corea, Dee Dee Bridgewater,

Wynton Marsalis and all of you for joining us.

Stay safe and we'll see you next time. Thanks guys. Hey, Wynton, thanks

for... Thank you. Inviting me. Yeah, man. I'm gonna write you.

Thank you, Dee Dee. Thank y'all. Thank you, Wynton. Thank you so much. Much

love. Thank you, Chick. Much love. Love and respect. Alright now.

Lookout Adam, we got work to do tonight. Yep, you got it.

Thank you, Adam. Thanks guys. It was a pleasure. Okay. Goodnight everyone,

and stay safe. Goodnight.

The Description of Skain’s Domain: An Intimate Weekly Conversation with Wynton Marsalis - Episode 4