The lights dimmed in Lee Hall Auditorium and the audience began to applaud as world-renowned trumpet player Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra took the stage.
However, it was not until his fingers started pounding the keys that viewers begin to realize just how special this event truly is.
This performance marks the first time that “the King of Jazz” and his band have played on Florida A&M’s campus.
The world renowned trumpet player amazed the audience of over 500 with his musical dexterity and ability to combine what he referred to as “the Old and New Testament” of music.
Cynthia Hughes-Harris, Provost for academic affairs and chair of the 2009-2010 Lyceum series is ecstatic about the event.
“The goal of the newly revived Lyceum series involves enriching the university community through the arts,” said Hughes-Harris. “Lincoln Center is the hub of jazz activity.”
Lindsey Sarjeant, event coordinator, was also impressed by the presence of such a legendary artist.
“The most exciting part is that Wynton has assembled the best musicians from around the world,” Sarjeant said.
His work has been called brilliant and he has been compared to the likes of jazz great Dizzy Gillespie and Sarah Vaughn by Rolling Stone magazine.
Marsallis is also known as one of jazz most proficient artists. He has produced more than 60 records and sold millions of albums throughout his career.
“We are bringing tour community culture and art that is not normally a part of our everyday life.”
Marsalis gained his reputation as the “king of jazz” as the only Grammy award winner that has won awards in jazz and classical music.
His performance on campus continued to impress the audience members throughout the night.
What sets this performance apart from many of the industry’s greats is Marsalis’ seeming ability to combine the most technically sound artists from around the world to produce one harmonious sound.