Topic 10 - Jazz Today In the 1970s traditional acoustic jazz popularity began to fall as the popularity of rock and funk music grew Many traditional

Topic 10 - Jazz Today In the 1970s traditional acoustic...

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Jazz Today In the 1970s traditional acoustic jazz popularity began to fall, as the popularity of rock and funk music grew. Many traditional jazz artists had a difficult time keeping their careers alive, unless they were able to work in the fusion style. Many traditional jazz musicians found work touring and recording with Motown groups and other popular music acts of the day, or in television and film music. Some moved to Europe to preserve a jazz performance career, as traditional jazz was still popular and the artists appreciated there more than in the US. Some traditional jazz groups made a living touring and performing on college campuses, finding an enthusiastic audience in young college and high school musicians. Many of these groups were big bands, such as the Buddy Rich Band, the Woody Herman Band, the Maynard Ferguson Band, and the Stan Kenton Band, all popular names from the 50s big band scene that led groups of young musicians touring the country by bus, playing one nights for the most part. Other names from earlier jazz eras were also playing traditional jazz around the country. Sonny Rollins could be heard on occasion (he is still playing concerts to this day), Horace Silver had a group of young musicians and Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers maintained a constant touring and recording schedule. Many of the next generation of jazz artists came through these groups, especially Art Blakey’ group, a tradition dating back to the beginning of the Messengers. In the early 80s Blakey’s Jazz Messengers featured a young trumpet player named Wynton Marsalis, and excellent trumpeter who had jazz and classical background, a fact that was important to the publicity and notoriety he would attain. Wynton, and saxophonist Branford Marsalis are sons of pianist Ellis Marsalis, a well-known jazz artist, and a mainstay in the New Orleans jazz scene. Growing up in a household full of music, where many of the jazz greats visited when playing in New Orleans, they learned the traditions of jazz music first hand, and dedicated themselves to the music. Wynton had gained notoriety for himself as a very talented young classical trumpeter, playing solos with well-known orchestras and chamber groups. He was also well-known as a jazz trumpeter. By performing as a classical trumpet soloist and a jazz artist on the highest levels, he was able to bring those two audiences together, gaining publicity for the lost art form of jazz music in the mainstream press. Wynton was very vocal about maintaining the great traditions established by the jazz greats of the past, and became a visible spokesman for the music. Today Wynton and Branford Marsalis have established themselves as leaders in the music business and are two of the great jazz artists of their generation. Wynton has been able to make his mark as a spokesman and advocate of jazz music, the great American art form, while maintaining his musical abilities at the highest level. He is the Musical Director of the Lincoln
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