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Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra Makes Waves In The U.K.

SOURCE: Published: 2005-10-15
Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra may hang their hats inside the House of Swing at Columbus Circle, but they're also musical ambassadors around the world. NY1's Stephanie Simon tagged along on the orchestra's recent tour of Great Britain, and found out that life on the road isn't easy – no matter how well you play.

“You miss your family and your kids," Winton Marsalis says of life on the road. “There are long drives everyday; concerts finish at 10:30 and then you sign autographs until maybe 2 or 3 o'clock; you leave maybe at 7, and you do that 5 or 6 days in a row."

In late September, Marsalis and his 14-member jazz orchestra traveled to Great Britain to perform his original composition “All Rise" with The London Symphony Orchestra. But there was more than just the music to deal with.

“London is so expensive," says LCJO bassist Carlos Henriquez. “You thought New York was expensive? London is really expensive."

“I bought breakfast across the street," says trumpeter Marcus Printup, “and I think it was actually 40 dollars."

But who has time for breakfast? The hectic schedule takes you from runway to rehearsal before a short break – then it's back to rehearsal.

“It's crucial for us to keep it together," says drummer Ali Jackson. “Between the conductor and myself, we're the glue that tries to hold it all together."

Rehearsal lasts for three long days, then the orchestra is off to the first stop on the tour: Birmingham. But only after the bus is delayed on its departure.

“About this time in the trip, we get silly," says Enriques. “You act the fool the first hour we're on the bus, and then everyone falls asleep."

The bus arrives a little behind schedule, but things get back on track once everyone is checked into the hotel and the soundcheck begins.

The music is composed by Marsalis, but his handwritten notes are transferred to computer and expanded into a full orchestra score by music copyist Jonathan Kelly.

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