Let there be no weeping and wailing at this precise moment because the great days of the Artpark Jazz Festival are long gone. Yes, it’s tragic and beyond lamentable that it’s true – and that, at the same time, a truly great jazz festival is just down the Thruway in Rochester this June – but there is huge jazz at Artpark this summer after all.
Namely, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra led by the educator and jazz musician who has gone beyond legendary to become truly singular in jazz history – Wynton Marsalis. No explainer as gifted as Marsalis has ever been as gifted a soloist at the same time – or as powerful a jazz force and leader. We can argue from now until doomsday about whether or not his influence was salutary for jazz or not. Or whether or not the Lincoln Center Orchestra is greater than the great European jazz orchestras. What’s beyond question is that an evening with Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Orchestra is one of the great evenings current jazz provides.
Given its rarity this summer, it will be precious.
It will happen at 8 p.m. Monday at Artpark. Tickets are from $40 to $65 (www.artpark.net).
– Jeff Simon