The world’s premiere jazz institution
Jazz at Lincoln Center Tickets
Time Warner Center (60th St door) | Columbus Circle
jazz.org | CenterCharge (212) 721-6500
The Jazz at Lincoln Center Organization
Jazz at Lincoln Center is a performing arts center and educational institution. The organization grew out of a summer concert series at Lincoln Center in 1987. It became an official part of Lincoln Center in 1991. The Jazz at Lincoln Center performing arts center opened in Time Warner Center in 2004.
The Center has three main stages:
- Rose Theater is a 1,233-seat concert hall purpose-built for jazz
- The Appel Room seats 427 in an amphitheater that looks out over Central Park
- Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola is a jazz supper club that seats 140 and also looks out over Central Park. There is live music nightly. The gumbo is great.
Wynton Marsalis built the world’s leading jazz institution through his musicianship, determination and ability to tell the story of jazz. His appearances on PBS made Marsalis the world’s leading jazz spokesperson.
Marsalis will tell you that jazz is from New Orleans, and it is, but the story runs deeper than that. Jazz is Creole and New Orleans is a Creole city (French-African). The Creole heart of the Caribbean was Saint-Domingue (now Haiti). It was the richest sugar colony because it practiced the most brutal exploitation of the people and the land.
Saint-Domingue was influential because plantations across the Caribbean (and ultimately the United States) copied the exploitation model. The turmoil of the Haitian Revolution caused a Haitian diaspora across the Caribbean including to New Orleans. So that is the tap root of jazz.
When jazz found its way to France in World War I (in the Harlem Hellfighters military band led by James Europe), the French immediately loved it. Without understanding why, they probably recognized something of themselves in the music.
Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra
The house band is the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis. Every single one of the players is an all-star.
For his own bands and the orchestra, Marsalis chose as his bass player Carlos Henriquez, a Puerto Rican New Yorker from The Bronx who was a protégé of Tito Puente.
Henriquez is “New York City’s most important Latin jazz musician” (New York Latin Culture Magazine) because like his mentor, Carlos is completely fluid in both straight-ahead jazz and clave-based Latin jazz. Henriquez is a bridge. Strange, “puente” means bridge in Spanish.
It’s not literally a Latin orchestra, but as far as we are concerned, every Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra concert is a Latin jazz concert because of Henriquez. Wynton was clever to put a Latin in the bass, the bridge between the rhythm and melody sections. He keeps the Caribbean in the music.
Enjoying a Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra concert is a bucket list item for your New York life. They make Time Warner Center swing. If you ever notice the Center’s twin towers swaying back and forth, it’s because the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra is in the house.