The season's centerpiece will be a series of concerts by artistic director Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra featuring music and guest artists from Kansas City, Detroit, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, and Los Angeles.
For example, the band will perform music by such Kansas City bandleaders as Count Basie, Jay McShann, and Bennie Moten with the help of saxophonist Frank Wess, a native of the city and a veteran of the Basie band. Bandleader Gerald Wilson, a fixture on the L.A. scene, will appear at a concert of music from the city by Gerry Mulligan, Charles Mingus, Quincy Jones, and others.
Other highlights of the season include a retrospective of Marsalis's 25-year career, a collaboration with Ballet Hispanico, and a series of small-group concerts featuring members of the LCJO. JALC's ambitious education wing will launch a new jazz academy for urban middle-school students, introduce the NEA Jazz in the Schools Curriculum to schools around the country, and publish a new book.
Guest artists include bassist Ron Carter, drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts, saxophonists Lovano and Greg Osby (both of whom appear with Arturo O'Farrill's Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra), vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater, and organist Joey DeFrancesco. Tap star Savion Glover and his ensemble will dance to the music of Thelonious Monk; the Orion String Quartet will perform with the Wynton Marsalis Quartet in the world premiere of a new work by Marsalis.