Wycliffe Gordon and BYU Jazz Legacy Dixieland Band
March 10 | 7:00 PM | Fireplace
Legendary jazz musician Duke Ellington once said, “There are two kinds of music. There’s the good kind and then there’s the other kind.” Referring to this quote in an interview with BYU Radio in 2012, Wycliffe Gordon remarked, “Duke was the ultimate optimist and that’s kind of where I come from.”
Born in Waynesboro, Georgia, Gordon was raised on country, classical, and gospel music, but fell in love with the New Orleans jazz style of Louis Armstrong at an early age. When asked by BYU Radio why he was drawn to jazz, Gordon replied, “Something about it just made me feel good and I wanted to imitate that.” He began imitating jazz melodies and techniques from his great aunt’s record collection as a teenager, and later expanded his creative talents to include arranging, composing, and teaching music for many different instruments. His optimism, passion, and gift for making music launched a highly successful career touring the world, working with renowned jazz performers of the past and present, headlining at legendary jazz venues, and receiving numerous awards, including “Best in Trombone” by the Downbeat Critics Poll in 2014, 2013, and 2012, and “Trombonist of the Year” by the Jazz Journalists Association in 2013. Perhaps the most far-reaching mark of his legacy, Gordon’s arrangement of the theme song to National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” evening news program is heard daily across the globe.
Now a world-renowned jazz trombonist, arranger, composer, and conductor, Gordon seeks through his performances to educate and inspire others with the desire to create and appreciate great music. He is currently serving a three-year appointment as Artist-in-Residence at Georgia Regents University in Augusta, Georgia, developing a jazz studies program and working with music majors. He also serves on the faculty of the Jazz Arts Program at Manhattan School of Music and as Music Director for the Louis Armstrong Legacy Project (LALPC) in Chicago. His work with young musicians, elementary schools, universities, and audiences from all over the world includes master classes, clinics, workshops, children’s concerts, and lectures—powerful evidence of his ability to relate musically to people of all ages.
On March 10 at 7:00 pm, patrons of the Orem Library will have the unique opportunity to watch and listen as Wycliffe Gordon and the BYU Jazz Legacy Dixieland Band present an authentic, spirited performance of traditional and Dixieland jazz music. Founded in 1984, the Jazz Legacy Dixieland Band is one of the top collegiate Dixieland jazz bands in the nation and comprises some of BYU’s most talented student musicians, many of whom have performed professionally. The band’s program includes favorite songs by jazz legends Louis Armstrong, King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton, Duke Ellington, and classics such as Tiger Rag and When the Saints Go Marching In. In 1998 the band was invited by Utah’s Senatorial and Congressional delegation to represent the state of Utah at the Kennedy Center’s State Days concert series.
Each musician has a key role in improvising and creating music in the ensemble: the trumpet plays an embellished melody, the trombone creates a lower counter melody, the clarinet is responsible for high-pitched harmonies, and the piano, banjo, tuba, and drums make up the rhythm section. We hope you will savor the feel and atmosphere of a bygone era as you enjoy an unforgettable, enchanting evening featuring the signature jazz sounds of clarinet, trombone, trumpet, piano, banjo, drums, and bass.