As a public health precaution due to COVID-19, all Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo are temporarily closed to the public as of Monday, Nov. 23, 2020. We are not announcing a reopening date at this time.
Jazz in America always seems to be on the verge of disappearing, but it stays alive, thanks to practitioners such as Wynton Marsalis. A musical prodigy, the New Orleans–born Marsalis combines the careers of virtuoso trumpet player, composer, and impresario in a way that emphasizes jazz’s all-embracing creativity. He went to New York’s famed Juilliard School in 1979 and played in clubs around town, joining Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. Continuing to play, he also promoted the advancement of jazz, founding Lincoln Center’s jazz program in 1987 and appearing on television in both documentary and performance programming. Marsalis is not without his critics, who think that he has made jazz too conservative an art form. However, he has won nine Grammy Awards, as well as a Pulitzer Prize for music (1997).