Jazz Meets Justice: Music for a Cause at Lincoln Center
MANHATTAN – It was a night of great jazz artists meeting a great advocate for social justice.
when trumpeter Wynton Marsalis asked lawyer Bryan Stevenson to play piano at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Stevenson said he couldn’t say no.
“Wynton Marsalis told me that” everyone needs to understand that no matter what your level or skill level is, music is for everyone, “Stevenson told PIX11 News.
Stevenson is well known for the book he wrote “Just Mercy” and the film based on his life helping the poor, the incarcerated and the condemned. But he’s also an accomplished amateur jazz pianist who joined Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra tonight for a special performance honoring America’s struggle for justice called Freedom, Justice and Hope.
“This effort to create art that helps people understand the struggle for freedom, the need for justice, the centrality of Hope is really the idea behind this Music Night,” Stevenson told PIX11 News.
This Jazz Night at Lincoln Center presents the world premiere of two new jazz compositions. One is called “Ida’s Crusade,” written by bassist Endea Owens, about the life of Ida B. Wells.
Owens had just read Wells’ autobiography and said she felt compelled to write about this courageous journalist and activist.
“I think Ida B. Wells is one of the unsung heroes in history,” Owens said. “She created one of the world’s first anti-lynching organizations.”
It was a night where world-class jazz musicians met a world-renowned social justice advocate who admitted he was incredibly nervous.
“I have argued six cases in the United States Supreme Court, but it’s more stressful than that,” Stevenson said.
And together, these musicians performed many songs from the Civil Rights Movement’s soundtrack, a night few will forget.
“Knowing the story of Bryan Stevenson, how he fought for so many people,” Owens said. “It was just amazing and such an honor,” she added.
Tickets are available for $ 20. Ticket holders will be able to watch the performance anytime between Friday, May 21 at 7:30 p.m. ET, when the program went live, until Wednesday, May 26. DVD recordings of the performance will also be available for purchase.
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