On Nov.13, 2019 the SPHS Jazz Ensemble I played a brief opening set to the feature performance of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis at Overture Hall in Madison.
e Sun Prairie Band arrived at the Overture Center in time to listen to the J@LCO sound check which concluded with a brisk performance of “Braggin In Brass” with an extended solo
by Wynton Marsalis. Immediately following the students took the stage
for their sound check
and were joined by J@
LCO trumpeter, Kenny Rampton.
After dinner, the band listened to Daren Steruds’ Jazz Ensemble in the lobby of the Overture Center and then headed downstairs to warm up. e band met Kenny Rampton backstage and headed to the mainstage at 7:30 p.m. ey were introduced by Mr. Rampton and opened their two tune set with Ellington’s “Black and Tan Fantasy”. ey were then joined by Mr. Rampton
on “Portrait of Louis Armstrong” from Duke’s New Orleans suite. e nearly sold out audience gave a very warm reception to the bands’ performance. e Lincoln Center band played two wonderful
sets showcasing the many talents of the band and especially Wynton Marsalis.
At the conclusion of
the Jazz at Lincoln Center Performance, members
of both bands interacted downstairs and exchanged
hugs and compliments. e evening concluded with Wynton talking to students from both Sun Prairie and Beloit about the importance of music and community, especially in these tense times. Wynton began his remarks by complimenting many individual performances of the Sun Prairie students from earlier in the evening.
It was a very memorable and special evening the students.