Polk State College to Host Jazz Great Wynton Marsalis

Posted on by Polk Newsroom

Polk State College will proudly host jazz phenomenon Wynton Marsalis at a March 8 event on the Winter Haven campus.

Marsalis will be accompanied by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra at the performance, planned for 7 p.m. at the Polk State College Fine Arts Theatre. Tickets are now available for $75; seating will be reserved. Anyone interested in tickets should call 863-297-1050.

The event will benefit the Women’s Resource Center of Central Florida.

Marsalis is one of the world’s most celebrated musicians. Raised in the rich musical tradition of New Orleans, he started playing the trumpet when he was 12. He went on to study at The Juilliard School and has recorded 70 jazz and classical albums. He has received nine GRAMMY awards, as well as the Pulitzer Prize.

An avid supporter of music education, Marsalis serves as the artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, which offers a year-round schedule of performances, education events and broadcasts to grow and inspire the audience for jazz.

The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra includes 15 accomplished jazz soloists and ensemble players. The Orchestra is known for its versatility and is regularly booked for a wide range of venues around the world.  

The Orchestra’s current tour celebrates Marsalis’ 50th birthday and will showcase a retrospective  music for big bands. Attendees will also enjoy modern renditions of music by jazz greats Thelonious Monk, Herbie Hancock, Jackie McLean, Lee Morgan and Joe Henderson. Completing the night will be modern compositions and arrangements by contemporary jazz artists.

Winter Haven campus Provost Dr. Sharon Miller said Marsalis’ appearance at the College is a rare opportunity for the community to experience world-class talent close to home.

“Life affords us historical moments in time. The visit of Wynton Marsalis to the Winter Haven community and Polk State College is just that, one of those historical moments in time,” she said.

The musical legend’s visit follows a 2011 sold-out presentation at Polk State by Dr. Maya Angelou. As Miller points out, “Colleges have always been magnets for talent, and Polk State is proving that point yet again in 2012.”

Sponsorship opportunities are available. Those interested in supporting the Marsalis event should contact Miller at 863-298-6821.