time to change the way we view music and the arts

Transition to the News: Smooth as Jazz

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a social, humanitarian visionary far ahead of the limitations in his lifetime. Yesterday was his birthday. He would have been 83.

As the United States pauses today to honor the work, principles and the legacy of this forward thinking man, I was presented with a nice surprise, courtesy of CBS News. Giving a thought provoking, unabashed speech about the nature of King’s ideals and the state of Southern American living during the 1960s, jazz trumpet master Wynton Marsalis started his role as the news channel’s new cultural correspondent. CBS News had announced this career addition about a month ago and was reported on Marsalis’s website.

Below is the video clip of Marsalis’s debut piece that highlights both his relationship with the disparity obsessed reality of segregation and the beauty of Martin Luther King’s graceful convictions. What are your opinions on Marsalis’s news presence?

I find this occupational mix refreshing and this choice of debut pieces to fit so well. Marsalis is able to provide a first hand recollection from his grade school life and irrespective of the content he spoke of this morning, or will speak of going forward, his speaking delivery is incredibly artistic. Serving as the Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center since 1981, Marsalis isn’t a stranger to experiences outside of stage performance or to being looked to in a position of administrative esteem, so in a way, I’m not entirely shocked by how well he can slide into such a meaningful (and potentially lasting) position that’s embodied by communication to the masses on often impassioned subject matter.

It will be interesting to observe how he infuses his future reports with his personality, emotional intelligence and the experience garnered through bringing his widely, highly regarded music, to jazz fans and newcomers alike. Rooting himself into a genre that is all about fusing tastes and sounds and backgrounds to create unique artistic hybrids makes me think he will create and solidify connections between all kinds of cultural stories and mediums with the kind of believably effortless savoir-faire reminiscent of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech –a pinnacle of brilliant(ly) genuine ARTiculation.

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