Wynton Marsalis Famous Quotes & Sayings

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Top 100 Wynton Marsalis Quotes

#1. Everything comes out in blues music: joy, pain, struggle. Blues is affirmation with absolute elegance. It's about a man and a woman. So the pain and the struggle in the blues is that universal pain that comes from having your heart broken. Most blues songs are not about social statements. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#2. The people are not coming because of me. They didn't come before me. It's because of a lack of education and understanding, so it makes me more motivated. It's like my mother said about having an artistic child - she learned more from him and he gets more attention and more of the love, not less. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#3. Through improvisation, jazz teaches you about yourself. And through swing, it teaches you that other people are individuals too. It teaches you how to coordinate with them. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#4. My father is a jazz musician, so I grew up hearing jazz. My parents loved it, but I didn't like it. It went on for too long. Yes, I had certain teachers that really inspired me, like Danny Barker, and John Longo. And I had no idea that I would have any impact on jazz. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#5. So when we spend all of our time trying to separate that which is already joined, it's a waste of time. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#6. Jazz music celebrates life! Human life; the range of it, the absurdity of it, the ignorance of it, the greatness of it, the intelligence of it, the sexuality of it, the profundity of it. And it deals with it. In all of its ... It deals with it! - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#7. I got my first trumpet when I was six years old, from Al Hirt. My father was playing in Al Hirt's band at that time. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#8. If you're not making mistakes, you're not trying. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#9. There's the tradition in jazz of having the Battle of the Bands, and you do not want to get your head cut when you're playing. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#10. My daddy expected that my brothers and I and our generation would make the world a better place. He had lived in an America of continual social progress. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#11. This rebuilding of New Orleans gives us the perfect opportunity to see if we're ready to extend the legacy of Dr. King. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#12. Those who play for applause ... Tha t's all they get. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#13. Whenever you face a man who's playing your instrument, there's a competition. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#14. The first time I ever played the trumpet in public, I played the Marine Hymn. I sounded terrible. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#15. The best musicians know this music isn't about "schools" at all. Like my father says, "There's only one school, the school of 'Can you play? - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#16. We started to confuse entertainment with art, because art has a component of entertainment. It has to have that or it becomes too boring. It becomes too lost in its own devices. But I just think that we started to lose, and even before that, it's not necessary. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#17. Flexibility is an essential part of Jazz. It's what gives Jazz music the ability to combine with all other types of music and not lose its identity. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#18. When I auditioned for my high school band the band director was excited because my father was known to be a great musician. When he heard me, he said 'Are you sure you're Ellis's son?' - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#19. This is our bandstand. If you don't want to play, get up off the instrument and leave. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#20. I have friends who will critique me much harder than any review. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#21. I wanted to make somebody feel like Coltrane made me feel, listening to it. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#22. Blues is like the roux in a gumbo. People ask me if jazz always has the blues in it. I say, if it sounds good it does. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#23. The Duke and Swing represent affirmation in the face of adversity. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#24. What I really have in my head, my imagination, my understanding of music, I never really get that out. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#25. Music is always for the listener, but the first listener is always the musician - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#26. I'm just lucky to have the type of friends and musicians and people dedicated to my music that I do. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#27. As a jazz musician, you have individual power to create the sound. You also have a responsibility to function in the context of other people who have that power also. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#28. There was one thing Beethoven didn't do. When one of his string quartets was played, you can believe the second violin wasn't improvising. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#29. Music is the art of all the invisible things that are real. Art, emotion, spiritual essence, consciousness - these things are hard to prove. Music helps you to focus on your sound. We understand that for very young kids. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#30. I think that virtuosity is the first sign of morality in a musician. It means you're serious enough to practice. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#31. A musician's whole life is to listen. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#32. I grew up in the South, in New Orleans, where guys torture you all the time. So I didn't really grow up on the self-esteem campaign. When you were lousy at something, they told you you were lousy, and they told you how to fix it. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#33. The real power of Jazz is that a group of people can come together and create improvised art and negotiate their agendas ... and that negotiation is the art - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#34. What is deeper than respect and love? That's what we felt: veneration. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#35. Duke Ellington always had a style: original, clean with interesting color combinations. He had an artist's eye. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#36. I generally work right up to when I have to do something - I'm always doing a lot. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#37. When people dress well, they play well. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#38. Thank the good Lord for a job. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#39. When me and my brother would go to see our daddy playing, there'd be 30 people in the audience. I was only 14 or 15, but I realised something was wrong. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#40. My thing is, once you start to put a backbeat on your music or something that has a machine in it, you have popularity, but you lose the flexibility. And you lose a richness. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#41. New Orleans - the real New Orleans - is the soul of the country. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#42. Even in these times, there are still neighbors that will turn their backs on neighbors. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#43. Only a few act - the rest of us reap the benefits of their risk. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#44. Humility is the doorway 2 truth & clarity of objectives ... it's the doorway 2 learning. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#45. There's always the cliche of the choir shouting and clapping. OK, you have to do that, but there's also introspective parts, parts where you just follow someone that's preaching. There's lots of different emotions and moods that a service requires. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#46. I think that when the education system started to be dismantled during the first Great Depression in the 1930s, we didn't recover from that. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#47. Trumpet players are just belligerant, and cocky, and you know, just hard-headed. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#48. My older brother and myself always played together in bands, but we never knew we would be professional musicians. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#49. Milk in a mother's breast-that's cool. Milk in a mouth-that's cool too. But milk in my trumpet? Not so cool. I have to play that thing. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#50. The nerves are a problem on trumpet, because when you mess up everyone can hear it. Just remember most people are too polite to say anything about it. That should calm your nerves. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#51. The musicians, Duke Ellington, his thing was not about separating himself from the rest of America. Louis Armstrong - go to the forefathers of our music - Jelly Roll Morton - they're not preaching a separatist agenda. They're not taking their music and saying, "This is for me." - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#52. Art is a luxury. It's not necessary for you to - you can work your job and you can make some money and never know who Walt Whitman was, and never read a poem. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#53. When did we begin to lose faith in our ability to effect change? - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#54. There really have only ever been a few people in each generation who step out, are willing to put themselves on the line, and risk everything for their beliefs. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#55. Because the blues is the basis of most American music in the 20th century. It's a 12-bar form that's played by jazz, bluegrass and country musicians. It has a rhythmic vocabulary that's been used by rock n' roll. It's related to spirituals, and even the American fiddle tradition. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#56. The first jazz musician was a trumpeter, Buddy Bolden, and the last will be a trumpeter, the archangel Gabriel. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#57. My daddy thought - no, he expected - that my brothers and I and our generation would make the world a better place. He was correct in his belief because he had lived in an America of continual social progress, depression followed by prosperity, segregation by integration, and so on. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#58. Instead of imposing your will on every situation ... focus on including everyone else, and just that little adjustment of attitude gives you the space to understand where and who you are. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#59. In the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra we play such a diversity of music, with 10 arrangers in the band, we don't really worry about whether it's contemporary or not. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#60. If you are serious about American culture and you are serious about Afro-American culture, you are in a lot of pain. You are not - you are not smiling about it. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#61. We all teach from that same frame of reference. We're like neighborhood - the people who have had the opportunity through this music to gain a platform and spread the message of this music, which is basically love in a form of communication that's honest and truthful. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#62. The black hole in democracy is integrity. The great unspoken is integrity. When integrity is not first and foremost, it's quite palpable but not visible. It's always there. Jazz highlights it because musicians and jazz always represented a high level of integrity. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#63. I think that the blues is in everything, so it's not possible to neglect it. You hear somebody go 'Ooh ooh oooh,' and that's the blues. You hear a rock n' roll song. That's the blues. Somebody playing a guitar solo? They're playing the blues. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#64. The bandstand is a sacred place. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#65. The blues. It runs through all American music. Somebody bending the note. The other is the two-beat groove. It's in New Orleans music, it's in jazz, it's in country music, it's in gospel. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#66. The main three components are the blues, improvisation - which is some kind of element that people are trying to make it up - and swing, which means even though they're making up music, they're trying to make it up together. It feels great, like you're having a great conversation with somebody. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#67. I try to find the core values that are so fundamental that they transcend ethnic identity. That doesn't mean I run from it. I embrace African-American culture and I love it and embrace it, but it is a part of a human identity. So I'm always trying to make a larger human statement. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#68. Jazz music is the power of now. There is no script. It's conversation. The emotion is given to you by musicians as they make split-second decisions to fulfill what they feel the moment requires. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#69. We created the spirituals. We created so much great music, jazz chief amongst our innovations, teaching us how to prize ourselves and how to speak to one another, that our kids don't know that achievement, there's no way in the world that could be good for us. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#70. Jazz is not the kind of music you are going to learn to play in three or four years or that you can just get because you have some talent for music. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#71. I almost never watch TV, except for '60 Minutes' and pro football. I love Drew Brees, the Manning brothers and the Steelers' linebackers. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#72. Grace Kelly plays with intelligence, wit and feeling. She has a great amount of natural ability and the ability to adapt. That is the hallmark of a first-class jazz musician. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#73. The young very seldom lead anything in our country today. It's been quite some time since a younger generation pushed an older one to a higher standard. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#74. The soul gives us resilience - an essential quality since we constantly have to rebound from hardship. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#75. I'm not afraid of you being yourself. That's America. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#76. Even if nobody's singing, just when you talk, you're singing. I'll meet somebody and say, "Oh, I'm tone-deaf." I say, "You're not tone-deaf, because if you were tone-deaf you would speak like that. But you're 'Oh, I'm tone-deaf.' You already sang a song to me." - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#77. There is an idea that a mind is wasted on the arts unless it makes you good in math or science. There is some evidence that the arts might help you in math and science. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#78. No particular music makes me feel nostalgic. If it's great, it just keeps me in the present moment. That level of music is like a classic story, like the Iliad-something so perfect it can never be old. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#79. I never minded giving my opinions. They are just opinions, and I had studied music and I had strong feelings. I was happy for my opinions to join all the other opinions. But you have to be prepared for what comes back, especially if you don't agree with the dominant mythology. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#80. When I first came to New York everybody on the scene would treat me like I could play, but I couldn't. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#81. Our culture is what we did together. What did Walt Whitman represent for all of us? What was his message to us? That is an inheritance, and when we squander that inheritance we act outside. We don't know who we are; we don't know where we are. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#82. The heart of a music is its rhythm. The heart of rhythm section music is the rhythm. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#83. Jazz is not just 'Well, man, this is what I feel like playing.' It's a very structured thing that comes down from a tradition and requires a lot of thought and study. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#84. Generally, when I wake up in the morning I set out a series of problems for myself and I write them down, and when I'm sleeping, my mind solves the problems. When I wake up in the morning, I have more clarity on the issue. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#85. Don't worry about what others say about your music. Pursue whatever you are hearing ... but if everybody really hates your music maybe you could try some different approaches. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#86. I believe in professionalism, but playing is not like a job. You have to be grateful to have the opportunity to play. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#87. We learn a language through its song, and even if you don't have music you have the song of people you love's voice, and you'll notice that song in their voice. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#88. Many a revolution started with the actions of a few. Only 56 men signed the Declaration of Independence. A few hanging together can lead a nation to change. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#89. The only justification for looking down on anyone is that you're going to stop and pick them up. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#90. My schedule is always tight. But I like to have the pressure of having to finish doing something; it gives me an added edge. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#91. In Jazz, improvisation isn't a matter of just making any ol' thing up. Jazz, like any language, has its own grammer and vocabulary. There's no right or wrong, just some choices that are better than others. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#92. I always like to play very contemporary concepts of swing right next to New Orleans music because it highlights continuum. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#93. For Black people, we're one of the only groups of people that for some reason to express love of yourself, in some ways, is misconstrued as a dislike for someone else. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#94. We always hear about the rights of democracy, but the major responsibility of it is participation. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#95. The majority of the high schools and the public schools in N.Y.C. don't even have band programs. Hip-hop in a lot of ways is an outgrowth of a lack of instruments and a desire to play music, so we can't really fault the kids for that. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#96. Ethics are more important than laws. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#97. It's really not a stretch. The checks and balances are the same. The drums are the executive branch. The jazz orchestra is the legislative branch. Logic and reason are like jazz solos. The bass player is the judicial branch. One our greatest ever is Milt Hinton, and his nickname is "The Judge." - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#98. Commercialism that has absolutely no relationship to quality whatsoever, only quantitative assessment of a thing. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#99. If you didn't have the amalgam of Blacks and African-type sensibility and European sensibility, you wouldn't have jazz. Even in the negative and in the positive ways - if there was no slavery and the abolition of slavery, there would be no jazz. - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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#100. I feel like a lot of the fundamental material, I've assimilated. So now the question is: Am I going to really get into my spiritual inheritance of music and really develop my abilities? - Author: Wynton Marsalis
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