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Wynton Marsalis

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Wynton Marsalis Continues to Rail Against Rap at Lincoln Center Benefit

Wynton Marsalis
In Southampton Friday night, Wynton Marsalis spoke bluntly of his struggle to introduce jazz to youngsters soaked in hip-hop and its attendant culture. "A lot of it is just absurd," Marsalis said of his competition, noting that he has worked to install jazz programs in 1,000 schools across the nation. "A lot of [hip-hop] is semi-pornographic. How do you compete with these girls in the videos and all of that? You can't. Jazz is something totally different, I don't even like to compare them. We just want to get it out there as much as we can." Performing with his band at the home of Jazz at Lincoln Center board members Victoria and Jay Furman (the concert was a benefit for the organization), Marsalis expressed political fatigue. Describing the dazed and slightly confused feeling certain jazz can invoke in a listener, he said "it's kind of like how you feel after an election." Yeah. Except, you know, happier. — Selim Algar