PREVIEW: Wynton Marsalis on his animal ballet, teen funk band days, kazoos and Jazz at Lincoln Center’s 31 years

The San Diego Union-Tribune
George Varga
September 30, 2018

Before Wynton Marsalis mastered all that jazz — and more than 40 years before he debuted “Spaces,” his 2016 Jazz at Lincoln Center “animal ballet” now headed to San Diego — he cut his teeth playing in several New Orleans funk bands in the 1970s.

It was then, as the teen-aged trumpeter in such groups as The Creators and Killer Forces & The Crispy Critters, that this 1997 Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and band leader learned some of the key skills he has drawn on ever since.

“Definitely!” affirmed Marsalis, 56, whose subsequent musical collaborators have ranged from Ray Charles and Bob Dylan to Dizzy Gillespie and Carole King.