On July 1, 2019, in the spirit of Independence Day, Wynton Marsalis’ Swing Symphony — a musical manifesto on American ideals and the melding of jazz and classical — will be released for the first time in recordings with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra on all digital platforms by Blue Engine Records, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s in-house record label. 

The release captures the 15-piece Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis joining forces with the SLSO, conducted by David Robertson, former SLSO Music Director, in performances of Swing Symphony in front of the sold-out crowds at Powell Hall in St. Louis on May 4─6, 2018.

In 2010, Swing Symphony was commissioned jointly by the New York Philharmonic, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the London Symphony Orchestra. Since then, the work — hailed as “brave, even heroic” by the New Republic —has been performed around the globe by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis and some of the world’s most renowned symphonic orchestras. Combining two seemingly opposite musical poles — classical music and jazz — into a swinging whole is what inspired Marsalis to put pen to paper. In seven movements, Swing Symphony traces the quintessentially American journey of jazz from New Orleans ragtime to Kansas City swing and New York bebop.

Swing Symphony is the third symphonic work by Marsalis, who in 1997 became the first jazz composer awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Music forBlood on the Fields. He wrote Swing Symphony in the spirit of American optimism. What makes it American? “My belief in the freedom of other people who are not like me,” he says. Through its evocations of music rooted in America, Marsalis says the symphony declares, “We don’t have to segregate ourselves from who we are. We are Winslow Homer. We are Walt Whitman. We are William Faulkner. We are George Gershwin. We are Duke Ellington. We are Mary Lou Williams. We are Louis Armstrong. All we have to do is embrace that.”

Listen to the first movement of Marsalis’ Swing Symphony, “St. Louis to New Orleans”, here: http://bit.ly/2JTnvtY. The full album will be available for digital download on July 1.

Via Press Release