Wynton Marsalis — Pianist, trumpeter
Wynton Marsalis Ensemble
Ellis Marsalis — Pianist, trumpeter
The famous South Bank Show, which ran from 1978 to 2010, was in the business of profiling the worlds great artists, from Paul McCartney to Lawrence Olivier. With Melvyn Bragg at the helm, the show travelled to New York and New Orleans in 1996 to meet the heir to the jazz legacy, Wynton Marsalis.
Considered one of the most brilliant trumpet players in history, Wynton was a prodigy who had won Grammys in both classical and jazz by his early twenties (the first man to ever do so). Beyond music, he has always been an educator, tirelessly promoting jazz as a sophisticated art form, ensuring its place at the table next to the world's other 'high-brow' genres, like opera and orchestral music.
This documentary sees him rehearse and perform the remarkable "Blood On the Fields," which tells the story of two slaves on the perilous road to freedom. Later, once in his home town of NOLA, he turns to the music of one of jazz' forefathers and most important pioneers, Jelly Roll Morton, before taking on perhaps the genre's most imaginative composer, the great Thelonious Monk.