Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Hockey and Jazz at the Lincoln Center Orchestra Featuring Wynton Marsalis

By Lisa Ovens

On Sunday evening I was very lucky to visit Vancouver's Orpheum Theatre to catch the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis (Thanks Cousin Jen!).

I love live music. I was a dedicated band student during my junior high and high school years. I've always had an appreciation for Jazz and Classical music, and I realized this past Sunday that I don't blend  those genres enough into the ambient, techno (and occassional Rage Against the Machine) music listening sessions that take place in the comfort of my own home.

So how does hockey find a place in this little music post? After going through two solid months of playoff hockey, and then a few weeks dominated by the fallout of the post season, I viewed this Jazz Festival outing as a welcome diversion: a evening without hockey :o)

But that ended up not happening. Settled in our seats, I overheard the group of guys taking their seats behind us, and one guy says as he sat down "Okay, which end are the Canucks attacking? Is this the end?" Haha...I had to chuckle to myself on that one.

The performance began, and five arrangements in, Wynton Marsalis takes to the microphone to introduce the the next piece of music...he says "This next one is an arrangement by Herbie Hancock called The Riot."

Instantly, a round of quiet laughter opened up, and then gained momentum as the audience enjoyed a spontaneous and ironic moment. Marsalis smiled at first; it seemed as though he was unaware of the reason behind our laughter, and then said "You got me." And then  he commented, refering to the June 15th, 2011 Stanley Cup riot in Vancouver, "That was a mini riot. Watts, that was a riot". He paused, and then said, "Google it".

The musical highlight for me was Single Petal of a Rose (composed by Duke Ellington in the late Fifties for Queen Elizabeth II) I sat with my eyes closed as they filled with tears. Just a bass clarinet and a piano. It was so beautiful, I didn't want it to end; my head begging for it to come in a "to go" container just so I could carry it with me, bringing it out at future times when I have no words to say.

Ahhh...music, sweet music. The andidote for the hockey void that inevitably  comes along this time of year.

The Vancouver International Jazz Festival continues this week. Click here for more information.

The NHL off- season continues this week as well, with Free Agency...will it be a frenzy?? Here's TSN's Free Agency tracker page

Happy listening, everyone :o)

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