Tonight I will get the opportunity to listen to Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center perform “The Ever Fonky Lowdown,” Wynton’s latest composition that critiques the idea of American freedom. The reason I am so excited is twofold. First, Marsalis is an unbelievable talent, and I am here in upstate New York to specifically hear him perform.
The other reason is I heard Marsalis speak on Monday about his composition and his artistic vision for his piece. I cannot describe how taken away I am with how articulate he was and how powerful the symbolic language of his composition is. If you ever get a chance to hear him talk about his story, don’t miss.
The composition is about a game of buying in and selling out and a leadership exploiting followers through bluster and the promulgation of stereotypes. Lest one think this is about our current President, Wynton says, ” my composition is not about Trump. It is easy to put it on him. Is Trump or the KKK why or education system is segregated? Is our judicial system the way it is because of the Klan or Trump? Or is it something in our character? Is it just us? This is the central question of “The Funky Lowdown.”
Wynton asks what can citizens do to rein ourselves in our stupidity, our greed, our callousness, our lack of concern for the condition of others as long as we don’t see them. He concludes with a question we all should be asking ourselves in this time of moral crisis.
“Where do we go from here?”
What is your answer?