Sunday Music: Jazz At Harvard with Wynton Marsalis

Did you know Wynton Marsalis’ Harvard lecture series, “Hidden in Plain View” is on YouTube? I didn’t.

Get some music. Get some philosophy. Get some of that Marsalis magic in your soul. 

I was lucky enough to see him give a masterclass circa 2004. Now, I’ve seen my share of music masterclasses and most of them have some brilliant person doing their thing in front of a group of people, offering the occasional insight, but mostly just flexing for a bunch of nerds. It’s cool, but how much do you really learn? 

Wynton was different. It was the definition of master class because this guy is a teacher. He gave advice like helping a drummer with his technique by giving him metaphors for how he accented on the snare (“You cook? OK. When I tell you to toss some seasoning in, toss it like this.”). It was incredible to watch new sounds unfold as he focused on each member of the band. 

This series is as educational as it is fun to listen to. Save it for a rainy day or next time you need to get all sorts of distracted. It’s a musically informed master class for all of us (not just musicians!) and it’s captivating. I’m working my way through.

Start the playlist here:

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