Jazz musician takes Van Meter stage


Kierstin Kirk

The stage in Van Meter Hall will become reminiscent of jazz venues of a past age on Tuesday night. 

WKU staff and students will have the opportunity to hear the musical stylings of Wynton Marsalis, a Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and trumpeter.

 He will be performing a sold-out show with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in Van Meter Hall at 7:30 p.m.

“These folks are among the finest jazz players in the world,” David Lee, dean of Potter College, said. 

Before the concert, students in the music department will attend a private music session with the artist. During this session, they will see the orchestra set up and listen to sound checks prior to the main show. If time allows, students will also be treated to a question-and-answer session with Marsalis and the band. 

Scott Harris, head of the music department, said this will be incredibly beneficial for the music students.

“It’s definitely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” he said. 

Students in the music department have had the chance to interact with performers like this before, but not on this level. 

Lee said Marsalis is an amazing musician. 

“He comes from a family of remarkable musicians from New Orleans,” he said.  

Along with his reputation as a trumpeter and composer, Marsalis also has several awards under his musical belt. He’s won nine Grammys and a Pulitzer Prize of Music. He won the Pulitzer in 1997 with his oratorio titled “Blood on the Fields,” making him the first jazz musician to win the accolade. 

“A jazz ensemble like this is not very common and very few people do it,” Harris said. 

The music department is shutting down Tuesday activities to increase attendance.

“We have a strong jazz group on campus so it’s a remarkable opportunity,” Lee said.