Since arriving in New York three and a half decades ago, Jazz at Lincoln Center has worked to define jazz as a high-level art form that could only have been created in America. But in recent years, the center has increasingly embraced the role of music on the international stage and how jazz has been embraced, transmitted and reshaped.
That will be the focus of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s 35th season, which will run 22 programs from late September through next June and feature artists from five continents, the center announced Tuesday.
Many of the season’s headlining shows will be anchored by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis continuing as Jazz at Lincoln Center’s artistic director.
The group will be joined by star artists and guest conductors, including Naseer Shamma, an Iraqi oud virtuoso, performing with the orchestra (January 20-21); Japanese-born pianist and big band leader Toshiko Akiyoshi, who will perform her compositions with the orchestra (March 10-11); and Cuban pianist Elio Villafranca and Colombian harpist Edmar Castañeda, who will each present newly commissioned works with the orchestra (April 14-15). The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra will kick off the season with its own performance on September 30 and October 1: the American debut of Marsalis’ “Shanghai Suite.”
Among the other headliners of the season, the French guitarist Stéphane Wrembel will pay tribute to Django Reinhardt (Nov. 4-5); South African pianist Nduduzo Makhathini and Brazilian mandolinist Hamilton de Hollanda, in concert (February 24-25); and Brazilian singer and guitarist Rosa Passos, who will perform March 24-25 with National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Ron Carter on bass and Kenny Barron on drums, as well as Brazilian percussionist Rafael Barata.
A number of luminaries of jazz’s under-40 audience will lead their own bands, which doesn’t always happen on the Jazz at Lincoln Center concert stages. Among them, pianist Emmet Cohen (Oct. 21), singer Cécile McLorin Salvant (May 19-20) and trumpeter Etienne Charles (June 9-10).
A number of education-focused events will serve audiences of all ages: programs celebrating jazz legends Charles Mingus (October 22) and Thad Jones (March 25), and a pair of engagements in the Journey Through series Jazz du Jazz at Lincoln Center, with the orchestra, gives lessons in the history of jazz in the form of live performances (Nov. 17-19 and Feb. 16-18).
All the shows of the season will take place on one of the two main stages in the centre: the Théâtre Rose or the Salle d’Appel. Nightly bookings continue year-round at Dizzy’s Club, a more intimate venue also centrally located. Tickets are on jazz.org.