Grammy Award-Winning Wynton Marsalis Performs with Jazz Houston Orchestra at Houston Hobby Center

ABOVE: Wynton Marsalis performs with Jazz Houston Orchestra at Houston Hobby Center

Houston recently experienced a tremendous treat, as Grammy and Pulitzer Prize-winning trumpeter and composer Wynton Marsalis performed with the Jazz Houston Orchestra on Thursday, May 24, 2018 at The Hobby Center for Performing Arts and on Friday, May 25th at the Houston Public Library, Barbara Bush Plaza, as “Wynton Marsalis: Swingin’ Through H-Town,” to close out Jazz Houston’s inaugural 2017-2018 season.

Wynton Marsalis returned to Houston after 15 years and performed with the Jazz Houston Orchestra under the direction of Vincent Gardner on May 24, at the sold-out Hobby Center.

The concert reunited Gardner with the legendary Jazz musician, who serves as Artistic and Managing Director of Jazz at the Lincoln Center, which is celebrating their 30-year anniversary. Gardner not only serves as the current Artistic Director of Jazz Houston and leader of the 15-member Jazz Houston Orchestra, he also remains a member of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, where he has performed since 2000.

“Having Mr. Marsalis – Jazz’s most prominent living musical ambassador – and my long-time musical brother and bandmate join us to conclude our first season of performances was truly an honor,” said Gardner. “The show at the Hobby Center allowed fans to see and hear him live and introduced Wynton to new audiences while also allowing them to experience the hard-swinging and grooving compositions performed by our own Jazz Houston Orchestra.”

The next day, on May 25th, Marsalis and Jazz Houston offered jazz appreciation experiences for music-lovers of all ages, as part of the Swingin’ Through H-Town education program.

Students from Houston Independent School District (HISD), Peterson and Montgomery Elementary schools, and seniors from Harris County Precinct 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis’ Senior Adult Program, all enjoyed the festivities. Mayor Sylvester Turner greeted all attendees and introduced Marsalis and the Jazz Houston Orchestra, as the audience prepared to be engaged and enlightened by the entertainers who performed and facilitated lessons about each instrument.

“Friday’s performance was phenomenal as we engaged audiences of all ages with a variety of jazz tunes,” said Gardner. “The audience, especially the kids, loved the interaction.”

The May 24th performance was the final show of a 2017-2018 concert series that began in November, with a themed performance dedicated to the music of Ella Fitzgerald. In March, the program hosted the Young People’s Concert titled “Who is Ella Fitzgerald?”

Jazz Houston promotes the cultivation of jazz music globally through Performance, Education, and Community Outreach, and honors the Houstonians and Texans who have and continue to be major contributors to Jazz through the celebration of their legacies and the performance of their works. Jazz Houston kicks off its fall season on October 13, 2018 with Vincent Gardner and the Jazz Houston Orchestra, featuring Ramsey Lewis, at the Miller Outdoor Theater. On Saturday, December 1, 2018, Jazz Houston will present The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis “BIG BAND HOLIDAYS” at the Cullen Performance Hall at the University of Houston. For more information about Jazz Houston, please visit