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Marsalis Collaborates for Children’s Book

Musician and composer Wynton Marsalis has collaborated with illustrator Paul Rogers and jazz historian Phil Schaap to create a children’s book, Jazz ABZ: An A to Z Collection of Jazz Portraits. While Rogers developed the concept for the book, he sought the help of Marsalis to bring it to fruition. The book will be available in November through Candlewick Press.

A peek inside the book reveals an old 78 record and endpapers resembling a record sleeve, providing a nostalgic touch before introducing the reader to 26 of jazz music’s greatest influences. Rogers’ artwork reflects “each musicians’ sound and their particular period in time.”

Opposite each of Rogers’ portraits are the words of Wynton Marsalis. He decided to write about each musician in the form of poetry, drawing inspiration from each musician’s style to best portray him or her in words. The book concludes with biographical sketches by Schaap, who delves into his extensive knowledge of jazz to produce concise and informative insights into each musician.

Illustrator Rogers, a devoted jazz music lover, has been an illustrator and poster artist for more than twenty-five years. He is a graduate of the Art Center College of Design, where he is now a member of the faculty. Rogers’ clients include the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in 2002 and 2004, and the Seattle International Film Festival.

Jazz expert Schaap has been collecting jazz music since he was six years old in Queens, New York, where he was born and raised. For thirty-five years, Schaap has been broadcasting jazz on Columbia University’s radio station, WKCR. His other accomplishments include winning Grammy awards for historical writing, producing and audio engineering.

Marsalis, of course, is one of the best jazz artists and composers of his generation. He began playing the trumpet at age twelve and entered the Juilliard School at age seventeen and has since made more than forty jazz and classical recordings, earning nine Grammy awards. He is music director of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and also hosts Jazz for Young People concerts.

Originally Published