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New Century, Same Genius: Ornette Coleman at JVC

Mike Stern

When Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra hit New Orleans-along with Ghanaian percussionist Yacub Addy and his group Odadaa!-a buzz vibrated throughout the music community and beyond.

The musicians’ primary engagement was to perform Marsalis’ and Addy’s composition “Congo Square” at a free, outdoor concert at the historic site of the same name located in Armstrong Park. Also involved in a residency that included workshops, a show for young audiences and an open rehearsal, the musicians took the opportunity during their stay to play other gigs, sit in and just hang out. All this activity took place during the already music-heavy period of the French Quarter Festival. It also acted as a much-appreciated shot in the arm for a city needing a boost in its time of trouble.

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