Celebrate Wynton Marsalis’ 50th with Jazz at Lincoln Center live

UAB’s Alys Stephens Center presents the nation’s most lauded jazz orchestra, Jazz at Lincoln Center, with New Orleans’ legendary Wynton Marsalis.

UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center will present Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis at 8 p.m. Friday, March 2, 2012, in the center, 1200 10th Ave. South.

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America’s most lauded jazz orchestra and famed music director make a triumphant return visit to the Alys Stephens Center in celebration of its 15th anniversary and Marsalis’ 50th birthday tour. The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra has been praised as “the finest big band in the world today” by the Daily Telegraph, and “an extraordinarily versatile orchestra” by the Los Angeles Times.

The JLCO features 15 of the finest jazz soloists and ensemble players today. Resident orchestra of Jazz at Lincoln Center since 1988, the orchestra is involved in all aspects of the center’s jazz programming. JLCO performs and leads educational events in New York, across the nation and around the world, in concert halls, dance venues, jazz clubs, parks and with symphony orchestras, ballet troupes, students and an array of acclaimed guest artists.

Performance tickets are $75.50, $57.50, $42.50; student tickets are $20. A limited quantity of VIP meet-and-greet tickets is available. Call 205-975-2787 or visit www.AlysStephens.org

Continue the evening with an after party featuring live music from Neo Jazz Collective, wine and desserts; after party tickets are $10, free for ASC Junior Patrons. To join the ASC JPs or for more details call 205-975-5662.

Marsalis was born Oct. 18, 1961 in New Orleans and began his classical training on trumpet at age 12. He was soon performing with local bands and at age 17 he enrolled in The Juilliard School, where he joined Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. Marsalis made his recording debut as a leader in 1982. He has recorded more than 70 jazz and classical albums and collected nine Grammy Awards for his work. In 1983, he won both classical and jazz Grammys in the same year; he repeated this feat in 1984, the first and only artist to do so. In 2001, Marsalis was appointed Messenger of Peace by Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations; he has also been designated cultural ambassador to the United States of America by the U.S. State Department through their CultureConnect program. In 2009, Marsalis was awarded France’s Legion of Honor, the highest honor bestowed by the French government.  He also was instrumental in the Higher Ground Hurricane Relief concert, produced by Jazz at Lincoln Center, which raised more than $3 million to benefit the musicians, music industry-related enterprises, and other areas in New Orleans impacted by Hurricane Katrina.