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All Quotes by author - Wynton Marsalis
" A musician's whole life is to listen. "
" As a jazz musician, you have individual power to create the sound. You also have a responsibility to function in the context of other people who have that power also. "
" Because the blues is the basis of most American music in the 20th century. It's a 12-bar form that's played by jazz, bluegrass and country musicians. It has a rhythmic vocabulary that's been used by rock n' roll. It's related to spirituals, and even the American fiddle tradition. "
" Don't settle for style. Succeed in substance. "
" Don't wish for someone else to do later what you can do now. "
" Don't worry about what others say about your music. Pursue whatever you are hearing... but if everybody really hates your music maybe you could try some different approaches. "
" Duke Ellington always had a style: original, clean with interesting color combinations. He had an artist's eye. "
" Ethics are more important than laws. "
" Even in these times, there are still neighbors that will turn their backs on neighbors. "
" Everything comes out in blues music: joy, pain, struggle. Blues is affirmation with absolute elegance. It's about a man and a woman. So the pain and the struggle in the blues is that universal pain that comes from having your heart broken. Most blues songs are not about social statements. "
" Generally, when I wake up in the morning I set out a series of problems for myself and I write them down, and when I'm sleeping, my mind solves the problems. When I wake up in the morning, I have more clarity on the issue. "
" I almost never watch TV, except for '60 Minutes' and pro football. I love Drew Brees, the Manning brothers and the Steelers' linebackers. "
" I always read all these books about the slaves. My mother is very educated. My father would talk to us like we were grown men. We never knew what he was talking about half the time. "
" I became a man in New York. New York made me the musician that I am and the person that I am, so it's impossible for me to say I regret having lived there. "
" I believed in studying just because I knew education was a privilege. It was the discipline of study, to get into the habit of doing something that you don't want to do. "
" I believe in professionalism, but playing is not like a job. You have to be grateful to have the opportunity to play. "
" I didn't have a philosophical understanding of music until I came to New York. I didn't understand how it applied to my kind and my generation. I thought it was just old people talking. "
" I didn't want to get that ring around my lips from practicing the trumpet, because I thought the girls wouldn't like me. So I never practiced. "
" I dress up a certain way because I respect the music. "
" I feel like a lot of the fundamental material, I've assimilated. So now the question is: Am I going to really get into my spiritual inheritance of music and really develop my abilities? "
" I feel that for years of teaching in the country and reading criticism in books, I feel like the things most needed in our culture are the understanding of the meanings of our music. We haven't done that good of job teaching our kids what our music means or how we developed our taste in music that reminds us and teaches us who we are. "
" If you are serious about American culture and you are serious about Afro-American culture, you are in a lot of pain. You are not - you are not smiling about it. "
" I generally work right up to when I have to do something - I'm always doing a lot. "
" I got my first trumpet when I was six years old, from Al Hirt. My father was playing in Al Hirt's band at that time. "
" I grew up in the South, and our way of dealing with each other was teasing, ribbing, making fun and scrapping in the street. Criticism doesn't bother me so much. It actually made me, when I was younger, more aggressive. But you get into middle age, and you lose interest in that stuff. It's not serious. "
" I grew up in the South, in New Orleans, where guys torture you all the time. So I didn't really grow up on the self-esteem campaign. When you were lousy at something, they told you you were lousy, and they told you how to fix it. "
" I had to figure out how to survive in New York, and most of my time was occupied in getting an apartment and getting money. A lot of older jazz guys looked out for me and found me gigs and places to stay. "
" I have absolutely no idea what my generation did to enrich our democracy. We dropped the ball. We entered a period of complacency and closed our eyes to the public corruption of our democracy. "
" I have friends who will critique me much harder than any review. "
" I'm just lucky to have the type of friends and musicians and people dedicated to my music that I do. "
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