Wynton Marsalis Speaks Out
AAJ: Is that why you emphasize traditional and connection to traditional elements?
WM: No, I talk about traditional things because that's the reality. All education talks about traditional things. It doesn't make a difference if you're talking about music, or medicine, or aeronautics. To really understand what you are studying you're gonna deal with the tradition of that thing. That's what knowing about it is.
AAJ: By separating that out, we've created a culture with a one quarter memory that only knows about the latest item to purchase.
WM: Right. That's why when the fascists come in and take over they burn books. They don't want you to remember. Never forget that the Third Reich was called The New Order.
AAJ: Do you think something similar is happening here based on commerciality?
WM: Well I'm not going to say it's the same as the Third Reich'
AAJ: No, I mean'
WM: But in terms of separating people from who they are so you can sell anything to them, I know that's what's going on.
AAJ: What can we do to mitigate against that trend?
WM: Bring the kids to the shows. Not just jazz, but the arts in general. I don't see younger people at anything of value. I don't see enough younger people with their parents at museums, at ballets, at all the arts. We need to invest our time and energy with our kids in things that are development-oriented.
AAJ: I think we should close right there so I can let you get back to your trip. I know you are very busy.
WM: All right, boss. You take care.
AAJ: Thank you and thanks again for your time.