Entertainment

Jazz Musician Marsalis Cancels Venezuela Shows Amid Tensions

In this Sept. 20, 2014, file photo, musician Wynton Marsalis performs during a memorial service for actress Ruby Dee at The Riverside Church in New York. It was announced Wednesday, March 11, 2015, that Marsalis is scratching a concert in Venezuela amid rising tensions between Venezuela and the U.S. that are making it harder for U.S. citizens to travel to the South American country. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow, File)
In this Sept. 20, 2014, file photo, musician Wynton Marsalis performs during a memorial service for actress Ruby Dee at The Riverside Church in New York. It was announced Wednesday, March 11, 2015, that Marsalis is scratching a concert in Venezuela amid rising tensions between Venezuela and the U.S. that are making it harder for U.S. citizens to travel to the South American country. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow, File)

JOSHUA GOODMAN, Associated Press
CHARLES J. GANS, Associated Press

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — American jazz legend Wynton Marsalis has canceled concerts in Venezuela at a time of rising tensions between the two nations.

The New York-based trumpeter and composer was scheduled to perform his “Swing Symphony” on Friday alongside the Simon Bolivar Orchestra conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, the first of three concerts planned in Caracas.

Marsalis and other musicians from the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra also were supposed to lead a series of workshops with Venezuela’s world-famous El Sistema network of youth ensembles. Both that organization and the orchestra are supported by Venezuela’s socialist government.

Greg Scholl, executive director of the Jazz at Lincoln Center, said he regretted the last-minute scratch of Caracas from the jazz orchestra’s 12-city South American tour. He said the visit would be rescheduled at a later date to avoid becoming a distraction amid the recent political turmoil.

Jazz “is a powerful tool to bring people across cultures and geographies together,” he said in an interview from New York. “But it’s important that it’s performed in conditions when the music can be heard. Intentionally or otherwise, if our performances there and the work that we were doing with them there was to become politicized those conditions no longer exist. And that could be harmful to both of our institutions.”

Marsalis has long been an emissary for jazz and in 2010 spent a week in Havana jamming with music students in communist-ruled Cuba.

His first visit to Venezuela since 2005 couldn’t have come at a worse time for relations between the two countries.

Last week, President Nicolas Maduro ordered the U.S. to sharply reduce the size of its embassy and slapped a new visa requirement on Americans that has caught many travelers by surprise.

The embattled leader said he was taking the steps to protect the oil-rich nation from attempts by the U.S. to oust his government. The U.S. has dismissed the claims as laughable and called them an attempt to distract attention from Venezuela’s deepening economic crisis.

Scholl said all the musicians had visas and that neither the U.S. nor Venezuela’s government pressured the orchestra to either keep or cancel its appearance.

___

Associated Press writer Joshua Goodman reported this story in Bogota and Charles J. Gans reported from New York.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Tags
Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Washington Informer Newspaper, 3117 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE, Washington, DC, 20032, http://www.washingtoninformer.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Back to top button

My News Matters to me - Washington Informer Donations

Be a Part of The Washington Informer Legacy

A donation of your choice empowers our journalists to continue the work to better inform, educate and empower you through technology and resources that you use.

Click Here Today to Support Black Press and be a part of the Legacy!

Subscribe today for free and be the first to have news and information delivered directly to your inbox.

Select list(s) to subscribe to


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Washington Informer Newspaper, 3117 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE, Washington, DC, 20032, http://www.washingtoninformer.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact
Close

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker