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The Tulsa Symphony, Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra Mark Centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre

Frank Hammel • News • May 10, 2021

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Wynton Marsalis photo by Piper Ferguson

Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra will join the Tulsa Symphony and Festival Chorus to mark a somber occasion, 100 years since the Tulsa Race Massacre of May 31-June 1, 1921. The performance of All Rise (Symphony No. 1), Marsalis’ epic blues suite, will take place June 6 at the BOK Center in Tulsa at 3 p.m.

More details from the Tulsa Symphony (

Tulsa Symphony Orchestra

On the somber occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, the Tulsa Symphony and Festival Chorus will join forces with world-renowned trumpeter, composer, educator and bandleader Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra to present All Rise (Symphony No. 1), Marsalis’ epic blues suite that “was written themes of unity and spiritual ascendance.” David Robertson will conduct the performance, and the chorus will be under the leadership of Damien L. Sneed. This event will take place at the BOK Center on Sunday, June 6 at 3 pm, and is produced in alliance with the Tulsa Race Massacre Commission.

“When I was writing ‘All Rise,’ Kurt Masur, conductor of the New York Philharmonic, told me, ‘The line between civilization and barbarism is much thinner than you think.’ That’s why with everything that you do, you have to decry barbarism and the reduction of people.” said Wynton Marsalis. 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission project director Phil Armstrong voiced, “We are so grateful to have Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz in Tulsa for the Centennial. Processing tragedy and trauma is complex. For me, music has always been an emotional outlet, and I hope this experience provides just that to Tulsans during this important week of remembrance, resilience and hope.”. Keith C. Elder, Executive Director of the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra, added, “We are glad to bring this moving work and these internationally recognized artists to the Tulsa community to commemorate the tragic events of 1921. It will be an evening where the power of music will be used to unite and heal our community.

Marsalis’symphony blends various influences from classical, jazz, gospel, and Latin-based music into a particularly poignant work to memorialize the Massacre. The piece was commissioned by the New York Philharmonic and first performed at Lincoln Center in December 1999. It features three sections of four movements each, which are swing-based and in the structure of the12 bar blues. The first segment is uplifting and energetic, the second set of movements are more dark and distressing, and the final section culminates with the elevating energy of a gospel choir that is titled “I Am (Don’t You Run From Me) — God’s love is what calls us to rise to the complete fulfillment of who we are. Our choice determines the extent to which we will rise, and the act of rising itself is thanks for His love, which is the source of our life and creativity.”

Tickets will go on sale on May 15, 10 am and will be available online at

About the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra

The Tulsa Symphony Orchestra is proud to celebrate its 15th year as a vital community service organization that entertains, advocates, heals and inspires through musical excellence, innovation, and collaboration. Serving as the cornerstone of the arts in Tulsa, the TSO partners and collaborates with Tulsa Ballet, Tulsa Opera, Tulsa Chorale, Philbrook Museum, Gilcrease Museum and Oklahoma Aquarium. A leader in classical music and music education, TSO presents over 30 major performances per season, which touch over 55,000 people in the Northeast Oklahoma region. At the forefront of the Orchestra is artistic integrity, collaborating with renowned artists such as Joshua Bell, Amy Grant, Eric Whitacre, Yefim Bronfman, and Hanson. For additional information about TSO, please visit our website at

About the Tulsa Race Massacre Commission

The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission will leverage the rich history surrounding the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre by facilitating actions, activities, and events that commemorate and educate all citizens.

The projects of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission will educate Oklahomans and Americans about the Race Massacre and its impact on the state and Nation; remember its victims and survivors; and create an environment conducive to fostering sustainable entrepreneurship and heritage tourism within the Greenwood District specifically, and North Tulsa generally. For further information, visit

About Wynton Marsalis

Wynton Marsalis, the managing and artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, is an internationally acclaimed musician, composer and bandleader, an educator and a leading advocate of American culture. He has created and performed an expansive range of music from quartets to big bands, chamber music ensembles to symphony orchestras and tap dance to ballet, expanding the vocabulary for jazz and classical music with a vital body of work that places him among the world’s finest musicians and composers.

Always swinging, Marsalis blows his trumpet with a clear tone, a depth of emotion and a unique, virtuosic style derived from an encyclopedic range of trumpet techniques. When you hear Marsalis play, you’re hearing life being played out through music.

Marsalis’ core beliefs and foundation for living are based on the principles of jazz. He promotes individual creativity (improvisation), cooperation (swing), gratitude and good manners (sophistication) and faces adversity with persistent optimism (the blues). With his evolved humanity and through his selfless work, Marsalis has elevated the quality of human engagement for individuals, social networks and cultural institutions throughout the world.

About Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra

In the Spirit of Swing. The mission of Jazz at Lincoln Center is to entertain, enrich and expand a global community for jazz through performance, education and advocacy. The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, led by Wynton Marsalis, comprises 15 of the finest soloists, ensemble players, and arrangers in jazz music today. The ensemble has toured and performed around the world as well as in its home venue, Lincoln Center. The Orchestra accompanied Wynton Marsalis on his Pulitzer Prize-winning album Blood on the Fields. For further information, visit





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