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Jazz At Lincoln Center's New Season Celebrates Past Legends, Future Greats

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Jazz At Lincoln Center is hoping for a strong upcoming season that will celebrate legends of the past and newcomers on the scene. NY1's Arts reporter Stephanie Simon filed the following report.

Wynton Marsalis, the artistic director of Jazz At Lincoln Center, has announced an upcoming season that includes a special tribute to the late Dave Brubeck and perennial favorites like Ahmad Jamal and Dianne Reeves.

It also celebrates the next generation of great jazz artists, like Vijay Iyer and Esperanza Spalding, the young woman who beat out Justin Bieber for Best New Artist at the 2011 Grammy Awards.

"We took the 25th anniversary and looked back at things that we have done and picked out concerts that meant a lot to us," Marsalis says. "In this next season, we are going to do a lot of the things that we have not done yet and celebrate the 'now' of the scene."

It's a bit of everything, from flamenco guitarist Tomatito and other international sounds, the Maria Schneider Orchestra, various interpretations of the American Songbook, bassist Christian McBride, and jazz impresario George Wein.

"He likes to sing too, but he's a better piano player than singer. He basically invented the jazz festival formula," says Marsalis.

The Dave Brubeck tribute was in the works before the jazz composer passed away. Marsalis went over the details with Brubeck about two weeks before his death in December.

"I was glad, he actually had a chance to sit up and listen to it," Marsalis says. "His son said, 'Listen, if he didn't like it, he would have let you know.'"

Not on the schedule is a favorite from recent seasons past, country singer Willie Nelson.

"He might. You never know what he is going to do," Marsalis says. "We've seen him on the road, just on the bus. We said, 'Wait a second, that's Willie's bus! Stop, let's go an see him!'"

The new season doesn't kick off until September, but there's never a day without jazz at Jazz At Lincoln Center. Coming up is the Dizzy And Bird Festival on March 8-9, celebrating the music of jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and saxophonist Charlie "Bird" Parker. The greats Jon Faddis and Paquito D'Rivera will play and pay tribute.

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