The Eleventh Hour (March 2011)
Backed against a wall with time running out...
Challenged by the recent discovery of past events, Jermaine holds fast knowing that God wouldn’t bring him this far … just to leave him. He’s new in the faith, but determined to live a life pleasing to the Lord. Just when a ray of light breaks through the turmoil, Jermaine receives yet another debilitating blow that attempts to change his life forever. Will he be able to endure the trial that stretches his faith to the limit?
Moving into a new phase of life, Nia Thomas reveals a piece of her past for the sake of sanity … but is there something else she’s holding back? Racing against the hands of time, Nia comes to term with the fact that the whole truth must be told. Determined to break free from bondage, she must first learn how to forgive. Will Nia surrender all that she has for a future of peace or hold onto what’s old and familiar?
The final piece of the puzzle lies within the eleventh hour. But first, check out the previous titles in The Fiery Furnace series: The Kiss of Judas & Confessions ... http://www.reneeallenmccoy.com/
Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis
By Renarda Williams
JALC is dedicated to inspiring and growing audiences for jazz. JALC advances a unique vision for the continued development of the art of jazz by producing a year-round schedule of performances, education and broadcast events for audiences of all ages. The productions include concerts, national and international tours, television broadcasts, recordings, jazz appreciation curriculum for students, and adult education courses. Education is a major part of JALC's mission and its educational activities are coordinated with concert and JLCO tour programming.
In 1987, Wynton Marsalis co-founded a jazz program at Lincoln Center. Marsalis is the artistic director of JALC. He is also the music director of JLCO. He spends over a third of the year on tour with JLCO. One of this year's Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis tours was at the University of Central Arkansas's Reynolds Performance Hall in Conway, Arkansas. The orchestra performed to a sold out audience. They started off with Inaki's Decision, a song from their album Vitoria Suite (which featured Paco De Lucia), that was recorded in Spain. This amazing piece of music had an up-tempo beat, and the orchestra was in a rhythmical sequence. There was also an array of solos: from the trumpets, saxophones, clarinets, flute, bass, piano, and drums. Once the group finished, Marsalis jokingly told the audience, "We were so caught up in the moment [to the point] where we did not want to stop."
JLCO played Ted Nash's Portrait in Seven Shades that began with trumpeter Marcus Printup's solo, and then there was Nash's solo. Afterwards, Printup used his trumpet sounds to chase Nash's saxophones sounds. They were so remarkable to the point where the audience did not know what Printup and Nash were playing.
Trumpeter Marsalis, trombonist Vincent Gardner, saxophonist/clarinetist Victor Goines, drummer Ali Jackson, pianist Dan Nimmer, and bassist Carlos Henriquez performed a piece entitled Weary Blues. The song was filled with a "taste of New Orleans." Gardner opened up with a low-up-tempo trombone solo; then, Goines played a soothing clarinet solo. Jackson's drumming and Nimmer's piano playing were outstanding. Marsalis played a "dynamic" trumpet solo that electrified the audience. At one point, during his solo, Marsalis was so energized in playing, to where he had to shake his head and smile to the audience. Out of all the songs JLCO played, there were two that highlighted the evening. And they were: Itsi Bitsy Spider and Old McDonald Had a Farm. It appeared as if the orchestra was telling the audience two "nursery rhyme" stories through jazz music.
I've followed Marsalis' career since 1982, the debut of his first album, Wynton Marsalis, during my junior year at the University of Southwestern Louisiana in Lafayette, Louisiana (now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette). I interviewed Marsalis, via telephone, for the Monroe Free Press newspaper in Monroe, Louisiana in August 2000. Ever since then, through his assistant Genevieve Stewart, at Wynton Marsalis Enterprises in New York City, I've kept in contact with him. Before the UCA concert, the last time we met was in April 2002. He performed at ULL's Angelle Hall, where I worked during my freshman and sophomore years.
Marsalis, a native of New Orleans, Louisiana (just like JLCO member Victor Goines) began his classical training at age 12; and he soon began playing in local bands of diverse genres. He entered Julliard School at age 17 and joined Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. To date, Marsalis has recorded more than 70 jazz and classical albums, which have garnered him nine Grammy Awards. In 1983, he became the first and only artist to win both classical and jazz Grammy Awards in the same year. He repeated this feat in 1984.
Marsalis rich body of compositions includes Sweet Release; Jazz: Six Syncopated Movements; Jump Start and Jazz; Citi Movement/Griot New York; At the Octoroon Balls and In House, On This Morning and Big Train. In 1997, he became the first jazz artist to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize in music for his oratorio Blood on the Fields was commissioned by JALC. In 1999, Marsalis released eight new recordings in his unprecedented Swinging into the 21st series. He also premiered several new compositions, including the ballet Them Twos, for collaboration with the New York City Ballet. Also, he premiered the monumental work All Rise, commissioned and performed by the New York Philharmonic, along with the JLCO and the Morgan State University Choir. Sony Classical released All Rise on CD in 2002.