Acclaimed Jazz pianist and College of Music faculty member Marcus Roberts returned to JALC’s Rose Theatre on October 12th and 13th with his 12-piece ensemble, composed almost entirely of FSU faculty, students, and alumni: College of Music faculty bassist Rodney Jordan and current College of Music students Tim Blackmon (trumpet), Stephen Riley (tenor saxophone), and Tissa Khosla (baritone saxophone, pictured above) joined Roberts on stage along with Jason Marsalis (drums), Ron Westray (trombone), and Marcus Printup (trumpet) and recent College of Music alumni Alphonso Horne (trumpet, ’10), Etienne Charles (trumpet, ’06), Joe Goldberg (clarinet, ’12), and Ricardo Pascal (tenor and soprano saxophones, ‘11) to revisit Roberts’ unrecorded suite “Romance, Swing and the Blues,” which he debuted at JALC in 1993.
Roberts, an active jazz educator who has developed numerous outreach and residency programs for children of all ages, has been instrumental to the training and development of a number of young musicians, including highly acknowledged jazz artists such as trumpeters Marcus Printup and Nicholas Payton, trombonist Ronald Westray, and drummer Jason Marsalis.
“I’m very proud of these young men,” Roberts proclaimed after the performance. “They have worked hard and they are helping to get the name and reputation of our college out there prominently.”
“I have had many varied and wonderful experiences playing at Jazz at Lincoln Center,” said Roberts. “The best part has always been the diversity of the programs that I have been able to put together. Also, the many young musicians who I have mentored have in many cases received their first opportunities on the JALC concert stage.” He continues, “It has been a great 25 years, a period of time that has shown me that jazz music is doing well and continues to flourish and grow. Its undeniable power is at the very essence of our American cultural identity, and we are blessed as a people to have such a profound art form with which to express our beliefs, ideas, and individual, and group perspectives.”