Award-winning trombone player Wycliffe Gordon was joined Saturday night by the University of Miami Frost Concert Jazz Band for a livestreamed performance at Pinecrest Gardens.
In between tunes, the Georgia-born graduate of Florida’s A&M University said he was thrilled to be performing during the pandemic and to be back in South Florida, where he hasn’t been in 10 years. He also spoke about meeting up with fraternity brothers for the first time in decades.
Gordon is best known for his work with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, under the direction of jazz maestro Wynton Marsalis. On Saturday he led the UM band through many original compositions, along with selections from famous jazz greats, like Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington.
It was shared that a COVID-19 outbreak on the UM campus interrupted rehearsals for about a week, but some marathon practice sessions with Gordon made up for lost time. He encouraged many student solos during the concert, during which Instruments were played through holes in face masks.
The nearly two-hour performance with a brief intermission took a moment to pay tribute to the late Chick Corea (the jazz great died last week), and featured selections in the name of Black History Month, Valentine’s Day and Mardi Gras.
Gordon effortlessly transitioned from playing the trombone to the trumpet and to singing and scatting. It was a night to remember for the students sharing the stage, the viewing audience and especially the handful of live guests who enjoyed the performance in the Pinecrest Gardens Banyan Bowl.
The JazzAid Live concert series is continuing into the month of April. For more information, visit pinecrestgardens.org.