Concert time: Jazz in Washington, D.C.


For recent events across the Washington D.C. area and around the Mason community, The Carmel Institute of Russian Culture and History offered a chance for students to hear musicians Igor Butman and Wynton Marsalis play live with the Moscow Jazz Orchestra.

Every year, The Carmel Institute of Russian Culture and History sponsors a night of jazz and cultural understanding to students and interested listeners. This event, which focuses on music and culture, usually takes place at the scenic Lincoln Theatre in Washington D.C. where Wynton Marsalis plays and saxophonist Igor Butman performs with his band.

Igor Butman is Russia’s beloved jazz saxophonist, and his work is highly regarded throughout most of the world. He has performed in various high-class scenes like jazz concerts, festivals and the Olympic games, as well as being a club owner and television host. He has produced several albums and even launched his own record label called Butman Music. He has also been highly recognized by many celebrities, including Bill Clinton, who praised him at a state dinner in Moscow as possibly “the greatest living jazz saxophone player.”

The other talented musical guest who appeared was Wynton Marsalis, a trumpeter, composer, teacher and artistic director of jazz at the Lincoln Center in New York City. His main instruments are trumpet, cornet and flugelhorn. For his work, he’s had the honor of receiving nine Grammys, and one of his compositions was the first jazz piece to win the Pulitzer Prize in Music. In 1986, he also performed the national anthem for Super Bowl XX. Today, he aspires to assist young audiences in appreciating the musical arts, specifically jazz and classical music.

For the fifth anniversary celebration of the Carmel Institute, a concert was held Friday, Oct. 21, and the institute offered music as a unique way to share Russian culture while also uniting people under the swaying notes of smooth jazz. The Carmel Institute of Russian Culture and History seeks to promote a greater global understanding of Russia as well as a deeper love for jazz.

To students, the company offered a reception after the concert where they could mingle and discuss the night in greater detail. Most students at the reception understood the importance music has for various cultures around the globe; indeed, the night proved music has no borders and jazz unites listeners of any language or culture. The concert was a unique opportunity for students interested in becoming musicians or who simply wanted to enjoy jazz while learning about Russian culture.