Marsalis and JALC musicians cancel Venezuela concerts with Simon Bolívar Orchestra

Posted on: March 16, 2015

“Wynton Marsalis has canceled concerts in Venezuela at a time of rising tensions between the two nations,” write Joshua Goodman and Charles Gans in a Friday (3/13) Associated Press report. “The New York-based trumpeter and composer was scheduled to perform his ‘Swing Symphony’ on Friday alongside the Simon Bolívar Orchestra conducted by Diego Matheuz, the first of three concerts planned in Caracas. Marsalis and other musicians from the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra also were supposed to lead a series of workshops with Venezuela’s world-famous El Sistema network of youth ensembles. Both that organization and the orchestra are supported by Venezuela’s socialist government. Greg Scholl, executive director of the Jazz at Lincoln Center, said he regretted the last-minute scratch of Caracas from the jazz orchestra’s 12-city South American tour. He said the visit would be rescheduled at a later date to avoid becoming a distraction amid the recent political turmoil…. Last week, [Venezuelan] President Nicolas Maduro ordered the U.S. to sharply reduce the size of its embassy and slapped a new visa requirement on Americans that has caught many travelers by surprise…. Scholl said all the musicians had visas and that neither the U.S. nor Venezuela’s government pressured the orchestra to either keep or cancel its appearance.”

Posted March 16, 2015