Inspired by conversations between former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and jazz musician Wynton Marsalis, Let Freedom Swing introduces the key concepts of jazz (swing, blues and improvisation), some of the early creators of the music (Louis Armstrong, Ma Rainey and Duke Ellington), and excitingly highlights how jazz and democracy are built on shared ideas and values. "Struttin' with Some Barbecue" by Louis Armstrong, "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)" by Duke Ellington, "See See Rider" by Ma Rainey, "Over the Rainbow" by Harold Arlen and "Sing Me a Swing Song" by Hoagy Carmichael are a few of the songs performed by a stellar line-up of musicians including Riley Mulherkar, trumpet and host; Mariel Bildsten, trombone; Lucas Pino, woodwinds; Barry Stephenson, bass; Mathis Picard, piano; TJ Reddick, drums; and Shenel Johns, Vuyo Sotashe and Brianna Thomas, voice.
“Jazz calls us to engage with our national identity. It gives expression to the beauty of democracy and of personal freedom and of choosing to embrace the humanity of all types of people. It really is what American democracy is supposed to be. ”
- Wynton Marsalis
Recommended grades: 3-12
Length: 60 minutes