Revered as one of the greatest jazz drummers of all time, Max Roach was among the first to use music to address the racial, political, and social issues of his time. The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (JLCO) celebrates the centennial of this pioneering legend, master musician and innovative bandleader who spanned a diverse range of styles that influenced generations to follow.
In 1961, after having been an influential member of the Charlie Parker-Dizzy Gillespie Quintet, pioneering bebop, and performing alongside Miles Davis’ seminal “Birth of the Cool” album, and a founder of the Clifford Brown-Max Roach Quintet, Roach went on to make albums with his wife, the trailblazing singer and songwriter Abbey Lincoln. At the time, he told DownBeat Magazine that he would “never again play anything” that did not “have social significance.”
The JLCO comprises 15 of today's finest jazz soloists and ensemble players. Under Music Director Wynton Marsalis, the JLCO performs a vast repertoire, from rare historic compositions to Jazz at Lincoln Center-commissioned works, including compositions and arrangements by Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Mary Lou Williams, Benny Goodman, and many others.