The History of the Abyssinian Mass: Part IV - Everyone Has a Place


Victor Goines (Photo by Frank Stewart for Jazz at Lincoln Center)

News | Feb, 28th 2016

In honor of Black History Month and the upcoming release of THE ABYSSINIAN MASSalbum, we look back at the inspiration for Wynton Marsalis' sweeping suite of spiritual jazz and the reception it received. In this final installment, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra travels to New Orleans—hometown of Wynton Marsalis and Victor Goines—to help reopen an iconic venue closed by Hurricane Katrina.

It's hard to understate the importance of Victor Goines' hometown to the JLCO saxophonist.

"New Orleans is everything," Goines says. "It's just a place where you get to be yourself. It's the most relaxed place in the world that I've ever lived, and I've lived in lots of places."

Goines was in New York in 2005, when Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans. It was painful for him to watch the ensuing devastation from a distance, knowing friends and families were being displaced.

When the JLCO returned with Damien Sneed and Chorale Le Chateau to New Orleans in 2013, they performed The Abyssinian Massin the Saenger Theater, a former movie palace and concert venue that had been devastated by Katrina. The Saenger had reopened only a couple weeks earlier.

It was a fitting homecoming for Goines, who'd grown up making music in the Crescent City. When he was eight, his mother bought him a horn, thinking it would help her son with his asthma. From there on out, he was devoted to the saxophone, and he made a lifelong connection when he met Marsalis in a New Orleans youth band.

Marsalis calls him a godsend. "When something goes wrong, you watch Vic, and you're going to see a lot of humanity."

Stay tuned for more behind-the-scenes history of THE ABYSSINIAN MASS and preorder the album:

--From the Jazz at Lincoln Center webstore

--From Amazon

--From iTunes


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In honor of Black History Month and the upcoming release of The Abyssinian Mass album, we look back at the inspiration for Wynton Marsalis' sweeping suite of spiritual jazz and the reception it received.

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In this installment, we travel to Augusta, GA for a concert that had special meaning for one member of the JLCO.


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