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Rose Theater

The Fantastic Mr. Jelly Lord

30th Anniversary Landmark Concert

The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis kicks off our 30th season with a joyous celebration of New Orleans legend Jelly Roll Morton (1890–1941). Jazz's first great composer, musical intellect, and piano virtuoso, Morton gave us the musical blueprint of an eternal New Orleans and jazz as we know it today. Through both classic and never-before-heard arrangements of essential tunes like "King Porter Stomp," "Jungle Blues," "Black Bottom Stomp," and "The Pearls," the JLCO will showcase the contemporary power and the depth of possibility in the earliest jazz. The concepts found in these pieces have been explored by master musicians for the past century, and through the lens of Jelly Roll, you will hear that all jazz is truly modern. In addition to the JLCO's own resident pianist Dan Nimmer, this performance will feature the celebrated pianist Aaron Diehl, rising star Sullivan Fortner, and two promising young Juilliard jazz students from the Midwest and the West: Micah Thomas and Joel Wenhardt. Jelly Roll had to proclaim himself the "King of Jazz" in the early 20th century, but his genius stands the test of time. His music is earthy, sophisticated, and – most of all, fun – guaranteeing a raucous and festive opening weekend in Rose Theater. Welcome back to the House of Swing!

This concert has been chosen as one of our 30th anniversary landmark performances because of the huge influence Jelly Roll Morton has had not just on the development and evolution of jazz, but on Jazz at Lincoln Center itself. Along with Armstrong, Monk, and Ellington, Jelly Roll is among the most performed and celebrated artists at Jazz at Lincoln Center, including in the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra’s 1996 tour, Morton, Monk, Marsalis. Morton was also one of the first inductees into the Ertugen Jazz Hall of Fame in 2004.

Free pre-concert discussion nightly at 7pm.

Enhance your concert experience! Arrive early to enjoy live jazz by Anthony Hervey Trio on Thursday and Alexa Tarantino Quartet on Friday and Saturday, starting at 6pm. On Friday, sample tastings from partners including Nanoosh, Breads Bakery, Urbani Truffles, Risotteria Melotti, and Lotus Scoop Ice Cream; and Saturday, enjoy tastings from Breads Bakery & Spoonbread.

Join our family! Subscribe today by purchasing three or more concerts to our 2017–18 season and receive priority seating, free ticket exchanges and discounts. Or become a member to receive benefits, invitations, and more throughout the season, starting at $75. 

Artist Pages:

Aaron Diehl

Sullivan Fortner

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Visitor Info

Box Office

Broadway and 60th Street

Ground Floor



Mon-Sat, 10am-6pm

Sun, 12pm-6pm




90 Minutes without Intermission