Remembering Bernstein

Wynton Marsalis on Leonard Bernstein’s Legacy of Musical and Racial Integration

Wynton Marsalis, born in 1961, grew up in the South amid segregation. He discusses Leonard Bernstein’s life and legacy, including how Bernstein addressed racial segregation through integration and education, helped bridged the gap between musical genres, and his own awareness of the connections between Jewish and African-American music and identity.

We don’t realize, at this time, how large the gulf was between classical music and American popular music, between a Broadway show and an opera, …

~Wynton Marsalis

About this content

This interview with Wynton Marsalis was conducted in 2018 by the National Museum of American Jewish History as part of the original exhibition “Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music,” on view March 16 – September 2, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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