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“We Always Swing” Jazz Series for Black History Month

The “We Always Swing” Jazz Series will celebrate Black History Month with 3 outstanding concerts, culminating with Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis February 23, 2022, at The Missouri Theatre in Columbia, Missouri.

However, the “We Always Swing” Jazz Series Black History Month concerts begins with drummer Ulysses Owens Jr. & Generation Y on February 6th at Murry’s, a jazz club at 3107 Green Meadows Way in Columbia, with an eclectic American menu.

Ulysses Owens Jr. February 6, 2022

Ulysses Owens, Jr's group is dedicated to moving the music forward. With a love of the jazz tradition, which the leader himself has absorbed, having performed with numerous significant artists such as Nicholas Payton, Christian McBride, Wynton Marsalis and Mulgrew Miller, among many, many others.

The drummer makes his third Jazz Series appearance at Murrays, but his first as a leader when he arrives with his quintet Generation Y, on May 6th and comprised of some of the most dynamic young jazz musicians on the scene.

Sullivan Fortner February 20, 2022

Pianist, Sullivan Fortner brings his trio to Murry’s on February 20th for our second instalment of 3 Black History Month Concerts. The GRAMMY Award-winning artist received international praise as both pianist and producer for his collaborative work on The Window (Mack Avenue, 2018), alongside multi-GRAMMY winner, vocalist-composer Cecile McLorin Salvant.

Fortner was last in Columbia in 2017 playing with Salvant. A New Orleans native, Fortner earned his Bachelor of Music from Oberlin Conservatory and Master of Music in Jazz Performance from Manhattan School of Music. Fortner is a Cole Porter Fellowship Award winner, which is presented by the American Pianists Association.

February 23, 2022 Wynton Marsalis brings his 18-piece big band back for the first time in 5 years.

Just 3 days after Fortner plays Murry’s, the Jazz Series will present Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with GRAMMY & Pulitzer Prize winner Wynton Marsalis leading the big band. Marsalis' first Columbia appearance dates to 1987. Then a 26-year-old, having been thrust into the limelight a few years earlier when he was a member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, led a quartet. Now more than 30 years later Marsalis has become one of the most recognizable names and faces in jazz today. If you would like more information about upcoming concerts or anything the Jazz Series related, please send a note to

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