Can you tell us how to swing to Sesame Street?
On October 30, at 9:00 p.m. EDT, Jazz at Lincoln Center Presents: A Swingin’ Sesame Street Celebration will debut on PBS stations nationwide (check local listings). In this hour-long special—filmed in front of a sold-out audience at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater— the world-renowned Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis welcomes beloved Sesame Street characters Elmo, Bert & Ernie, Big Bird, Herry Monster, Grover, Oscar the Grouch, The Count, Abby, Hoots the Owl, and Rosita to sing classic Sesame Street songs for fans of all ages.
Exclusively for Jazz at Lincoln Center Presents: A Swingin’ Sesame Street Celebration, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra reimagines favorite Sesame Street songs as big band bonanzas with brand-new arrangements. Those classics include “Rubber Duckie,” “I Don’t Want to Live on the Moon,” and “People in Your Neighborhood.”
For fifty years and counting, Sesame Street has enriched children’s lives with music they might not hear anywhere else. Jazz legends like Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock, and Mary Lou Williams performed on the show. Sesame Street’s house band — which includes trumpeter Kenny Rampton, longtime member of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra — has performed countless jazz classics over the years. Wynton Marsalis, Jazz at Lincoln Center ’s Managing and Artistic Director, visited Sesame Street to play “Take the A Train” with the “Duck” Ellington Orchestra in 1991 and “No Matter What Your Language (Our Music Can Be The Same)” alongside Hoots the Owl in 1998. These memorable performances continue to be enjoyed by families around the world.
To ensure jazz will be performed and appreciated, both now and in future generations, Jazz at Lincoln Center has developed a continuum of education programs and diverse array of live performances that help audiences, from childhood onward, learn about jazz’s distinct American heritage, its great works and musicians, and relationships to other artistic disciplines. All of these programs including Swing University, WeBop, Essentially Ellington, and Middle School Jazz Academy and more are available online via jazz.org.
Jazz at Lincoln Center Presents: A Swingin’ Sesame Street Celebration is presented in collaboration with Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street.
The mission of Jazz at Lincoln Center is to entertain, enrich, and expand a global community for jazz through performance, education, and advocacy. We believe jazz is a metaphor for Democracy. Because jazz is improvisational, it celebrates personal freedom and encourages individual expression. Because jazz is swinging, it dedicates that freedom to finding and maintaining common ground with others. Because jazz is rooted in the blues, it inspires us to face adversity with persistent optimism.
Learn more about the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra at jazz.org.