Play to an elevated purpose: Wynton Marsalis on "The Democracy! Suite"

Spark & Fire: Epic Creative Stories

May 11

36 min 44 sec

“Everything you do in the arts gives meaning to your way of life." In a year of pandemic, racial reckoning, and threats to democracy, Wynton Marsalis creates a seven-song cycle that imagines how artists can shape the times we live in. As he tells us the story of creating "The Democracy! Suite," he teaches unforgettable lessons about collaboration, preparation, and the rewards – and costs – of a creative life. When you’re playing to an elevated purpose, it opens possibilities and broadens your impact. And these are lessons that help you endure as a creative, no matter your field.Follow along (with transcript and photos) at to the Spark & Fire weekly newsletter for images, stories and creative prompts: Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at

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