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W E D N E S D A Y
While Wynton Marsalis can be duly credited with repopularizing traditional jazz, many critics have feared that the dominance of the new-old sound could become a tyranny. With Blood on the Fields, an ambitious two-and-a-half-hour oratorio, Marsalis may have put such qualms to rest. He may denounce fusion and avant-garde dissonance, but this epic work dealing with slavery and its after-effects is not without its experimental moments. Dissonant riffs find comfortable partners with upbeat swing rhythms, while Ellingtonia, African-inspired rhythms, and the blues all join to create an expansive story that moves from the middle passage to the cotton fields to dreams of freedom. Performed by the 16-piece Lincoln Center Orchestra, the work also features John Hendricks, Cassandra Wilson, and Miles Griffith singing Marsalis’ libretto. Tonight and tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. at the Warner Theater, 513 13th St. NW. $25-45. (202) 783-4000. (Holly Bass)