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Like Miles Davis, Wynton Marsalis seems to generate as much debate as he does respect. Yet Marsalis directed an entire generation of “young lions” into the traditional realm of hard bop and New Orleans jazz, and away from the bland fusion that flourished during his adolescence. For that alone we should be thankful, but his Ellingtonian works, like “Citi Movement” and “Blue Interlude,” reveal that he’s a gifted composer as well. While even Davis was critical of Marsalis’ refusal to explore “new sounds,” Marsalis’ strength lies in his intense study of extended jazz composition—a rare species mastered by few. Marsalis performs at 8:30 p.m. at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. $22.50-29.50. (202) 467-4600. (Chip Porter)