Ask Wynton Marsalis to name his favorite holiday song and he might tell you, “The Christmas Song” by Mel Torme. Then he’ll likely explain it’s personal. When Marsalis first moved to New York, he played in a show with Torme. He was 18 years-old.
“The contractor thought I was only a classical trumpet player,” Marsalis recalled. “He said this boy can’t play. I don’t know why he’s playing this gig, and Mel heard me play and said, this boy can play. Leave him alone.”