Wynton Marsalis jams with Normandy students

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)--  It's a jam session with a legendary jazz man for these Normandy students.

Wynton Marsalis and his Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra offered the students in the Normandy High Jazz Band an opportunity to find a familiar groove.

"It took them awhile to understand how big the name is and how much of an impact he really has on the world, on the music world," says Bernard Long, Jr., the Normandy High Jazz Band Director.

Bernard Long, Jr. met Marsalis when he was just 10 years old. Today he was leading his Normandy students in a jam session with a group of professionals.

"Our music comes from struggle and we come, all of the kids that we deal with love and feeling and we don't patronize them like what time they had," says Wynton Marsalis.  "Okay you had a rough time?  Life can be hard."

But the only thing hard today was when Marsalis turned the tables and started making these Normandy Vikings start playing some jazz solos.

"Yeah that was awesome," says Damian Luster.  "That was good.  Had you ever done that before?  No, I only did it with my hand.  But it was good, it was great."

And today these students learned what counts, as Marsalis rattled off names like Basie and Parker for some weekend listening homework.

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