Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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Wynton Marsalis' Conversation with Jazz
  • Sonié Joi Ruffin
    born 1951
    born: Joplin, Missouri, United States ; active: United States
  • Wynton Marsalis' Conversation with Jazz, 2007
  • Where object was made: United States
  • cotton, quilting, hand-dyed batik fabric
  • Object Height/Width: overall dimensions 96 x 120 in
  • On loan by the artist
  • Not on display
  • EL2017.031.a,b,c
  • Loan: Not in the Spencer's collection
Label Text

Exhibition Label:
"Narratives of the Soul", 08-Jul-2017
This quilt in three parts is infused with the music of Wynton Marsalis, a jazz artist whom Ruffin admires. It relates to a chance encounter that Ruffin had with Marsalis in 2005 at the Gem Theater in Kansas City, when she heard him play trumpet. That moment reminded her of her first experience of jazz music as an 8-year-old in Joplin, Missouri. In this quilt, Ruffin brings in elements of Marsalis’s music in a dynamic triptych of cloth. The left panel, called “Syncopation,” uses colored circles with threads to suggest an abstract horn. In the center panel, “Crescendo,” the sounds seem to burst open. The right panel, “Copacetic,” refers to the mellow or cooled down part of a jazz sequence when the lead musician awaits his turn for solo improvisation.