The bandstand is a sacred place.

The nerves are a problem on trumpet, because when you mess up everyone can hear it. Just remember most people are too polite to say anything about it. That should calm your nerves.

My schedule is always tight. But I like to have the pressure of having to finish doing something; it gives me an added edge.

People have taken time out of their day and spent their money to come sit down at a concert. And it's jazz music-it's not easy for them to get to it. I don't want them ever to feel that I'm taking their presence lightly.

I believe in professionalism, but playing is not like a job. You have to be grateful to have the opportunity to play.

What I really have in my head, my imagination, my understanding of music, I never really get that out.

When I auditioned for my high school band the band director was excited because my father was known to be a great musician. When he heard me, he said 'Are you sure you're Ellis's son?'

Through improvisation, jazz teaches you about yourself. And through swing, it teaches you that other people are individuals too. It teaches you how to coordinate with them.

What I've learned how to do as I've gotten older is to take all of the information that I have, and push it aside, and try to distill each song into an emotional theme. The hardest thing that I've ever had to learn how to do in playing music is use the sound of my instrument to create an emotional effect.

Everything comes out in blues music: joy, pain, struggle. Blues is affirmation with absolute elegance. It's about a man and a woman. So the pain and the struggle in the blues is that universal pain that comes from having your heart broken. Most blues songs are not about social statements.

Only a few act - the rest of us reap the benefits of their risk.

The first time I ever played the trumpet in public, I played the Marine Hymn. I sounded terrible.

It's important to address young people in the reopening of New Orleans. In rebuilding, let's revisit the potential of American democracy and American glory.

My daddy thought - no, he expected - that my brothers and I and our generation would make the world a better place. He was correct in his belief because he had lived in an America of continual social progress, depression followed by prosperity, segregation by integration, and so on.

Ethics are more important than laws.

The young very seldom lead anything in our country today. It's been quite some time since a younger generation pushed an older one to a higher standard.

The main three components are the blues, improvisation - which is some kind of element that people are trying to make it up - and swing, which means even though they're making up music, they're trying to make it up together. It feels great, like you're having a great conversation with somebody.

There's so much spirit of integration and democracy in jazz.

I grew up in the South, in New Orleans, where guys torture you all the time. So I didn't really grow up on the self-esteem campaign. When you were lousy at something, they told you you were lousy, and they told you how to fix it.

Jazz celebrates older generations and not just the youth movement. When you 'sell' only to people of a certain age, you get cut off from the main body of experience.

Through first-class education, a generation marches down the long uncertain road of the future with confidence.

My older brother and myself always played together in bands, but we never knew we would be professional musicians.

Don't settle for style. Succeed in substance.

What, other than injustice, could be the reason that the displaced citizens of New Orleans cannot be accommodated by the richest nation in the world?

I try to find the core values that are so fundamental that they transcend ethnic identity. That doesn't mean I run from it. I embrace African-American culture and I love it and embrace it, but it is a part of a human identity. So I'm always trying to make a larger human statement.

My thing is, once you start to put a backbeat on your music or something that has a machine in it, you have popularity, but you lose the flexibility. And you lose a richness.

If you are serious about American culture and you are serious about Afro-American culture, you are in a lot of pain. You are not - you are not smiling about it.

My mother always took my brothers and me to music lessons. There were six children. Our parents attended our concerts and encouraged us to study and enjoy many different types of music.

The best way to be, is to do.

I never minded giving my opinions. They are just opinions, and I had studied music and I had strong feelings. I was happy for my opinions to join all the other opinions. But you have to be prepared for what comes back, especially if you don't agree with the dominant mythology.

I believed in studying just because I knew education was a privilege. It was the discipline of study, to get into the habit of doing something that you don't want to do.

It was Dr. King's tireless activism that fostered our modern way of relating to one another.

Jazz music is America's past and its potential, summed up and sanctified and accessible to anybody who learns to listen to, feel, and understand it. The music can connect us to our earlier selves and to our better selves-to-come. It can remind us of where we fit on the time line of human achievement, an ultimate value of art.

As a jazz musician, you have individual power to create the sound. You also have a responsibility to function in the context of other people who have that power also.

There's always the cliche of the choir shouting and clapping. OK, you have to do that, but there's also introspective parts, parts where you just follow someone that's preaching. There's lots of different emotions and moods that a service requires.

Generally, when I wake up in the morning I set out a series of problems for myself and I write them down, and when I'm sleeping, my mind solves the problems. When I wake up in the morning, I have more clarity on the issue.

We looked up to our father. He still is much greater than us.

Thank the good Lord for a job.

I feel that for years of teaching in the country and reading criticism in books, I feel like the things most needed in our culture are the understanding of the meanings of our music. We haven't done that good of job teaching our kids what our music means or how we developed our taste in music that reminds us and teaches us who we are.

Even in these times, there are still neighbors that will turn their backs on neighbors.

Maybe the preoccupation with technological progress has overshadowed our concern with human progress.

Don't wish for someone else to do later what you can do now.

I play piano and drums very poorly and French horn and tuba all equally as bad.

Many a revolution started with the actions of a few. Only 56 men signed the Declaration of Independence. A few hanging together can lead a nation to change.

In the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra we play such a diversity of music, with 10 arrangers in the band, we don't really worry about whether it's contemporary or not.

The blues. It runs through all American music. Somebody bending the note. The other is the two-beat groove. It's in New Orleans music, it's in jazz, it's in country music, it's in gospel.

I got my first trumpet when I was six years old, from Al Hirt. My father was playing in Al Hirt's band at that time.

I generally work right up to when I have to do something - I'm always doing a lot.

You need a team. You need people to push you. You need opponents.