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tv   60 Minutes  CBS  June 26, 2011 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT

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captioning funded by cbs and ford-- built for the road ahead. >> pelley: the poverty rate for children in america may soon hit 25%. so many kids are homeless, school buses now stop at cheap motels. >> i never really noticed what people were actually going through until now, until we're actually going through it, too. >> pelley: jacob braverman's family is going through it in one room-- after they were evicted, their neighbors took them in. you think all this has changed you? >> yes. i mean, i haven't realized it, but i think i've gotten very mature in a very short amount of time.
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♪ ♪ >> safer: it's hard to believe that the boy wonder from new orleans, who has been startling audiences since his teens, is pushing 50. he's an american master-- wynton marsalis and his jazz at lincoln center orchestra, arguably the best there is at america's most distinctive art form, an art they take around the world. ♪ ♪ we had the chance to travel with these cultural ambassadors to europe, and to that most forbidden city to most americans, havana. >> i'm steve kroft. >> i'm lesley stahl. >> i'm bob simon. >> i'm morley safer. >> i'm anderson cooper. >> i'm scott pelley. those stories tonight on "60 minutes."
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we share. shop from anywhere. and are always connected. we live in a social world. isn't it time we had a social currency to match? membership rewards points from american express. use them to get the things you love from amazon.com, ticketmaster.com, and more unexpected places. they're a social currency with endless possibilities. >> pelley: unemployment continues to hover around 9%.
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and job creation is so slow, it will be years before we get back the seven and a half million jobs lost in the great recession. american families have been falling out of the middle class in record numbers. the combination of lost jobs and millions of foreclosures means a lot of folks are homeless and hungry for the first time in their lives. one of the consequences of the recession that you don't hear much about is the record number of children descending into poverty. the government considers a family of four to be impoverished if they take in less than $22,000 a year. based on that standard and government projections of unemployment, it is estimated that the poverty rate for kids in this country will soon hit 25%. as we first reported last march, those children would be the largest american generation to be raised in hard times since the great depression. in seminole county, near orlando, florida, so many kids
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have lost their homes, school buses now stop at dozens of cheap motels where families crowd into rooms, living week to week. 11-year-old destiny corfee joined the line at this motel a year ago. >> destiny corfee: i never really noticed what people were actually going through until now, until we're actually going through it, too. >> pelley: david and teresa corfee never imagined their family homeless. together, they were making about $40 an hour detailing expensive cars. there was a three-bedroom home, vacations, extras for the kids. but both jobs went, and then the house. evicted, they found that the homeless shelters wanted to split their family up-- boys and girls. >> david corfee: that was definitely something that i wasn't going to have was being separated at a time like this. i figured that at a time like this that we needed to be together more than anything. >> pelley: so david, theresa, destiny, jorge and chance moved into their van. >> david corfee: jorge climbed
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up here on the backseat, destiny and chance here. >> destiny corfee: i was embarrassed that, like, maybe one of my friends might see me. i don't want anybody to know that i was actually in there. >> pelley: where was the van parked? >> destiny corfee: it was at a wal-mart. >> jorge corfee: we would actually go in wal-mart and clean ourself up before we'd go to school. >> destiny corfee: yeah, in the bathrooms. >> jorge corfee: save some money. >> pelley: how would you do that? >> jorge corfee: i would, like, wash my face and, like, take a tissue and wash my arms and stuff. >> destiny corfee: we would bring the toothpaste and the toothbrush and the brushes, like, so we'll go brush our hair in the mirror and, like, people would see us. >> jorge corfee: yeah. >> destiny corfee: and it would be kind of weird. but we worked through it. >> pelley: tell me about the motel that you're living in now. >> destiny corfee: well, it's a lot better than the van. >> jorge corfee: yeah. it's really small, though. >> pelley: two rooms for the five of them. their possessions, family photos, you name it, went into storage. and they lost it all, seized and sold, when they couldn't pay that bill. >> jorge corfee: most of my stuff was in there-- my scooter, my game system, all my games, my clothes. so i lost most of my stuff, so... >> destiny corfee: i had so many
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of my toys and things-- my barbie dolls, clothes. and it was just all gone. >> pelley: what's the neighborhood like around the motel? >> destiny corfee: it's scary. >> pelley: what do you mean? >> destiny corfee: like, you hear on the news all the time about, like, shootings, and it's all right there. >> pelley: nationwide, 14 million children were in poverty before the great recession. now, the u.s. census tells us it's 16 million, up two million in two years. that is the fastest fall for the middle class since the government started counting 51 years ago. one of the areas suffering the most is otherwise advertised as "the happiest place on earth"-- the counties around disney world and orlando. just on highway 192, the road to disney world, 67 motels house about 500 homeless kids. the government counts them homeless if they have only temporary shelter.
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in seminole county schools, a thousand students have recently lost their homes. how many of you, in the last few weeks, have gone to bed hungry? at casselberry school, students whose families are at the poverty level or slightly above qualify for the free lunch program. we talked with some of those kids, with their parents' permission. who can tell me what it's like to feel hungry? >> it's, like, hard. you can't sleep. you just, like, wait. you just go to sleep for, like, five minutes and you wake up again. and your, like, stomach hurts, and you're thinking, "i can't sleep. i'm going to try and sleep, i'm going to try and sleep." but you can't, because you're... because, like, your stomach's hurting, and it's because it doesn't have any food in it. >> and it's like a black hole. and sometimes when i don't eat, my stomach, you can hear it, like, it... it's, like, growling. you can hear it. >> usually, we eat macaroni, or we don't... or we drink water or tea.
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>> my mother will sometimes, like, make food, and then she won't have enough, so, at night, we'll just eat cereal or something. other times, my parents will fight about money, because they don't have enough money to pay the food. >> we have to sometimes take food from a church. it's hard, because my grandmother's also out of work and we usually get some food from her. >> it's kind of embarrassing because, the next day, you go to school asking kids if they want this or if they want that. if they have cereal and they haven't opened it yet, you go ask them if they want their cereal. >> pelley: we found a lot of families are making a choice between food and electricity. how many of you have had the lights turned off at your house? how do you study when you don't have the lights on at home? >> we have emergency
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flashlights, and i usually have to use them. >> i'll just light candles and sit around in a circle of candles. >> pelley: candles. yes, ma'am. >> i use candles, because my mommy brings some. >> i go out to the car and turn on the overhead, and read out there and study. >> pelley: ashley rhea raised her hand to add something that we didn't expect. >> ashley rhea: i kind of feel like it's my fault that we don't have enough money. i feel like it's my fault that they have to pay for me and the clothes that they buy for me. >> beth davalos: they're believing it's their fault that they're in this situation. >> pelley: beth davalos runs the seminole county programs for homeless kids. >> davalos: our numbers go up every day, between five and 15 new homeless students a day. >> pelley: every day? >> davalos: every day. >> pelley: and she told us something else is new. >> davalos: when i first started this program eight years ago, homelessness lasted maybe two, three months. but now, with it lasting three, six months, a year or two years,
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this is when children are developing who they are, and their foundation is broken. >> pelley: how are these kids doing in school? >> davalos: they're struggling. it's much harder. they're more at risk of not doing well. they're focusing on "how can i help mom and dad?" we have so many students that want to quit school and go to work. >> pelley: beth davalos is working to keep jacob braverman on track in school. his family lost this house suddenly in october. when he got off the bus that day, the door was locked. >> jacob braverman: that was the last thing i expected. >> pelley: it wasn't your house anymore. >> jacob braverman: yeah. >> pelley: his mother, rosa, lost her job. but the eviction was a shock. the bank told rosa she had 30 days, but it was five days later that the cops moved them out. there's a lot of chaos in foreclosures all across the country because of the sheer number of them. there were a million last year, and another million are expected this year.
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in florida, the counties with the highest foreclosure rates see some of the biggest increases in child poverty. rosa was suddenly on the street, and like the corfees, she faced splitting up her family. >> rosa braverman: this is what is important is family is wherever you are, together. it doesn't matter if it is in your house, if it is in one room, or in your vehicle. >> jacob braverman: as long as you're with your family, you're going to make it through all of this that's been going on, all of it. >> pelley: do you find yourself trying to cheer your mom up? >> jacob braverman: sometimes, yeah. >> pelley: and when you do that, what do you tell her? >> jacob braverman: "i love you, mom." >> pelley: that always works. >> jacob braverman: yeah. >> pelley: rosa, jacob, joey and the dog are all in one room, right across the street. the neighbors took them in. we've seen a lot of that in our stories on the recession-- neighbors, even strangers,
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opening homes to the homeless. we talked to the bravermans at the neighbor's house. they've been here three months, and that is starting to worry them. >> jacob braverman: i want to give the neighbors their own privacy, too, you know? i don't want to be invasive. >> pelley: so you miss your privacy from across the street. what else? >> jacob braverman: sometimes, you know, i have to go to the bathroom at night. and here, i have to be, like, really, really quiet, because if i wake them up, i don't want to make them upset and get us kicked out. >> pelley: homeless kids tiptoe in a world of insecurity, hoping to be invisible. >> jacob braverman: people said that i talk too much, and now they say i don't talk enough and that i'm really shy, i guess. >> pelley: you think all this has changed you? >> jacob braverman: yeah, and i haven't realized it, but i think i've gotten very mature in a very short amount of time. >> pelley: look for the homeless in seminole county, and you'll find robert williams' family of five in one motel room.
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he and his wife lost their tourism jobs several months back. when angel abreau lost his construction job, he and his wife had to split their family among relatives. they see their three young children on weekends. and on sunday evenings, when we saw them, the good-byes are always painful. destiny corfee's family got out of that van and into a motel when her dad found a little day labor to scrape together a deposit on the room. he applied at car washes and at disney world, and worked as a bricklayer's assistant, but it was nothing steady. and as the hotel bill came due, david was short. he found himself prepared to do nearly anything to keep his family from being split apart by the homeless shelters. >> david corfee: so, as embarrassing as it was, i sat down with a magic marker-- and i've seen these people on the road with these signs before-- and i wrote a sign out. >> pelley: what did the sign say? >> david corfee: it said, "please help. family of five." every truck that went by, i would holler out to them, and let them see my sign.
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"hey, do you need any help? can i get a job? do you need any help?" >> destiny corfee: i didn't think that it was going to have to, like, come down to that. like, he was actually going to go and take the sign and show it to people. and i don't want people to know, like, that i... he's my dad. like, i don't want to be embarrassed by people. >> pelley: you must have thought that you would never be that guy, the guy with the sign? >> david corfee: never, and in a million years, did i think that that would be me. and... and i told my wife, "this is america, and america is full of wonderful people. and i'm going to go out and see what i can do and see if there's someone out there that can help us." >> pelley: he showed us the sign that eventually caught the eye of a woman who stopped to say she might have a job for him. >> david corfee: and sure enough, that phone rang about a week later. she said, "david, i'd like to tell you you're golden-- that we have a job for you, and you can start friday." >> pelley: and that's where you got the hat. >> david corfee: that's where i got the hat. >> pelley: the university of central florida. >> david corfee: absolutely. and i've been wearing this hat ever since.
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>> pelley: he's a parking attendant, $10 an hour, and that's enough to keep the motel room, but not enough to get out. jorge dropped out senior year to look for work, but destiny is still being picked up on the school bus route for homeless kids. >> destiny corfee: and when things get better again, we know that there are still people struggling. so we'll be able to help out a lot more, and we'll understand what they're going through. >> pelley: this opened your eyes to an america that you didn't know existed? >> destiny corfee: mm-hmm. i can't... i can't believe it. >> pelley: we all hear about the recovery, that the recession ended in 2009, but some things are getting worse before they get better. and child poverty is one of them. america's motel generation is growing fast. like the kids who came out of the great depression, this generation is being shaped by homelessness and hunger, but also by memories of neighbors who opened their homes, and of
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families that refused to be broken. >> david corfee: i love you guys. >> jorge corfee: i love you, too. >> david corfee: love you, destiny. >> destiny corfee: love you, too. >> pelley: destiny and her family have moved out of that motel and into a modest home. her dad now works for a landscaping company and is looking for a second job. jacob and his family have moved, temporarily, into subsidized housing. generous "60 minutes" viewers responded to our story by helping both families, and by donating to the seminole county school system. that's enabled the schools to launch additional food programs in the hope that students will not go to bed hungry. >> cbs money watch update sponsored by: >> mitchell: gas prices dropped to an average $3.58 a gallon today, 23 cents lower
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than a month ago. the incoming harvard business school mba class will be a record 39% female, and "cars 2" is tops at the box office, pixar's 12th number-one hit. i'm russ mitchell, cbs news. ♪ the rich aroma gets you up
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we were just driving along, comin' back from the lake, and all of a sudden, ka-plam. it blindsided us. what is it? our college savings account. how do you think it happened? not sure. i think something we bought a while ago turned out to be something else, annnnnd, i remember a lot of other stuff in there had the word "aggressive" in it. is everyone okay? well, now, yeah. who knows later. ♪
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>> safer: he is an american master: wynton marsalis-- at age 49, arguably the best known living jazz artist, and leader of the jazz at lincoln center orchestra, probably the best big band at work today. as we reported last january, they're on the road constantly, bringing america's most distinctive art form to the world; most recently, to london, berlin and havana. we were lucky enough to tag along-- a joyous assignment, if there ever was one-- trying to get a sense of this band of brothers, their music, and their effect as unofficial ambassadors.
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♪ ♪ marsalis is the leader of the band, but he's buried in the back row. it's interesting. when you guys take the stage, you're never front and center. >> wynton marsalis: no. i play fourth trumpet. that's my role. i like it. i'm comfortable playing in the trumpet section. it started because i can't really conduct. i'm not a good conductor. >> safer: he tried, until a brave member of the band delivered the verdict. >> marsalis: every time i would start conducting, if i would mess something up, he would look down at his music and go... that meant, "go get back in the trumpet section." ( laughs ) >> safer: and there, wynton marsalis stays, storming his way through some of the most difficult, hair-raising music in the jazz repertoire.
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♪ ♪ >> marsalis: i like pressure. i like that. i like the challenge. i don't have a problem with it at all. ♪ ♪ i like the feeling of nervousness. i like the feeling that something counts. and i like to be tested. >> safer: soloing on tunes like this, a bass player said many years ago, is like trying to change the fan belt on your car with the engine running. ♪ ♪ >> marsalis: man, when you're playing, and you're playing with other people, it's such a combination of emotion, it's so intense. and when you make a tender statement or something's real sweet and you just caress a note, that takes more intensity. it's powerful. ♪ ♪ ( musical flourish ) ( cheers and applause ) ♪ ♪
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>> safer: it's hard to believe the boy wonder from new orleans, who's been startling both jazz and classical audiences since his teens, is now pushing 50. he's won nine grammys, and a pulitzer prize for music, and logged more miles around the world than your average secretary of state. you've spent 30 years-- since you were a teenager-- in the music business. that makes you, in a certain way, a very young elder statesman. >> marsalis: i don't feel like that. i mean, they will tease me, called me an old man since i was in my late 20s. >> safer: it was his old man, ellis, a pianist, a new orleans legend, who passed the jazz gene on to wynton and three of his five brothers. wynton himself, who's never married, has four children. back in 1995, this young "old man" sat down with our late
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colleague ed bradley to talk about his talent. >> ed bradley: how have you changed over the last 15 years of playing out here every day? >> marsalis: oh, man, a lot. i mean, i'm calmer. when i was young, i was always excited, you know? "got to do it today." and i was always paranoid about not ever being able to play good enough, you know. never being able to play good enough. ♪ ♪ ( cheers and applause ) >> safer: i'm going to ask you the same question that our friend ed bradley asked you 15 years ago. how has your playing changed in the years since? >> marsalis: i think just a natural wisdom that comes with age.
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♪ ♪ mostly, i think i have a different type of weight in my sound. in just the 15 years, i know more music. ♪ ♪ so when i'm playing, i feel like it reflects a deeper knowledge. i think i hear better, too. ♪ ♪ >> safer: their mission-- his and the band's-- is to keep jazz alive, writing new music and paying homage to the treasures of the past. >> marsalis let me hear the brass at letter "q." >> safer: like marsalis, most of his lincoln center musicians were classically trained, equally at home with bach and the blues. they come from big cities and small towns-- youngsters like pianist dan nimmer, 28, and veterans like joe temperley, an 81-year-old scotsman. ♪ ♪
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>> marsalis: when you play in a big band, you sacrifice a lot. we have some of the greatest soloists. they know they're going to play one solo a night. it's a tremendous sacrifice. >> safer: one night, you'll find them at new york's historic apollo theater, playing the score for a silent movie about trumpeter louis armstrong. the next night, who knows? >> marsalis: we've played everywhere from prisons to parks, picnics, old folks homes and nursery schools, on the subway. i spend more time on the road than at home. i love to be in a different place. >> safer: you have a certain problem with flying, though, don't you? >> marsalis: i'm afraid of that. that makes it more difficult. >> safer: but you travel across this country... >> marsalis: i travel across the country. >> safer: ...by car. you won't get on a plane. >> marsalis: i love it, too. i get to stop at people's homes. i get to get good meals. i get to connect with all the people i've known. >> safer: he took to the car after a white-knuckle flight years ago. traveling overseas, though, he
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has no choice but to bite the bullet and fly. >> marsalis: i don't really have to steel myself, especially if i'm with my guys. then, they're teasing me the whole time. so i have to... >> safer: put on a brave face. >> marsalis: ...have to act like i'm not afraid of it. but some of the ones that are teasing me are afraid, too. so we're all acting. ( laughs ) >> safer: it's tuesday, so it must be london. wherever they travel, marsalis and company are hailed as america's best. and local music royalty, like rocker eric clapton, come to pay their respects. and chatting in the shadow of the tower bridge, marsalis says that, for all his renown and decades of experience, his baby- face gets in the way. like, this trumpet player walks into a bar and... >> marsalis: and the young lady said, "well, sir, we have to see some i.d." ( laughter ) so, i'm laughing, i'm saying "my sons, they're old enough to drink." i'm like, "these are my kids." and she says, "well, i can't. i've got to see some i.d., sir." and they just shake their heads and say, "boy."
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>> safer: somebody was pulling your leg. >> marsalis: no, man. i'm telling you. >> safer: he is a walking encyclopedia of jazz history, the legends and their music. the london concerts focus on jazz giants of the past, their work a revelation to listeners who seldom experience the power of a big band at full throttle. there's music from the 1920s by the deliciously named "jelly roll" morton. ♪ ♪ >> marsalis: raconteur, pool shark. the first great composer of jazz. ♪ ♪ >> safer: there is the music of benny carter, a founding father of the big band sound. ♪ ♪
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♪ >> marsalis: he is a great arranger and composer, great gentleman. we had the privilege of playing under him. but also a guy who could whip some behind if it needed to be whipped. >> safer: and the maestro himself, duke ellington... >> marsalis: the master from washington, d.c. >> safer: ...to marsalis and many others, the greatest american composer ever. >> marsalis: the broadest variety of pieces, the greatest depth of insight into the nature of the american character. a lover of our country and its people. >> safer: a quote from duke ellington, who says "by and large, jazz is like the kind of man you wouldn't want your daughter to associate with." >> marsalis: well, that's true, too. it deals with matters of romance. it deals with sexual things. >> safer: there is a certain seductive nature to the music. >> marsalis: man, if you don't have that, your music is not worth listening to.
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yeah, you have to have that edge. you have to have that sexuality, that sensuality. you have to have that primitive feeling. and the more primitive you have... the more refined your concert is, the more primitive you have to be. ♪ ♪ >> safer: practically from childhood, he's worked back and forth between jazz and classical music. his latest composition, "the swing symphony," combines the two. the lincoln center band and the berlin philharmonic played the premiere-- a survey of how american jazz evolved, with echoes of ellington, charlie parker and other jazz greats. ♪ ♪ does it sadden you that, for the most part, young people may not even know who you're talking about when you say "charlie parker" or "duke ellington"? >> marsalis: it saddens me that people my age may not know that. and it's a comment on the
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failure of our education system to deal with cultural education. not just duke ellington-- walt whitman, the list goes on and on. so, it saddens me for us as a nation. because we have such a rich cultural heritage, and we would be so much the better for it and we would make such better decisions if we understood what brings us together. >> safer: jazz at lincoln center does its part to keep the heritage alive, bringing high school bands to new york for classes with the pros, and for a chance to strut their stuff, beneath the sophisticated eye of ellington himself. but these are the lucky ones. across most of the country, cultural programs in the schools range from spotty to nonexistent. >> marsalis: the arts are our collective human heritage. you're a better person if you know what shakespeare was talking about, if you know what beethoven struggled with, if you know about matisse. if you know what louis armstrong actually sang through his horn, you're better. because it's just, like, you get
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to speak with the wisest people who ever lived. >> safer: maestro marsalis speaks his universal language with his band, swinging in the rain with marsalis sounding for all the world like louis armstrong, new orleans' other favorite son. but this is london. it's a moment that tells you all you need to know about the music's infectious appeal. >> marsalis: i want us to give 100% all the time. we know that we're here to serve-- serve the music and to serve everyone who comes to check our music out. ♪ ♪ ( cheers and applause ) >> safer: when we come back, we'll be checking in with the band as it moves on to that forbidden city to most americans, havana.
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>> welcome to the cbs sports update presented by pfizer. at the travelers championship, sweden's frederick jacobsen shot a final round 66 to earn his first pga tour victory by one over ryan moore and john rollins. in major league baseball, roy halladay improved to 10-3 on the season, a complete-game win against the a's. and the yankees improve their american-league best record with a victory over colorado. for more sports news and information, go to sex -- cbssports.com. this is jim nantz reporting from hartford, connecticut. our planes start flying when it's dark.
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and they don't stop flying until it's dark again. flying all day, every day. you deserve our best. that's why there's so many flight options. [ webber ] southwest airlines has seven daily nonstop flights from the bay area to chicago midway to fit your schedule. ♪ hey, we're on your schedule, not ours. there will be another one back here in a second, just watch. what did i tell you -- there's another one. [ ding ]
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>> safer: new orleans and havana are sister cities in many ways-- both on the gulf of mexico, their climates sultry, their cultures exotic. the french built new orleans as the spanish built havana-- on the backs of african slaves, whose rhythms are the living pulse of both afro-american and afro-cuban music. so when new orleans native wynton marsalis took his orchestra to havana, it was a meeting of musical minds, a musical bridge over the troubled waters that have separated the united states and cuba for half a century.
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♪ ♪ from the band's very first stop, it was obvious this would be a hot visit, in more ways than one. we're in havana's rumba palace. marsalis and his musicians are just off the plane-- here tonight not to perform, but to acclimate. >> marsalis: cuba, that's like one of your cousins. they do their thing, they have their way of dancing, their way of cooking-- you know, red beans and rice, the kind of food that we have. >> safer: the great cuban musician compay segundo once said it all-- "cubans are frantic when it comes to appreciating music." their moves aren't so bad, either. ♪ ♪ the rumba palace crowd partied long into the night. soon, it would be the americans' turn to show their stuff... ...with an old-fashioned new
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orleans street parade, with a gaggle of music students in tow, spreading that timeless new orleans rule of life-- let the good times roll. >> marsalis: the music touches people, the students. if you're receptive to it and you have a little bit of it, you want it. ♪ ♪ >> safer: havana, of course, is the city of the brothers castro; of che, the cha-cha-cha, and the classic chevys, a city still off limits to most americans, but a city where cubans nearly broke down the doors to hear the american music. ♪ ♪ and where trumpeter marcus printup and the rest of the band nearly blew the roof off. ♪ ♪ it's the african rhythm that
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drives the music on both sides of the gulf. wandering through old havana, the heart of the city going back 500 years, we got a lesson in clave, the basic beats. >> marsalis: in new orleans, our clave goes... >> safer: and the havana beat, laid down by marsalis's bass player, carlos henriquez. put them together and they fit like beans and rice. >> carlos henriquez: it's unbelievable, right, how that works. they have it. i mean, it's all african. >> safer: and the bedrock of it all, from africa to cuba to america, are the drums. the band's drummer, ali jackson, calls it a kind of musical dna. >> ali jackson: the drums represent the people and where they're from. and you would never lose sight
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of where you're from, because it lives through the music. ♪ ♪ >> safer: and the music was non- stop. ♪ ♪ havana was hooked. for five grueling days, the band played a series of concerts and jam sessions with the best of cuba's musicians, young and old; among them, evelyn suarez. ♪ ♪ >> marsalis: what i loved about her was the type of passionate intensity that comes with being very serious about sounding good. ( cheers and applause ) they just have a lot of people who can play. >> safer: the lincoln center band is an engaging and thoughtful group, fiercely competitive, yet each others' biggest fans. as ted nash solos, just watch walter blanding.
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>> walter blanding: we all get along. we fight and stuff, and things get a little crazy sometimes, but in the end, we all know why we're here. >> safer: nash and blanding have been on the road with marsalis for years-- a blur of airplanes, hotel rooms and 18-hour days. nash is the band's official flip-cam photographer. >> ted nash: i'm here and it's beautiful. there are palm trees everywhere. i'm with morley safer and we're live on "60 minutes." ( laughter ) >> safer: it is a band that is on time, sober, and committed to the music. but old stereotypes die hard. >> blanding: i think people have a conception that a jazz musician is like from the 1930s or '40s, back in the days where they all took drugs and these kind of things. and i think we're at a different time now, where we're more serious about what we're doing... >> nash: and we're nerds. >> blanding: yeah, well... >> nash: i mean, we're... no, i
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mean... >> blanding: ...that could be one way of looking at it. >> safer: as for their leader, from the day he arrived, marsalis was the toast of havana, making the rounds of music schools, trying his fractured spanish on admiring bystanders. and stopping for a cafeé cubano, talking about a key ingredient of jazz improvisation-- taking chances. how important and how valuable are mistakes? >> marsalis: very important, because if you're not making mistakes, you not trying. that is the art of jazz. it's an art of negotiation, of communication. >> safer: to band member victor goines, who's also from new orleans, the attention marsalis gets is no surprise. >> victor goines: we went to kindergarten together. >> safer: kindergarten? >> goines: kindergarten. >> safer: what was he like then? >> goines: he was always a standout from the rest, i will say. >> safer: a musical standout who sets the pace for the band in another way, as well. >> jackson: he works harder than anybody i know.
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no question. ♪ ♪ >> safer: a jam session with local musicians starts at dusk and goes well into the night. and any time, anywhere, band members give master classes in the fine art of swing. ♪ ♪ at the band's hotel, a young musician named shaula ortega shows up with her husband and baby. she wants ted nash to show her how to coax that distinctive jazz sound out of her horn. ♪ ♪ >> nash: that's it, that's the sound right there. >> safer: they repair to the hotel bar, other band members join in, and soon, she's bending the blue notes just like the pros. ♪ ♪
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>> nash: it's so beautiful to travel, because we get to mix with people. maybe at a point when we would normally be getting kind of worn out and our batteries run down, i mean, i think we get kind of recharged a little bit from the energy of the people. >> safer: in a havana restaurant, to the accompaniment of birds-- exotic and domestic-- plus one very hip cat, we renewed acquaintance with bass player carlos henriquez. the cuban audience-- what do you make of it? >> henriquez: this audience is very smart. and they listen to details. and that's... that's, very deep. >> safer: we go back a ways with carlos. you've said that music is going to be your ticket out of the south bronx. >> henriquez: yes. >> safer: ticket to where? >> henriquez: to fame, i guess. that's what i want, fame. >> safer: he was a 14-year-old bass and guitar player when we first met him in 1994, on a story about inner city kids getting free lessons at juilliard, new york's famous
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music school. his mother made him get in the program and stick with it. as he progressed during his teens, word spread among musicians. >> marsalis: and they would always say, "look out for carlito. look out for carlito." >> safer: he joined the band 12 years ago, and served as its co- maestro in cuba, leading rehearsals and announcing the tunes, including some he wrote and arranged. >> henriquez: i just wish my mother was around to see this, you know, and she would have been a happy, you know, a happy lady. >> safer: inevitably, the elephant in the room-- politics-- comes up. at a press conference, marsalis is asked about relations between the u.s. and cuba, and sidesteps the issue, saying, essentially, that's not his job. >> marsalis: you know, could i give you a barbershop, stand on the street corner, yeah, that's what i think? of course i could do that. but put me in the position to have to solve it, all of a sudden... like my daddy used to
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say, "you'd be looking at a football game or something. you comment on what somebody should've done." he'd say, "i've seen you play ball." that's all you got to say. >> safer: there is no official diplomatic recognition of cuba, but there is something called the american interest section housed in the old u.s. embassy, with about 50 state department employees-- sort of non-diplomat diplomats, exercising both very quiet, and sometimes very melodious, diplomacy. ♪ ♪ at the old u.s. ambassador's residence, a party for marsalis and company, and cuban musicians and artists, hosted by the non- ambassador ambassador. call it "cultural diplomacy"-- no rhetoric allowed. ( cheers and applause ) havana itself has become an exquisite corpse, a gorgeous
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city in ruins-- from neglect, poverty, the cruel salt air; the capital of an island too broke, too distracted by shifting priorities and political jockeying to do much about it. still, the country is much more than yet another graveyard of the failed socialist experiment. the cuban psyche is so deeply rooted in music that, in a way, politics become irrelevant. at the national school of music, marsalis and the kids were all in the same groove. ( cheers and applause ) ♪ ♪ this new generation-- their political freedom may be on hold, but musical freedom is still a wondrous thing.
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♪ ♪ ( cheers and applause ) you've talked about how music transcends politics. do you see that in cuba, that the music has some... i don't know, liberating effect, or what? >> marsalis: i see that about music and the arts everywhere. because we create community. and we speak to the human soul. ♪ ♪ >> safer: it's always dangerous to draw sweeping conclusions from events like this. suffice it to say that, with the jazz at lincoln center band in town, for five nights, cuba and the united states were speaking the same language. ♪ ♪ ( cheers and applause )
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>> safer: i'm morley safer. we'll be back next week with another edition of "60 minutes." -my name is heather. -and my name is shannon.
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