NEW YORK – Although Wynton Marsalis comes from the worlds of jazz and classical music, and Eric Clapton is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Marsalis says their recent collaboration wasn’t that unusual because they both have something that unifies them — their love of the blues.

“Eric Clapton, he’s from England, but he’s a part of the blues tradition because that’s what he studied, and that’s what he wanted to learn how to play, much like I’m a part of the tradition of the German trumpet when I play the Haydn trumpet concerto, or the baroque trumpet, because I studied it and I wanted to play it,” the New Orleans native said in a recent interview.

“Most of the musicians I’ve worked with, we come from the same kind of music, which is the blues, so I don’t really have to do anything,” said Marsalis, who has also performed with Willie Nelson and Norah Jones, among others.

“I don’t have to go outside of myself, I don’t have to play any different kind of way. … The music all comes from the same source, Afro-American music, blues, shuffles, basic beats and things that were put in place between the Civil War and the turn of the century.”

Clapton and Marsalis’ Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra performed together in April for the center’s annual gala benefit. A CD from that night, “Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton Play the Blues,” was released this month.

Athlete forced to cut short Cuba-to-Florida swim

MIAMI – Endurance athlete Diana Nyad says she was disappointed and frustrated that her dream of swimming from Cuba to Florida was dashed by the searing pain of Portuguese man o’ war stings.

Nyad ended her swim Sunday about halfway through, saying the stings temporarily paralyzed her spine. Nyad said the pain was unspeakable and medics warned that another sting could be life-threatening.

Team members said tentacles from the creatures looked like they had branded Nyad, leaving red welts.

She wore loose bandages and rehydrated on her boat Sunday as her team headed for the Florida Keys.

Powell book includes 13 rules of leadership

NEW YORK – Colin Powell’s new book is a story of success.

The retired four-star general and former Secretary of State has a deal with HarperCollins for “It Worked for Me: Lessons in Leadership and Life.”

According to HarperCollins, the book will include his 13 rules of leadership and “revealing personal stories.”

Financial terms were not disclosed. HarperCollins announced Sunday that the book was scheduled for May 2012.

One of Powell’s rules, “Get mad, then get over it,” will be tested in his book. HarperCollins spokeswoman Tina Andreadis declined to comment on whether Powell would respond to criticisms in recent memoirs by former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld or former Vice President Dick Cheney, both of whom Powell often clashed with while in the George W. Bush administration.

Cheney’s “In My Time” noted their differences about the Iraq war and alleged that Powell was reluctant to express himself in Cabinet meetings. Powell has since said that Cheney’s book included “cheap shots.”

Once considered a presidential contender, Powell wrote a best-selling memoir, “My American Journey,” published in 1995. He has not written about his years as secretary of state, but was interviewed by Washington Post reporter Karen DeYoung for her 2006 biography, “Soldier: The Life of Colin Powell.”