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The Kimmel Center kicks off Jazz Appreciation Month with a special program, The Ballad of the American Arts, featuring Wynton Marsalis with members of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in Verizon Hall on April 3, 2012 at 7:30pm. Jazz master Marsalis honors America's premier indigenous art form with a moving lecture and live performance. The lecture will examine the role of the arts in creating an American cultural identity, and includes performances featuring members of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Band members to perform are: Dan Nimmer
(piano), Carlos Henriquez} (bass), Ali Jackson
(drums). Chris Crenshaw (trombone), and Victor Goines
A bravura 50-minute survey...putting into words the full weight of the tragic, glorious history bound up in our arts." Newsweek
The best of the American arts and the way they've been sung and swung provided human meaning to the questions posed by the Founding Fathers more than 150 years earlier. It told you to be yourself and love what made you, you. It told you to listen deeply to others and find the beauty of originality in them. And through swing, the most flexible rhythm ever played, it told you how to balance your individuality with the desires of the group. It told you we have a history, a depth, a tradition that requires skill and study but demands you apply those skills to search the frontiers of your soul. It told you that innovation and creativity hold hands with the tried and true." Wynton Marsalis on the Importance of the American Arts
Wynton Marsalis currently serves as Artistic Director for Jazz at Lincoln Center and Music Director for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. He has been described as the most outstanding jazz musician and trumpeter of his generation, as one of the world's top classical trumpeters, as a big band leader in the tradition of Duke Ellington, a brilliant composer, a devoted advocate for the arts, and a tireless and inspiring educator.
Tickets for Wynton Marsalis: The Ballad of the American Arts are available from $25 to $60, and can be purchased by calling 215-893-1999, online at kimmelcenter.org, or at the Kimmel Center Box Office located on Broad and Spruce streets, Philadelphia, Pa. (open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., later on performance evenings).
Throughout his storied career, Wynton Marsalis has claimed the titles of musician, composer, bandleader, educator, and leading advocate of American culture. He is frequently attributed with inspiring a renewed interest in and appreciation for jazz throughout the world. Born in New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz, Marsalis displayed extraordinary musical skill at an early age. Marsalis is a nine-time Grammy Award winner, and the only artist ever to be honored with the award for work in both the jazz and classical categories. He is also the first jazz musician to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his recording of Blood on the Fields. In his classical career, Marsalis has performed with leading orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Pops, English Chamber Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and London's Royal Philharmonic. In the world of jazz, he is noted for working across the full spectrum of the genre, performing and composing for quartets and big bands, chamber music ensembles, symphony orchestras, and tap dance and ballet performances.
In January 2012, Marsalis made his first television appearance as cultural correspondent for CBS News with a commentary in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. on CBS This Morning. He will continue to provide insight on cultural and educational developments for CBS This Morning and CBS Sunday Morning, a program that has featured Marsalis' trumpet in its opening theme music for years. Marsalis' passion for arts education and cultural literacy takes him to Harvard University, where he is presenting a series of lecture-performances on the interplay between American music, culture, and identity. Previous lectures have featured performances by dancers, Marsalis' Quintet and other ensembles. His teaching schedule also includes master classes with students at several area high schools.
Marsalis has received honorary degrees from Harvard, Howard, Princeton, and Yale, among others, and his numerous international accolades include an Honorary Membership in Britain's Royal Academy of Music, the highest decoration for a non-British citizen; and the insignia Chevalier of the Legion of Honor, France's highest distinction.