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Wynton Marsalis Gives Speech, Concert on MLK Day for Tulane Reopening


      Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, a native of New Orleans, will appear on the Tulane University campus on Martin Luther King Day to help celebrate the reopening of Tulane, Xavier, Dillard and Loyola universities, all forced to forgo their fall semesters due to damage inflicted by Hurricane Katrina. Marsalis will deliver a keynote speech about the cultural rebirth of the city followed immediately by a concert that is free and open to the public. The event takes place in McAlister Auditorium on Jan. 16 at 7 p.m.

      “The visit by this world-class musician and humanitarian embodies the unity of our four universities on a day that not only honors one of America’s greatest figures but also marks the rebirth of higher education in the city of New Orleans,” said Tulane President Scott Cowen.

      Marsalis is a world-renowned jazz musician, trumpeter, composer, bandleader, advocate for the arts, educator and humanitarian. He has helped propel jazz to the forefront of American culture. He has produced a catalogue of more than 40 jazz and classical recordings for Columbia Jazz, Sony Classical and Blue Note Records, which have won him nine Grammy Awards.

      The artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, Marsalis has also been music director of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra since its inception. His prominent position in American culture was solidified in April 1997, when he became the first jazz artist to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize in music for his work Blood on the Fields, which was commissioned by Jazz at Lincoln Center.

      Since Hurricane Katrina, he has been vocal in his support of his hometown of New Orleans and currently serves as co-chair of the Cultural Committee of the Bring New Orleans Back Commission, New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin’s initiative to help rebuild New Orleans culturally, socially, economically and uniquely for every citizen. Marsalis also serves on Louisiana Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu’s National Advisory Board for Culture, Recreation and Tourism, a group that will guide the plans to rebuild Louisiana’s tourism and cultural economies.

      This event is the first in a series in which Tulane will host high-powered individuals in conjunction with the Aspen Institute. Walter Isaacson, a native New Orleanian and a member of the Board of Tulane, is president of the Aspen Institute.

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