By Antoine du Rocher
NEW YORK, 26 FEBRUARY 2010 Yesterday, the Abu Dhabi Music
& Arts Foundation (ADMAF) announced that American jazz master and
composer Wynton Marsalis will perform on 5 April at the Emirates Palace as
part of the Abu Dhabi Festival 2010. The nine time Grammy Award winner and
artistic / music director of the Jazz at
Lincoln Center Orchestra, will join a festival lineup that includes
other distinguished musicians such as conductor Sir Colin Davis, oud
virtuoso Naseer Shamma, pianists Wayne Marshall and Yundi Li and the
London Symphony Orchestra among others.
As incredible as it may seem, but nonetheless true, Mr. Marsalis will
be making his debut in the Arab World. Commenting on his participation in
the wealthy oil emirate's arts festival, Mr. Marsalis said: "My career has
spanned over thirty years, and in that time I have had the pleasure of
performing in more venues than I can count, working with legions of
uniquely talented musicians, and teaching an incalculable number of
students. The Middle East is one of the few areas of the world that I have
never visited before, and Im delighted to be joining a long list of great
names at the Abu Dhabi Festival 2010. Jazz encourages us to tell our
unique story and teaches us how to create a collective story with others.
The music expresses the depth and power of our collective humanity. The
core requirements for jazz are creativity, communication and community,
and it seems to me that these values are expressed wholeheartedly by the
Abu Dhabi Festival."
Photo: Frank Stewart
In addition to his performance as part of the main festival, Mr.
Marsalis will also take part in the festivals education program by
holding a jazz workshop with the students of the UAE University in Al Ain.
Born in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1961, Mr. Marsalis was immersed in
the musical tradition of his hometown throughout his childhood. He
received his music education at the prestigious Juilliard School in New
York, and then joined the legendary "finishing school in jazz," Art Blakey
and the Jazz Messengers. By the age of 20, Mr. Marsalis had already formed
his own band and started touring the world performing more than 120
concerts a year for 20 consecutive years.
Equally accomplished and respected as a classical trumpet virtuoso, Mr.
Marsalis has performed with leading orchestras including the New York
Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, English Chamber Orchestra and
Londons Royal Philharmonic. Wynton holds the distinction of being the
only artist to ever win GRAMMY® Awards for both jazz and classical records
in five consecutive years and is the first jazz musician to win the
Pulitzer Prize for Music. He has co-founded Jazz at Lincoln Center the
worlds first and foremost institution dedicated to jazz education and
As a composer, Wynton Marsalis received commissions for Peter Martins
at the New York City Ballet, Twyla Tharp for the American Ballet Theatre,
Judith Jamison at the Alvin Ailey
American Dance Theatre and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln
In 2006, Mr. Marsalis was instrumental in The Higher Ground Hurricane
Relief concert produced by Jazz at Lincoln Center and has raised over $2
million for relief efforts.
In its seventh edition and held under the patronage of His Highness
General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and
Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the festival brings
together artists from both Western and Eastern artistic traditions and
features music and ballet performances, theatre, educational programmes,
an art exhibition and gala events more than 90 performances and events
over a period of three weeks.
The festival runs from 20 March to 7 April 2010 and events will
primarily be hosted at the Emirates Palace. Part of the proceeds will go
to the Ewaa Shelter for Women and Children.
Abu Dhabi Music & Arts
Antoine du Rocher is Managing Editor of
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