As part of University President Drew G. Faust’s effort to promote the arts, the University announced April 4 that renowned Jazz musician Wynton Marsalis will deliver six lectures over the next two years at Harvard.
Marsalis will also work with students and performance groups on campus during that period.
“Wynton Marsalis is both an internationally acclaimed musician and a leader in educating people about the importance of arts and culture,” Faust said in a press release. “We are fortunate to have an artist and performer of his caliber on campus to enhance the University’s vibrant arts scene and engage our students, staff and faculty.”
Marsalis is the current Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center and is an esteemed figure in America’s music and cultural history with a body of work spanning over 70 albums. His accolades include nine Grammy awards and an Honorary Membership in Britain’s Royal Academy of Music. He is also the first jazz musician to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Music.
“I am delighted that Harvard has recognized the need to make cultural literacy an integral part of its curriculum,” Marsalis said in a press release.
Marsalis’ appointment is part of the University’s initiative to further integrate music and art into campus life. Previously, a number of prominent artists have been brought to campus as part of programs like the Office for the Arts’ “Learning from Performers” series.
Marsalis’ appointment coincides with the celebration of Harvard’s jazz history and broader musical culture this month, including the Office of the Arts’ program “40 Years of Jazz at Harvard: A Celebration.”
Ingrid Monson, the Quincy Jones Professor of African-American Music, described Marsalis’ appointment, writing, “It not only recognizes the centrality of jazz in American music, but provides an opportunity for one of its foremost artists to interact with the Harvard student body in a substantial and ongoing way.”
“What an excellent way for Harvard to show its commitment to bringing the arts and the intellectual life of the university together,” she wrote in an email.
On April 28, Marsalis will offer a lecture and a performance titled “Music as Metaphor” at Sanders Theatre. Marsalis will also be teaching a master class to student musicians at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School the next day.
Tickets to the event are free. Early tickets will be available to the Harvard community on April 12 through the Harvard Box Office, and tickets will be available to the general public on April 14.
Marsalis Brings Jazz and Metaphor to Sanders TheatreWhy jazz? Wynton Marsalis’ answer is simple: “Because it’s the national art.” For him, jazz is perfectly suited by its history and its structure to be morphed and meatphorized as an expression of the American identity.
The Crossroad Between Music and RhetoricWith various musical illustrations played by Marsalis and other distinguished musicians, the lecture charmed a packed Sanders Theater and provided a rich history of the American root genres and the musicians who explored them.
Jazz and the PastInstead of ending with Chuck Berry, let’s let Mr. Marsalis talk to us too about Radiohead and the Roots. Let’s let him demonstrate his beliefs and knowledge in a positive, and therefore constructive, sense.
Wynton Marsalis to Share Jam SecretsMarsalis has delivered three lectures at Harvard over the last two years as part of the university’s ongoing effort to integrate music and art into campus life.
Wynton Marsalis Discusses History of Jazz
Harvard Today: January 28, 2014