Wynton Marsalis featured in benefit concert

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Internationally renowned trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra will be among the featured performers in a concert on Tuesday, Oct. 22 to benefit Christian Community Action.

The Yale Institute of Sacred Music is a major sponsor of the event, which also will feature Chorale Le Chateau conducted by Damien Sneed. The performance, titled “Abyssinian: A Gospel Celebration!” takes place at 7:30 p.m. at Woolsey Hall, corner of College and Grove streets.

The concert supports the work of Christian Community Action in providing assistance, support, and housing to those who are poor in New Haven.

A New Orleans native, Marsalis became the youngest musician ever to be admitted at age 17 to Tanglewood’s Berkshire Music Center, which awarded him its prestigious Harvey Shapiro Award for outstanding brass student. He assembled his own band in 1981, performing over 120 concerts every year for 15 consecutive years, along the way rekindling an interest in jazz throughout the world and attracting young talent. Also a classical music performer, he has appeared with leading orchestras around the world and won a Grammy Award for his debut recording. He has produced over 70 records, and won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1997 for his epic oratorio “Blood On the Fields.”

Marsalis has also been a prolific composer, creating new music for dance performances, big band, gospel choirs and symphony orchestras. In 1987 he co-founded a jazz program at Lincoln Center; due to its success, Jazz at Lincoln Center was installed as a new constituent at the venue.

Throughout his career, Marsalis has helped to educate youth about music and has been engaged in philanthropic ventures. Following Hurricane Katrina, he organized the Higher Ground Hurricane Relief Concert and raised over $3 million for musicians and cultural organizations impacted by the hurricane. He has also donated his time and talent to organizations ranging from My Sister’s Place (a shelter for battered women) to Food for All Seasons (a food bank for the elderly and disadvantaged), as well as to the Children’s Defense Fund, Amnesty International, and the Newark Boys Chorus School. His numerous honors for his contributions to both music and to community include honorary degrees from Harvard, Brown, Princeton, Columbia, and Yale (1995) universities.

Tickets to the concert range from $20 to $100 and can purchased at the Shubert Theater box office, 247 College St.; by phone at 203-562-5666 or 1-888-736-2663; or online.

The concert is also sponsored by Stratton Faxon. 

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