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Abu Dhabi Festival 2010 to Feature Middle East Debut of Jazz Master Wynton Marsalis


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Abu Dhabi, UAE -- The Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) today announced that Wynton Marsalis will make his debut in the Arab World as part of the Abu Dhabi Festival 2010. The nine time Grammy Award winner will join one of the strongest line ups the festival has ever offered when he performs on 5th April at Emirates Palace, adding a new flavor to this three week manifestation of world class performances in traditional and classical music, drama, fine arts, and ballet.

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 will be a feast of arts and culture with more than 90 events over a period of three weeks. In addition to the main performances, the Festival will include strong educational and community programs that aim to engage students and community organizations from across the seven Emirates, educate them about the arts and inspire creativity.

Commenting on his participation in the Abu Dhabi Festival 2010, 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 I'm 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."

HE Hoda I. Al Khamis-Kanoo, Founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation, said “It gives me great pleasure to welcome Wynton Marsalis, the jazz genius of our times, to Abu Dhabi for his first ever performance in the Middle East. Wynton Marsalis' musical talent has inspired generations of modern artists around the world and we hope that his participation in the Abu Dhabi Festival will instigate creativity among our own aspiring musicians.

Held for the seventh time this year, the annual Abu Dhabi Festival has grown year after year to provide a stage to some of the world's most acclaimed performers allowing them to share their work with art lovers, students, community groups across the UAE and regionally. The addition of jazz to this year's festival is a testament to this growth."

In addition to his performance as part of the main festival, jazz master Wynton Marsalis will also take part in the festival's education program by holding a jazz workshop with the students of the UAE University in Al Ain. A core element of the Abu Dhabi Festival is its mission to bring events to the Emirates that educate the community at the same time as thrilling them with world premires, regional debuts and spectacular performances. This workshop will provide a unique opportunity for jazz lovers from around the Emirates to interact directly with this jazz legend and his musicians, inspiring them to develop their own skills and encouraging the development of a community of jazz lovers and musicians in the UAE.

Born in New Orleans, Wynton Marsalis was immersed in the musical tradition of his hometown since birth -jazz. He received his music education at the prestigious Juilliard School in New York, and then joined an outfit known as the finest finishing school in jazz, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. By the age of 20, Wynton Marsalis had already formed his own band and started touring the world performing more than 120 concerts a year for 20 consecutive years.

Wynton also has a lifelong appreciation and involvement with classical music. He has performed with leading orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, English Chamber Orchestra, and London's 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 world's first and foremost institution dedicated to jazz education and performance.

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.

About ADMAF:

The Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation seeks to nurture the arts, education, culture and creativity for the benefit of society and the advancement of Abu Dhabi's cultural vision. Established in 1996 by Her Excellency Hoda Al Khamis Kanoo, ADMAF Founder, the Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation under the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, ADMAF Patron and President.

ADMAF's broad programme of initiatives and events - including the Abu Dhabi Festival and the International Comic Strip & Cartoon Art Festival among many others - brings together audiences of all ages and nationalities. Through its educational and community programs, it nurtures the creative talent of the UAE and beyond, in partnership with leading national and international institutions.

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