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February 24, 2010

Marsalis Makes Arab Debut At Abu Dhabi Festival 2010

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

Abu Dhabi, UAE – The Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) 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 premi?res, 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.

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.

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