The 7th Annual Abu Dhabi Festival feat. Wynton Marsalis | March 20th – April 7th, 2010

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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:
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

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
premières, 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.

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

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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