Marsalis, an internationally acclaimed musician who has produced more than 70 records that have sold more than seven million copies worldwide, will speak at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21, in the Student Union Auditorium for The University of Toledo’s Edward Shapiro Distinguished Lecture Series.
“The Shapiro Series has been able to bring world-renowned speakers to the University, and Mr. Marsalis certainly belongs in that pantheon,” said Jon Richardson, chair of the Edward Shapiro Lecture Series Committee and an instructor in the Honors College. “We are very excited that he is coming to our campus and feel that his appearance is a boon not only to the University, but to the whole community. That is exactly what Ed Shapiro envisioned.”
Seating for the free, public Shapiro Lecture is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
The lecture series committee has brought scientists, Nobel Prize-winning novelists and historians to campus, but Marsalis is the first musician.
“When we met this year, we decided to select a speaker from one of the greatest of all the arts — music,” Richardson said. “Through his talent and tirelessness, Mr. Marsalis has become a cultural force in his own right.”
In 1997, the nine-time Grammy Award winner was the first jazz musician to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Music with his epic oratorio Blood on the Fields.
Among Marsalis’ prestigious accolades is the installation of Jazz at Lincoln Center, which is considered equal in stature with the New York Philharmonic or the New York City Ballet, and the opening of the world’s first jazz institution, the Frederick P. Rose Hall, in 2004.
A humanitarian, Marsalis volunteers his time feeding the less fortunate and working with shelters for battered youth and women. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Marsalis organized the Higher Ground Hurricane Relief Concert, which raised more than $3 million in relief funds for musicians and cultural organizations impacted by the storm.
Marsalis also is a George F. Peabody Award winner, the most prestigious distinction for broadcast journalism, which he received in 1995 for his radio and television series “Wynton Marsalis: Making the Music” and “Marsalis on Music.”
A recognized writer, he has authored seven books, his most recent work being Moving to Higher Ground: How Jazz Can Change Your Life (2008).
The Shapiro Lecture Series is named in memory of Dr. Edward Shapiro, UT alumnus and economics professor for 22 years in the College of Arts and Sciences. He donated more the $4 million to the college during his lifetime.