Princeton University jazz composer inspires with ‘Ballad for Trayvon Martin’
The composer of Princeton University’s orchestra has created a ballad in Trayvon Martin’s memory. Anthony D.J. Branker, who will celebrate his 25th year as Princeton’s founder and director of the program in jazz studies, composed the piece of music after being “moved to the core” upon hearing about Trayvon’s death.
When Anthony D.J. Branker heard about Trayvon Martin, he could not help but think of an experience he had in his early 20s, just after graduating from Princeton University. “I was stopped by police at gunpoint because it was believed I broke into someone’s home,” he said. “I fit a profile. Police surrounded my car.”
The Princeton University Orchestra and the University Concert Jazz Ensemble will perform the work on a program that also includes Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9, Beethoven’s “Egmont” overture and a world premiere of “Teatro di Strada” by David Sanford. Conducted by Michael Pratt, with senior J.J. Warshaw leading the Beethoven, the concert will take place in the Richardson Auditorium…
Ballad for Trayvon Martin for Orchestra and Jazz Quartet, written in honor of the 17-year-old who was shot in 2012 in Sanford, Fla., by neighborhood watch coordinator George Zimmerman, premiered on Thursday. The performance will run again Friday.
Branker says the work is meant “to be a form of healing and something that could be seen as a composition of hope–one that speaks to all of us to continue to work together so that children of any race, ethnicity or religion affiliation never have to meet such a tragic end.”
Kudos to Mr. Branker for keeping Trayvon Martin’s legacy alive through music.
There is healing in music.
Ballad for Trayvon Martin is being housed at the Auditorium at Princeton University, 61 Nassau St., Princeton. Friday Dec. 6 at 7:30p.m. Visit princeton.edu for more info.
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