March 14, 2014

Good Morning:

One thing that has made commencement at Tulane the standard by which other university graduations are judged is the unique New Orleans tradition that flavors our celebration as we honor our graduates and their families.

No one embodies and articulates this tradition better than Wynton Marsalis, a nine-time Grammy winner, Pulitzer Prize recipient and, according to famed classical musician Maurice André, "potentially the greatest trumpeter of all time."

Wynton received his first horn on his 6th birthday, and he's been blowing them away ever since -- from the Fairview Baptist Church in New Orleans to New York's Jazz at Lincoln Center, where he serves as artistic director. He has produced over 70 albums ranging from jazz to blues to classical music. He has performed with everyone from London's Royal Philharmonic Orchestra to Willie Nelson.

Nearly equal in power to his music are his words. In 2006, Wynton spoke at a special Martin Luther King Day event marking the reopening of Tulane, Xavier, Dillard and Loyola universities after Hurricane Katrina. His was one of the best and most moving speeches I have ever heard.

This is why I am so thrilled to announce Wynton Marsalis as the keynote speaker for Commencement 2014. Wynton is one of the world's most-acclaimed musicians, bandleaders, composers, educators and cultural ambassadors. We are so proud to bring him home.

Have a great weekend,


Office of the President Emeritus, 1555 Poydras St, Suite 700, New Orleans, LA 70112 504-274-3638