Friday, November 11, 2011

Marsalis Honored with The North Carolina Award

Durham resident Branford Marsalis was honored last night with North Carolina's top civilian honor - The North Carolina Award.  The North Carolina Awards ceremony was held at the Museum of History in Raleigh.

Marsalis was honored for his volunteer work and for his accomplishments as a musician.  He is among the world's best known saxaphone players who shot to fame for his work on Sting's Dream of the Blue Turtles album and then went on to be the band leader on NBC's Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Other recipients were sculptor Vollis Simpson, Charles Hamner Jr. and former U.S. Rep. Martin Lancaster for public service; Dr. Trudy Mackay for science; and Ron Rash for literature.

Marsalis' move to Durham was an effort to live in a genuine and real community - something he's said often.  He teaches at North Carolina Central University and occasionally performs with his students around town without billing - it's not entirely unheard of to be out listening to a live jazz performance and suddenly be watching a world-renowned star join in unannounced. Such instances usually create an instant sensation in local social media channels.  Most recently, such a performance occurred at Whiskey in Downtown Durham.

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