NEC to Award Honorary Degree to Jazz Legend Delfeayo Marsalis
Michele D. Perkins, President of New England College, is pleased to announce that legendary jazz trombonist and producer, Delfeayo Marsalis will receive the honorary doctor of humane letters degree at the College’s 62nd Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 16, 2009. Delfeayo Marsalis, of the famed Marsalis family of New Orleans, including father, Ellis, and brothers Branford, Wynton, and Jason, will offer the keynote address to approximately 230 graduating seniors, 130 masters degree candidates, their families and friends. The Commencement ceremony will be held at 11:00 a.m. in the College’s Lee Clement Arena.
Delfeayo Marsalis began playing the trombone at the age of 13 and produced his first recording at 17. He has toured extensively in the United States and Europe and has released three solo CDs. He has performed with the New Orleans Philharmonic Orchestra, appeared in Ken Burns documentary film, Jazz, and is the recipient of the Outstanding Performance Award from the Jefferson Performing Arts Society. A producer with 75 major label recordings to his credit, Marsalis has been recognized with several Grammy awards and nominations. He has worked with performers such as Harry Connick, Jr., and Spike Lee and was the recipient of the 3M Visionary Award in 1996. His compositions include scores for television, Broadway, and live performances. He has written for the ABC mini-series Moon Over Miami, and the New Orleans Ballet productions of Tennessee Williams’ Streetcar Named Desire and Glass Menagerie. A tireless educator and promoter of music, creativity, theatre, and jazz, Marsalis served as the Director of the Foundation for Artistic and Musical Excellence and founded the Uptown Music Theatre in 1997 for 8-12 graders.
Marsalis received his classical music training at the Eastern Music Festival and the Tanglewood Institute in Lenox, Massachusetts. He attended the Berklee College of Music where he majored in musical performance and audio production and received an MA in Jazz Performance from the University of Louisville.
“New England College is pleased to award the honorary doctor of humane letters to a musician of such immense talent,” noted Michele Perkins, President of New England College. “It is important that we recognize not only his outstanding composing, performing, and producing skills, but his lifelong dedication to teaching and inspiring young people across the country. Over the past few years, New England College has enjoyed a wonderful friendship with Delfeayo. He played for College Convention 2008 and visited our campus last September and most recently in early April. We look forward to honoring his many accomplishments at Commencement 2009.”
New England College in Henniker, New Hampshire was founded in 1946 to serve the educational needs of veterans returning from WWII. The College now offers 30 on-campus undergraduate programs and seven masters degree programs that are delivered online, through residencies, and in cohort groups. A member of Project Pericles, the College is committed to education that promotes civic engagement and social responsibility. At New England College, students find a creative and supportive learning environment that challenges them to transform themselves and their world. More information may be found at www.nec.edu.