The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
April 16, 2002

Remarks by Mrs. Bush, Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra at the Kennedy Center

Thank you very much, Wynton, and welcome, everyone, to the Kennedy Center for tonight's performance by the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra led by one very talented music director.

This evening coincides with two important events in our nation's history and culture. 140 years ago today, on April 16, 1862, Abraham Lincoln signed into law the D.C. Emancipation Act, and April is Jazz Appreciation Month. Tonight we celebrate both events with a little swing and a lot of song.

Jazz is truly American music, and its roots are entwined with our history.

In 1975, a 14-year-old prodigy named Wynton Marsalis sat down with the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra and began a prominent career that continues to flourish after more than two decades.

He's been a Jazz Messenger and a history maker with simultaneous Grammy awards in both jazz and classical music two years in a row. He's brought home 9 Grammy awards and a Pulitzer Prize in music for his work Blood on the Fields.

As artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, Wynton continues to educate and entertain people worldwide through the organization's 450 annual performances and educational events. He and countless jazz fans look forward to the completion of the world's first education, performance and broadcast facility for jazz being built by Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City.

These are just a few of the high notes of jazz history and the man who plans to share some of it with us tonight. What you will see tonight is the world-renowned Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra led by an incredibly gifted Music Director. What you will hear is the language of America. Thank you, and enjoy the show.

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