The Princeton University Orchestra and the University Concert Jazz Ensemble will perform “Ballad for Trayvon Martin for Ochestra and Jazz Quartet,” in honor of the 17-year-old who was shot by wannabe cop George Zimmerman in Sanford, Fl., last year.
The piece was composed by Anthony D. J. Branker, who said he experienced racial profiling in his early 20s, just after graduating from Princeton. Branker told NJ.com, ”I was stopped by police at gunpoint because it was believed I broke into someone’s home. I fit a profile. Police surrounded my car.”
According to Branker, the work is intended “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 religious affiliation never have to meet such a tragic end.”
Rather than write from a place of anger, Branker has worked to create a lyrical, peaceful and harmonically beautiful work that incorporates a fugue and Brazilian style. The goal, he said, is to pay tribute to Martin, as well as others who have been victims of racial violence.
“I see my role as an educator and composer and artist to not so much address historic events, but to touch the listener in some way, to make some sort of contact and relationship,” he said. “I simply want to make a connection, whether it’s on a level of social consciousness, or music and expression.” Source: NJ.com