This Moment of Crisis

Wynton Marsalis (photo credit: Joe Martinez)

When we asked Entergy whether we could honor them at our 2020 gala, they hesitated. When they finally accepted the tribute, they gave us another gift…They connected us with Wynton Marsalis, Managing and Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, who agreed to be the keynote speaker and a performer at the gala. Wynton and Entergy have been buddies going way back to the days when CEO Mike Kansler brought Entergy to Westchester somewhere in the early 2000s. Marsalis is ever grateful to Entergy for their help during Hurricane Katrina, which battered New Orleans, where Entergy has its corporate headquarters. Together, Entergy and Wynton brought a little jazz into the atmosphere to soothe those Louisiana souls. The friendship flourished and I was invited to a performance at Jazz at Lincoln Center, where I met Marsalis for the first time. And from then on, I was smitten. I am quick to say, it wasn’t just about the jazz. True, Wynton Marsalis is a world-renowned trumpeter, composer, artistic director and all around Jazz Great. But for me, what comes out of his speaking voice is as powerful as what comes out of his trumpet. Here is a sample of what he had to say when we invited him to speak at our gala:

“This moment of crisis has put the life-affirming value of the arts into sharper focus. Art has always been an indispensable tool of survival, teaching us about our history, helping us to process turmoil and grief, and delivering serious meaning with joy. ”

That is exactly what our 2020 gala is about. We are honoring Entergy, a corporation that has been a steadfast supporter of the arts, because they believe as we do that the arts are life-affirming. And we at ArtsWestchester believe that the world needs the arts now more than ever. We are truly in a moment of crisis and the arts can help.

Hear what else Wynton Marsalis has to say about the value of the arts in these critical times by tuning in to the ArtsWestchester gala on Saturday night.

To join us for ArtsWestchester’s virtual gala on Sat., Nov. 21, simply go to this web page at 6pm: