“The Ballad for Trayvon Martin” Opens at Princeton University


No one will ever mistake ‘The Ballad for Trayvon Martin’ with the ‘Ballad of Davey Crockett.’

Princeton University Orchestra, conducted by Michael Pratt, and the University Concert Jazz Ensemble will play the ‘Ballad for Trayvon Martin’ Thursday and Friday. Hmm, the purpose of this is to exploit pay homage to victims of racial violence. You mean like the “killing fields” in Chicago?


Trayvon Martin continues to be a subject of intense interest for the academic elite. The Princeton University Orchestra and the University Concert Jazz Ensemble is set to debut “The Ballad for Trayvon Martin” today, NJ.com reports.

The goal of the music, according to its composer, noted jazz artist Anthony D.J. Branker, is to pay homage to victims of racial violence.

“I simply want to make a connection,” Branker said, “whether it’s on a level of social consciousness, or music and expression.”

The Daily Caller reports:

The director of the jazz studies program at Princeton University has written a ballad for Trayvon Martin.

If you happen to be in the area, you can catch the world premiere of “Ballad for Trayvon Martin for Orchestra and Jazz Quartet” Thursday and Friday night at Richardson Auditorium on the Ivy League campus.

Tickets are just $15 (and $5 for students), reports The Star-Ledger.

The composer, Anthony D.J. Branker, said he was moved “to the core” by the death of Martin in February 2012.

Martin, a 17-year-old black teenager, was shot by George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old mixed-race Hispanic, in Sanford, Fla.

Branker, who founded Princeton’s jazz program 25 years ago, said the incident reminded him of an incident in his own life that occurred right after he graduated from the elite school.

“I was stopped by police at gunpoint because it was believed I broke into someone’s home,” he told The Star-Ledger. “I fit a profile. Police surrounded my car.”

Branker said the piece isn’t an angry musical screed. Noting that it incorporates a fugue and Brazilian style, he describes the jazz number as “a form of healing and something that could be seen as a composition of hope.”

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  • Comments

    5 Responses to ““The Ballad for Trayvon Martin” Opens at Princeton University”

    1. A Texas Grandfather on December 6th, 2013 10:14 am

      The Director of Jazz studies is so poor in heart and mind that he or she has to resort to this type of thing over the life of a thug.

      Just think, parents are spending money to send their youth to such a school. Where are their values?

    2. kashekamon on December 6th, 2013 12:48 pm

      If the words in the ballad are directed towards putting an end to black racial violence then O.K. If it’s paying tribute to a black, gangsta, punk, marijuana user and dealer, thief, full of hatred teenager, then it is not O.K. I would tend to think it is the later because of Branker being stopped by the police. So what if the police stopped him, he fit the description. They were doing their job. The race card is dead and buried and it needs to stay that way. And obama needs to keep his fat trap shut because he opens it without knowing the facts.

    3. Rightknight on December 6th, 2013 5:12 pm

      Are there a couple of bars of base
      drums synthesizing the sound of
      someone’s head being bashed on
      the concrete, or perhaps a cymbal
      clang for the self-defense shot?

    4. Pat in Alabama on December 6th, 2013 5:25 pm

      Does everything have to have some special social agenda these days? If Branker was moved by Trayvon’s death, good for him. To me it was just an unfortunate incident which had nothing to do with race; Zimmerman seems to be a troubled individual.

      I saw the Marshall Tucker Band at Princeton in 1974, probably in this same building. They had no agenda except to entertain, and they were awesome!

    5. kashekamon on December 7th, 2013 12:08 pm

      On Zimmerman’s behalf, it was not racial, on Martin’s behalf it was. Was Branker really moved by Trayvon’s death or for other reasons? It was sad but so was his life!

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