On Thursday, November 10, 2016, the Keepers of The Promise will treat Pittsburghers to "A Night of a Million Possibilities," an exclusive gala evening featuring internationally acclaimed jazz musician and composer Wynton Marsalis and his small group, at a concert celebrating the success of The Pittsburgh Promise and its scholars.
This one night only event is expected to raise $1 million for The Pittsburgh Promise Scholarship Fund which is working toward raising $68 million in order to sustain scholarships at least through the class of 2028. Thus far, The Pittsburgh Promise Scholarship Fund has achieved 73% of its $250 million fundraising goal, and has invested more than $74 million by sending 6,279 qualifying Pittsburgh Public Schools graduates to post-secondary education and a prosperous future.
"A Night of a Million Possibilities" is being hosted by a broad-based advocacy group known as the "Keepers of the Promise," which operates exclusively to support and promote the work of The Pittsburgh Promise by increasing visibility and awareness through outreach and fundraising initiatives.
In addition to entertaining Pittsburghers at the November gala, Wynton Marsalis, a renowned educator and arts advocate, plans to conduct a special Master Class for high school music students representing Pittsburgh Public Schools, during his visit.
"Pittsburgh's future depends on helping its young people to fulfill their dreams," said Wynton Marsalis. "I'm so glad to be part of a musical celebration in Pittsburgh where the community comes together to fund education and create limitless possibilities for urban youth," added Mr. Marsalis.
Founder of Legendary Entertainment Thomas Tull and his wife Alba, who make Pittsburgh their second home, have agreed to be honorary co-chairs for the event. Mr. Tull is Chairman of the Board and CEO of Legendary Entertainment which has co-produced the recent major motion pictures, Jurassic World and Straight Outta Compton as well as producing Krampus, the Gothic Horror film Crimson Peak, Godzilla, Pacific Rim, and the Jackie Robinson biopic 42. Mr. Tull is also part of the ownership group of the Pittsburgh Steelers football team.
"Alba and I are proud to be a part of one of Pittsburgh's great causes to help the next generation realize their potential," said Thomas Tull. "Getting more students to continue their education or training beyond high school benefits everyone. We're looking forward to this special evening with our Pittsburgh neighbors and enjoying the talents of Wynton Marsalis."
Commenting on plans for the Gala, Pittsburgh Promise Executive Director Saleem Ghubril said, "Nothing is more important to us than shining the light on, and fueling the fires of, our city's kids, in whom live millions and millions of possibilities. We are exhilarated by the 'Keepers of the Promise,' their commitment to the mission of The Pittsburgh Promise, and their support of this gala. We are so thankful to Thomas and Alba Tull for deepening their engagement in Pittsburgh through investing in the futures of our kids. On behalf of our Board of Directors, staff, and supporters, we are beyond thrilled to have the great Wynton Marsalis visit with our high school music students and perform at our November Gala."
"A Night of a Million Possibilities" will take place on Thursday, November 10, 2016, beginning at 6:00 p.m. at downtown Pittsburgh's Wyndham Grand Hotel. For information about purchasing tickets, tables, or sponsorships, visit www.PittsburghPromise.org/gala, or call 412-745-2220. Individual tickets are $250 and table sponsorships start at $2,500. Corporate sponsorships are also available.
Wynton Marsalis, a New Orleans native, is an internationally acclaimed musician, composer, bandleader, educator and a leading advocate of American culture. He has recorded more than 80 jazz and classical recordings, which have won him nine GRAMMY® awards and sold over 7 million copies worldwide. Marsalis made history in 1997, when he became the first jazz musician ever to win the Pulitzer Prize for his oratorio Blood on the Fields. He has written six books including: Jazz ABZ: An A to Z Collection of Jazz Portraits, illustrated by poster artist Paul Rogers; Moving to Higher Ground: How Jazz Can Change Your Life with Geoffrey C. Ward; and Squeak, Rumble, Whomp! Whomp! Whomp!, also illustrated by Paul Rogers.
Wynton's lifetime commitment to inspiring and uplifting people though artistic excellence in jazz, has had an unparalleled impact both in the United States and around the world. He serves as the Managing and Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Director of Jazz Studies at the Juilliard School in New York City.
The Pittsburgh Promise, a scholarship program for Pittsburgh Public Schools students, advocates for improving the quality of education and increasing the preparedness and diversity of the region's workforce. Pittsburgh has the largest Promise program in the United States. For more information about The Pittsburgh Promise, visit www.pittsburghpromise.org