January 30, 2012

SUNY Empire State College Celebrates Black History Month

“Made in America: The Depth and Breadth of Jazz Performance”

“Made in America: The Depth and Breadth of Jazz Performance,” a SUNY Empire State College Metropolitan Center event, will celebrate February as black history month with live jazz, discussion of the impact of jazz and black history as it relates to music, society and politics, as well as presentations of awards for artistic achievement and contributions to adult education, including one to jazz great and college alumnus Kenny Barron ’78.

Barron is an American jazz legend known for his lyrical style of playing and melodic compositions. He is considered one of the world’s most important and influential jazz pianists and was named an NEA Jazz Master in 2011, the highest possible honor in the country. His discography includes more than 40 albums under his name and a presence in hundreds of recordings by other artists. Born June 9, 1943 in Philadelphia, Barron earned his B.A. from Empire State juggling classes while touring with Yusef Lateef, a key proponent of higher education.

Barron will be given the Distinguished Alumni Award. In addition, the college will present Heritage Awards to former Metropolitan Center Dean Nancy Bunch, professor emeritus, community activist and artist Dorothy Burnham, and Rudy Cain, Ph.D., the first faculty mentor and coordinator at the college’s Bedford-Stuyvesant location.

“I am very pleased to support this celebration of black history month at the Metropolitan Center,” said Empire State College President Alan R. Davis. “The academic and performance components of the celebration will help us to better understand and appreciate the significant contributions of the alumni, faculty and staff who given their energy and their ideals to make Empire State College a distinctive and exemplary institution.”

“Metropolitan Center faculty, staff and alumni convened by community and human services faculty mentor David Fullard have led the way in the creation of stellar events celebrating black history month,” said Metropolitan Center Dean Cynthia Ward. ““Made in America” celebrates the rich tapestry of African-American history and the achievements of individuals who exemplify the Metropolitan Center’s 40-year commitment to providing access to higher education to communities in Brooklyn and throughout New York City.”

The event will feature the Mansoor Sabree Jazz Ensemble and the Marcus McLaurine Trio.

As part of the celebrations of black history month, an event organized by arts mentor Raul Manzano, “Breaking Boundaries,” a mixed-media exhibition, will be on display at the college’s Livingston Gallery, 177 Livingston St., sixth floor, in Brooklyn, Feb. 3 to March

The college’s “Breaking Boundaries” exhibit is open to the public by appointment. For more information contact Professor Raul Manzano at 718-907-5740 or raul.manzano@esc.edu.

About SUNY Empire State College
SUNY Empire State College was established in 1971 to offer adult learners the opportunity to earn associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the State University of New York.

The college serves more than 20,000 students worldwide at more than 35 locations in New York state and online. Its 63,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, nonprofit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more.

For more information, visit the college at www.esc.edu.


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