Wynton Marsalis, world-renowned jazz trumpeter and artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, delivered the 2023 commencement speech at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. A Grammy and Pulitzer Prize-winning musician, he was presented with an honorary doctor of music degree. In his address, Marsalis called on graduates to bridge societal divides and fight against oppression and discrimination. 

“May you never become numb to the deprivation and poverty, the misery and lack of opportunity that besets so many of your less fortunate and less aware fellow citizens. May you never lose the sense that a collective will can create unimagined change to better the lives of more and more citizens. You are needed out here. Hello! We desperately need you and your creativity, your conscience, and your consciousness.”

This article was published in our June 2023 issue.