The world premiere of the “Ballad for Trayvon Martin for Orchestra and Jazz Quartet” is set for tonight. Princeton University’s director of its jazz-studies program composed the work in honor of the Florida teen. Anthony D. J. Branker told the Star-Ledger that the piece is intended to “be a form of healing” after Martin’s death and the controversial court case that followed it.
The ballad, which will be performed by the university’s official orchestra and jazz ensemble, is intended to be a tribute to victims of racial violence, Branker explained. He hopes that the performance will be “one that speaks to all of us to continue to work together so that children of any race, ethnicity or religious affiliation never have to meet such a tragic end.”
Branker said Martin’s death reminded him of a personal experience when he was wrongly confronted by police and accused of breaking into a home because he fit a profile.