Greenbrier Valley Theatre (GVT), the State Professional Theatre of West Virginia, is proud to announce a two-day 50th anniversary celebration.
The West Virginia Jazz Orchestra and Martinsburg native Christian Lopez will open the weekend on Friday, Sept. 22 at 7:30 p.m. with a concert at the theatre. A 50th Anniversary Gala featuring jazz artist Ellis Marsalis and Clarksburg, WV native Kirsten Wyatt will be held at the WVSOM Conference Center on Saturday, Sept. 23 starting at 6:30 p.m.
GVT is honored to host NEA Jazz Master Ellis Marsalis, alongside his quintet. The musician earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Dillard University in New Orleans, LA in 1955. He has enjoyed a long and eventful career, worked, lived and performed all over the country, and is widely considered the premier jazz musician in New Orleans. Marsalis previously appeared in the Greenbrier Valley for the grand opening of GVT’s state-of-the-art downtown facility in 2000 and again in 2011 for Seriously Jazz.
“Ellis Marsalis has been a great friend to the theatre. He is a lover of all kinds of arts and we are very excited to have him as a supporter of Greenbrier Valley Theatre. Having a jazz master be part of our 50th anniversary celebration is thrilling to us,” said Cathey Sawyer, GVT’s Artistic Director.
One year after he graduated from Dillard University, Marsalis joined the U.S. Marine Corps and helped boost recruiting through his performances. When his duty ended, he became an educator at both the high school and college levels. Throughout his impressive career, he has earned honorary degrees from Dillard University, Ball State University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Tulane University and The Julliard School, and was a guest on many popular television shows. Although he retired from teaching in 2001, the seasoned performer continues to tour with his quintet and release albums on his recording label ELM RECORDS.
Tickets to the Friday concert are $50, and tickets to the 50th Anniversary Gala are $100. A reservation for both nights is $125. Seating is limited. Reservations are required. For tickets or more information, call GVT’s Box Office at 304-645-3838 or the Development Office at 304-645-3838 ext. 106.