“The Word At Birdland” A Conversation With Budd Mishkin, Wynton Marsalis and Ruben Blades

Birdland Theater is proud to announce that journalist Budd Mishkin will be interviewing musicians Wynton Marsalis and Ruben Blades in an intimate and compelling conversation on Thursday, November 15 at 7pm. The evening will include questions and interaction with the live audience.

Budd Mishkin is a broadcast journalist, interviewer, live event host, public speaker and panel moderator. He was one of the original anchor/reporters who helped create NY1 in 1992 and spent 25 years at New York’s 24 hour news channel. From 1992-2017, Budd served as a sports anchor/reporter, covering a wide variety of New York sports stories and anchoring NY1’s nightly show “Sports on 1: The Last Word.” In 2003, he created the weekly series “One on 1 with Budd Mishkin,” profiling influential and intriguing New Yorkers from a wide range of fields. Over 14 years, “One on 1” profiled some 400 prominent New Yorkers: poets and politicians, athletes and artists, the old timers and the rising stars. In addition to Budd’s television news and sports work, he’s created and hosted live events and moderates panels at venues throughout New York and New Jersey including the 92nd St. Y, the Museum of the City of New York, Barnes and Noble, the World Science Festival and others. His guests on stage have included Wynton Marsalis, Dan Rather, John Turturro, Cal Ripken Jr., Kirk Douglas, Suzanne Vega, Ed Koch, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Harry Belafonte, Gloria Steinem, Graham Nash, Steven Van Zandt, Bob Costas and many more.

Rubén Blades was born in a rooming house in a small Latin American country, but he refused to see limitations or barriers; his work has crossed geopolitical borders, cultures, and genres, and has made an impact throughout the world. He has won 17 Grammy and Latin Grammy Awards, and currently stars in the AMC television series Fear the Walking Dead. As a composer and vocalist, Blades is one of the most successful artists in Latin music. His landmark albums in classic Afro-Cuban salsa are touched with rock, jazz, pan-Latin, and worldwide influences. His 2017 album Salsa Big Band was named the Latin Grammy Album of the Year. Blades has collaborated with rock, jazz, pop, hip-hop, reggaeton, and salsa artists, and has composed hundreds of songs and dozens of hits, known for their eloquent, socially charged lyrics, colorful characters, and memorable melodies. ASCAP honored him with its Founders Award, and the Grammy Recording Academy with its Heroes Award. He is the subject of the 2018 award-winning documentary Yo No Me Llamo Rubén Blades directed by Abner Benaim.

In addition to his music, he was recently seen starring in Hands Of Stone opposite Robert De Niro, Edgar Ramirez and John Turturro, and in Safe House opposite Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds. Blades has played memorable roles in films with such acclaimed directors as Robert Redford in The Milagro Beanfield War, Robert Rodriguez in Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Spike Lee in Mo’ Better Blues, Alan Pakula in The Devil’s Own, and Jack Nicholson in The Two Jakes. He was nominated for three Emmys for his roles in the television movies The Josephine Baker Story, Crazy From The Heart, and The Maldonado Miracle. His work in over 35 films and documentaries also won Blades a Cable ACE Award, plus Independent Spirit and ALMA Awards. The Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors honored him with its Raúl Juliá HOLA Founders Award, and the Hispanic Heritage Foundation honored him with its Arts Award.

Beyond Blades’ artistic success, he holds degrees in political science and law from the University of Panama, and an LLM from Harvard Graduate Law School. The Loeb Music Library at Harvard University formed The Rubén Blades Archives in 2008 to collect his work and papers. He has received Honorary Doctorate degrees from Berkeley University in California (Chicano Studies), Lehman College in the Bronx (Humanities) and the Berklee College of Music in Boston (Music). In 2006 the president of Chile awarded Blades the Pablo Neruda Order of Cultural Merit, and in 2010 the president of Ecuador honored him with their Orden Nacional al Mérito Cultural. New York University Steinhardt has appointed him Scholar in Residence for the 2018/2019 academic year. Blades has always had an eye for political activism. In 1994 he formed a political party, Movimiento Papa Egoró (“Mother Earth” in the indigenous Embera language), and ran for President of the Republic of Panama, coming in third place with 18% of the vote. In 2000 Blades was named U.N. World Ambassador Against Racism. From 2004-2009 he served as his country’s Minister of Tourism.

Wynton Marsalis is an internationally acclaimed musician, composer and bandleader, an educator and a leading advocate of American culture. He has created and performed an expansive range of music from quartets to big bands, chamber music ensembles to symphony orchestras and tap dance to ballet, expanding the vocabulary for jazz and classical music with a vital body of work that places him among the world’s finest musicians and composers. Always swinging, Marsalis blows his trumpet with a clear tone, a depth of emotion and a unique, virtuosic style derived from an encyclopedic range of trumpet techniques. When you hear Marsalis play, you’re hearing life being played out through music. Marsalis’ core beliefs and foundation for living are based on the principals of jazz. He promotes individual creativity (improvisation), collective cooperation (swing), gratitude and good manners (sophistication), and faces adversity with persistent optimism (the blues). With his evolved humanity and through his selfless work, Marsalis has elevated the quality of human engagement for individuals, social networks and cultural institutions throughout the world.

“The Word At Birdland”
A Conversation With Budd Mishkin, Wynton Marsalis and Ruben Blades

Thursday, November 15 at 7pm
Birdland Theater, 315 West 44 Street, NYC
$30 cover, $10 food/drink minimum or 212-581-3080

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