Princeton Jazz Professor Composes ‘Ballad for Trayvon Martin’

Ronni Reich, The Star-Ledger, December 4, 2013

When Anthony D.J. Branker heard about Trayvon Martin, he could not help but think of an experience he had in his early 20s, just after graduating from Princeton University.

“I was stopped by police at gunpoint because it was believed I broke into someone’s home,” he said. “I fit a profile. Police surrounded my car.”

Branker, who celebrates his 25th anniversary this year as founder and director of the program in jazz studies at Princeton, has composed a piece of music that draws on Martin’s story, which he said “moved me to the core.”

“Ballad for Trayvon Martin for Orchestra and Jazz Quartet,” written in honor of the 17-year-old who was shot in 2012 in Sanford, Fla., by neighborhood watch coordinator George Zimmerman, will receive its world premiere tomorrow.

Anthony Branker

Anthony Branker

The Princeton University Orchestra and the University Concert Jazz Ensemble will perform the work on a program that also includes Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9, Beethoven’s “Egmont” overture and a world premiere of “Teatro di Strada” by David Sanford. Conducted by Michael Pratt, with senior J.J. Warshaw leading the Beethoven, the concert will take place in the Richardson Auditorium and will be repeated Friday.

According to Branker, the work is intended “to be a form of healing and something that could be seen as a composition of hope — 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.”


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  • dd121

    Are they going to do a ballad for the dozens of whites murdered by savage blacks?

    • Whitetrashgang

      You know if you just step back from the boob tube you realize how insane things are.500 years ago the tribe was running everything and every knew blacks were closer to apes then man.Today things are the same but your not supposed to notice .America has finally become Oceania.

      • CoweringCoward


    • me

      Black ‘composers’….lol!

  • [Guest]

    Beethoven and Dvořák are good and white. That’s offensive nowadays and must be counteracted with doses of bad and brown.

    • Emperor Naked

      It’s also about the appropriation of white culture. Eventually, it will be said these men had African mother’s or a grandfather. Next, it will be claimed that their musical gifts came with their African DNA, etc.

      • [Guest]

        Oh, there’s a “black Beethoven” movement already. For fun, google it.

        And it’s been said that Dvořák used themes from both American Indians and American blacks in the New World Symphony, which is the composition on the program mentioned in the article.

        Nowadays, in one way or another, everything white must be browned.

        • Anglokraut

          “Frozen” was pretty White. I think there was two dark faces in a crowd scene, with no lines. The movie is about as White as is allowed to be made these days.

  • sbuffalonative

    Ballet? Is this intended to inspire blacks or prompt white guilt?

    “I was stopped by police at gunpoint because it was believed I broke into someone’s home,” he said. “I fit a profile.

    Yes, you fit the profile. Get it?

  • NeanderthalDNA

    Ode to Saint Treyvon…

    His skittles scattered about the sidewalk,

    His bloody martyr’s body sprawled Christ-like,

    All he ever wanted was to beat someone to death,

    Sleep peacefully gentle Nubian prince,

    You’ll never attack another non-Black again…

    Oh, I’m tearing up here folks. Spillin’ my 40 in honor of a great young Black man cut down in the prime of life before he had a chance to cost society so much more…

    • Whitetrashgang

      Yes Trayvons death was not only a tradegy but completely unavoidable , much like the knockout game. Although to ease the pain of his death when ever I drink I think I maybe be a loser but I am still better then all the blacks put together. For all time Amen.

      • dd121

        You’re one of us and in my book that makes you a winner!

    • Sick of it

      You forgot the line about him being a “no limit nigga” – His words.

  • Katherine McChesney

    I wonder what are the true statistics of these blacks lying about being profiled and abused by Whites. I don’t believe any of them.

    • Sick of it

      Many who claim to be profiled omit the fact that they either have a criminal record or have spent time with people with a criminal record.

  • “Ballad for Trayvon Martin for Orchestra and Jazz Quartet,”

    aka “Ballad for a Piece of ….

  • Spartacus

    The important question that’s on everybody’s mind right now – can you twerk to it ?

  • JohnEngelman

    Does the ballad have a lot of obscene words in it to make it real?

    • George Clark

      no, but the accompanying video has a lot of hot asian gals in it.

  • Alexandra1973

    Do something to the tune of “Gangsta Paradise.”

    (I like Weird Al’s “Amish Paradise.”)

    • NeanderthalDNA

      Or Richard Cheeze’s “Me So Horny”.

      Vegas lounge lizard rendition of that classic on youtube.

      Check it out for chuckle but keep the volume down if at work or around anyone easily offended or corrupted.

      • Alexandra1973

        Wasn’t that 2Live Crew?

        (Should we be surprised that it was a bunch of blacks singing about that?)

        • NeanderthalDNA

          Oh yes. Mr. Cheeze croons it out in a honey tone one can actually understand (or not tune out, as I do with that stuff) that is HILARIOUS!

          Makes the r-style profanity more amazingly juvenile and shocking.

          “The horn section’s horny!” Yeah, cheezy but funny…

    • The Weird Al piece is clever and funny but they’ve got the last laugh. No unemployment, they’re master farmers, they eat really well, they have cash in the bank and they have no problems with blacks.

  • libertarian1234

    “…….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.”

    Can anyone but wonder how these black miscreants can describe their black thugs as “children.” Not just this dork either. That nonsense has come from the mouths of most of the black talking heads on t.v. as well.

    I don’t think I’ve heard one single black admit this Martin was a full-grown black thug, a thief, a burglar, a doper and a drug dealer, and that his actions raised the neighborhood watch captain’s suspicions, because he was walking in between houses, looking in windows, with his hood up, or that he was in the process of trying to beat the watchman to death when he was shot.

  • bigone4u

    This stupidity by a Negro professor is exactly what I expect of blacks and why I want nothing to do with them. I wish them well on their journey through life, but dammit, I wish they would keep their stupidities out of my face. It disgusts me to even hear of such nonsense.

    • blight14

      I submit that the term ‘Negro professor’ is an oxymoron……

      • He could be a professor of negrology.

  • Truthseeker

    Don’t like being profiled? Stop committing an obscenely disproportionate number of crimes.

  • Allan477

    Notice that Branker does not say whether or not he actually had broken into the house.

  • [Guest]

    Thankfully, I did not witness that one. I’ve seen a whole lot of similar examples of the Magic Negro, though. I’m tired of it.

  • dd121

    I missed it live. If it’s rerun, I’ll miss it again. A black mother superior in 1930s Austria, indeed.

  • Anglokraut

    These people wouldn’t know good story and animation and if it sneaked up behind them and punched them in the back of the head; their anti-White hatred and brainwashing runs pretty deep, so it’s better to just laugh at them, and have other people see you laugh at them. The best part of all is that these are likely the same people who watch hardcore Japanese tentacle porn and try to convince others that they watch it for the subtle shading that the animator is known for, and the proud Japanese cultural heritage of “Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife”.

  • I bought my mother the original version of the film on DVD. What’s not to like about Julie Andrews when she was that young?

  • me

    Freaks, self-loathing Whites, and racist, anti-White idiots! They don’t seem to have a problem with an all Negro cast in a Spike Lee film, nor do they whine when Whites are constantly vilified in most ‘diverse’ films these days (Django Unchained, Big Mama’s blah blah, every Nazi movie, every commercial, every television show, etc.) These poor, downtrodden ‘minorities’ would never even have seen a movie, a cartoon, or even a textbook without evil Whitey inventing them. They’d still be ‘entertaining’ each other with things like tribal wars, voodoo rituals, and mandatory clitoridectomies. See how evil ‘diversity’ is, when it makes the poor non-Whites feel ‘victimized’ unless its ONLY about them, 24/7. Poor babies…

    • Brian

      I don’t mind the blacks having their own films, silly though they may be (Tyler Perry and such). What I resent is having the Magic Negro shoehorned in inappropriately, ‘to make the cowboy’s cook a hero who won the West.’

  • me

    Taste the rainbow!

  • me

    Yes. But the bigger question is WHY?! Why a ‘tribute’ at all? Trayvon was ‘made good’, and it should have stopped there. No tributes, no requiem, no mention of that hood rat ever again….

  • [sarcasm]

    Thank God for the Newark Star Ledger. Otherwise we’d never have known about this important musical composition.


  • Yes, but sh-h-h-h. He’s a music teacher, not an English teacher.

  • Ograf

    The only remarkable thing this thug ever did was to get shot down.

    • Not very remarkable at all. Someone who considers himself a “no-limit n-word” and acts that way is eventually going to get his stupid self killed. Habits are what will save a fellow or get him karked, and luck eventually runs out for guys with the wrong habits. This situation can’t be “fixed”; it already works.

  • gemjunior

    Remind them that they are lucky that they’ve ever been near a television, film, or theatre, since no black person ever invented anything that could even be used in film-making or anything to do with movies. They never even invented a chair, let alone a building, let alone a theatre. That is what really irritates me – their appropriation of everything ever made by whites and then their arrogance and envy in always forgetting they had no hand in it’s invention, and it was shared with them instead of kept from them; that left to themselves, they’d likely be wearing a loincloth and living in a mud hut. If the hut had electricity, it would probably contain a TV because stupid YT shares all his inventions to those that later stab him in the back. Their arrogance disgusts me above all things.
    Miles Davis said that if he knew he had only one hour to live, he’d spend it “choking a white man to death; I’d do it nice and slow.” This negro became a legend playing an instrument invented and developed by whites – his own people couldn’t make such a fine object in their dreams. They couldn’t make a cup without a gourd. Have they even noticed that other peoples make fine china and porcelain, while they use gourds or mud, maybe an animal skin? That shows the level of total stupidity – they don’t see their monumental failures at just about everything, but when they do well it’s always made possible by white inventions and games.