Marsalis Family Music Dynasty to be Showcased in Veterans Day Weekend Performance

Oct 12, 2018

DUBUQUE, Iowa – University of Dubuque Heritage Center continues its sixth annual Live at Heritage Center Performing Arts Series with Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass “Brothers on the Battlefield: The Power of Love” on Friday, Nov. 9, at 7:30 p.m. in John and Alice Butler Hall. This year, Veterans Day weekend begins with a ground-breaking, genre-bending concert celebrating the music that occurred in between the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement. Thanks to support from Radio Dubuque and its affiliate stations, free admission is available to veterans as well as active and reserve military personnel.

WHAT:            Live at Heritage Center Performing Arts Series – Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass “Brothers on the Battlefield: The Power of Love”

WHEN:            Friday, Nov. 9 – 7:30 p.m.

WHERE:          John and Alice Butler Hall, Heritage Center, University of Dubuque

TICKETS:        Adult $29-$34 advance/$34-$39 day of show; Alumni $24 advance/$29 day of show; Child/Student $10 advance/$15 day of show

                       Note: Veterans, active and reserve military personnel are eligible for free admission, though a ticket is still required. All seats reserved.

“Brothers on the Battlefield,” a narrated, multi-media program, is one of Philadelphia Big Brass’s most popular concerts in the United States. With a core message of love and unity, this concert is an uplifting and joyful celebration of life and our shared humanity. The Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass is composed of some of America’s top brass musicians and led by a product of American musical royalty, Rodney Marsalis, cousin to legendary musicians Wynton, Branford, and Ellis Marsalis. On the advice of Ellis, the Philadelphia Big Brass creates a concert format that breaks the usual barriers between genres and strives to create connection between the audience and performers.

“Brothers in the Battlefield” features the talents of 11 musicians and a narrator. Marsalis wrote the narrative for the concert and handpicked the songs that span genres from classical to rock including “Fanfare for the Common Man” by Aaron Copeland, a selection from West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein, and “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” by Pete Seeger. Pieces by Bach, Handel, Sousa, and Elvis also comprise part of the program.

Marsalis has carved for himself a place as one of the world’s most prominent trumpet players. He will be joined by some of America’s other top brass musicians who have dedicated themselves to bringing the joyous experience of great music to the ears and hearts of the audiences. The composition of the group is diverse as are the styles of music performed in this concert.  According to Marsalis, “... that’s kind of what the band is about, a mixture of cultures and styles and strengths coming from that mixture. That’s what we see as America’s greatest asset.”

The Western Dubuque High School Band, directed by Michael Omarzu, will serve as special guests on the program performing two pieces with Philadelphia Big Brass.

Prior to the concert, a special pre-show Quilts of Valor presentation and recognition ceremony will be held from 6:00 to 6:30 p.m. in Heritage Center’s Babka Theatre. Cyndy Billmeyer, Northeast Iowa Quilts of Valor coordinator, will discuss the organization’s mission to thank and honor service members and veterans by giving them a wartime quilt. Veterans and military personnel including Thomas Felderman, William Felderman, Stephen Johnson, Leo Kringle, Daniel A. Loewen, Brendan Quann, Ruben Roberts, Julie A. Schulte, and LeRoy J. Timmerman will be presented with quilts made by the Breezy Ridge Quilts of Valor Quilters. The quilts will then be exhibited in UD’s Bisignano Art Gallery from Nov. 9 to Nov. 26. A gallery reception with complimentary refreshments will follow the ceremony. The presentation and reception are free and open to the public.

Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass can be chosen as part of a flexible season ticket package. Single tickets are available Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Farber Box Office, Heritage Center, University of Dubuque, 2255 Bennett Street; by phone at 563.585.SHOW; or online at

This engagement is supported, in part, by the William P. Woodward Visiting Artist-in-Residence Endowment. Also, Philadelphia Big Brass community youth outreach programming support has been provided by the Dubuque Racing Association and associated casinos, Q Casino and Diamond Jo Casino.

Patrons are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance. New for 2018-2019, all tickets increase by $5.00 beginning at midnight the day of performances.