Marsalis wins a Pulitzer for slavery oratorio

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The Independent Online
The trumpeter Wynton Marsalis has won the Pulitzer Prize for music for his composition Blood on the Fields, a three-hour oratorio about slavery.

It resounds with the history of jazz, from cotton-field spirituals to New Orleans blues, gospel and Harlem swing.

Marsalis (pictured) is rare in the music world for being highly regarded as both a classical and jazz performer. His father, Ellis, is a respected pianist from New Orleans. Of the six Marsalis brothers, several others are musicians, including Wynton's elder brother Branford, a saxophonist.

Other Pulitzers awarded yesterday included the fiction award, which went to Steven Millhauser for his Martin Dressler: The Tale of an American Dreamer.

The poetry prize was won by Lisel Mueller for Alive Together: New and Selected Poems, published by Louisiana State University Press.

The prize for general non-fiction went to Ashes to Ashes: America's 100- Year Cigarette War, the Public Health, and the Unabashed Triumph of Philip Morris, by Richard Kluger.

The Pulitzer Prize for biography went to the Irish-American writer Frank McCourt for Angela's Ashes: A Memoir, and the prize for history was awarded to Jack Rakove for Original Meanings: Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution.

John Burns of the New York Times won the Pulitzer for journalism for international reporting. The Pulitzer Prize board at Columbia University cited Burns "for his courageous and insightful coverage of the harrowing regime imposed on Afghanistan by the Taliban".