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Marsalis Grants Wish

The Make-A-Wish foundation is a nonprofit organization that grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses around the world. While many of the requests Make-A-Wish receives involve a kid’s favorite baseball player or movie star, it is not often that Make-A-Wish is asked to track down a leading figure in the jazz world. But when Sam Emerson, 17, of Twain Harte, Calif., was given the chance to request a wish through the foundation, he knew immediately what his wish would be. A longtime fan and admirer of Wynton Marsalis (pictured), Sam wanted to attend a performance by Marsalis and meet the ubertrumpeter and composer.

On May 18, Sam was granted his wish when, with the help of Make-A-Wish, he attended a Jazz For Young People concert, hosted by Marsalis, and afterwards got to hang with his hero backstage at Alice Tully Hall. That night Sam also was lucky enough to see the Jazz at Lincoln Center concert “Carnival on Broadway,” which featured several guest Brazilian musicians.

For more information about the Make-A-Wish foundation, visit

Originally Published