The holidays might be coming to an end, but don’t put away your wonder and awe quite yet; your public television station has a bit of magic left for you. Remember staring at the TV as a kid, wishing those wondrous people would pop out of that box and be there in front of you for real? Well, we’re about to make that happen.

WTVP is teaming up with the Peoria Civic Center and underwriter David Vaughan Investments, Inc., to bring jazz legend Wynton Marsalis and the entire Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra to Peoria this spring. In an amazing and powerful concert to be held at the Civic Center Theater April 1, you’ll finally be able to experience in person what you’ve been watching on WTVP for many years: namely, a world-renowned jazz ensemble swinging the plaster off the walls. And as the man said, my friend, “It doesn’t get any better than when it’s live.”

Sound like a strange thing to hear coming from a TV station? Theoretically, we want you to stay home and watch television—not go out for a night of live performance, right? However, we consider performances like this to be the culmination of the WTVP viewing process, not the interruption of it.

Think of it this way: WTVP’s mission is to educate and inspire, as well as entertain. Therefore, one of the most important parts of your WTVP viewing experience is what you do after you turn off the television. So whether that inspiration takes you to a library, museum, or gallery to learn more—or leads you to a needle and thread, dance floor, or live performance to experience for yourself—we’re behind you all the way.

Furthermore, implied in our mission is a responsibility to reflect and enhance the community to which we belong. And that’s “community” in the sense of the arts community—of which WTVP is a proud part—with their rich array of resources and offerings, and the community at large that patronizes them. What could more positively reflect on our central Illinois community than the fact that a global act of this caliber would come to Peoria?

And as for enhancement, if the fabulous music isn’t enough, there’s the partnership between WTVP—a cultural institution, the Peoria Civic Center—a civic authority, and David Vaughan Investments—a local business leader. That’s quite a positive symbol of the great things that can happen when organizations with various strengths start working together.

So whatever about it jazzes you most—the music, the kudos, or the social impact—get yourself there. Tickets are on sale right now through the Civic Center Box Office and all TicketMaster locations, including ticketmaster.com. More information about the performance and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra can be found online at www.wtvp.org.

And, by the way, while you’re waiting for April 1 to roll around, flip on Channel 47. We’ve got a whole new season of great performances that will bring dance, theater, music, and literature to life before your very eyes. From Shakespeare to Sherlock, from profiles to performances, there’s a whole lot to get jazzed about on WTVP. 

Swing hard and duck occasionally. AA!