Tony Award winning Broadway composer and international rock star David Bryan has donated a 9 foot Steinway concert grand piano to the United States State Department Collection to be housed in the Benjamin Franklin Ballroom at the Harry S. Truman State Department Building in Washington, DC. As a founding member and keyboard player for Bon Jovi, Bryan has toured the world and shared his music with millions of people. The plaque that accompanies the State Department piano reflects Bryan's personal belief that "In the timeless celebration of music is that which brings us together, not separates us." That belief is also underscored in Bryan's Tony Award winning Best Musical MEMPHIS, playing through August 5th at Broadway's Shubert Theater and across America on a celebrated national tour.
"In times of joy and sorrow, love or hate, peace and unrest, music has always been an important outlet for expressing our emotions individually and as a nation," Bryan said. "As a proud American musician, it is my great honor to give this gift to the State Department. I hope it brings years of wonderful music to these great halls."
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton attended a reception honoring the presentation of a Steinway piano to the State Department with a performance by the cast of Broadway's MEMPHIS, at the State Department.
Ron Losby, President, Steinway & Sons - Americas and David Slan, President, Steinway Piano Gallery - Washington DC were also in attendance at the reception, and Losby said, "Steinway & Sons has a proud history of providing pianos for use by our government, most notably Steinway serial number 300,000, known as the 'White House Steinway.' To see our Steinway Artist David Bryan continue this tradition with such a great and patriotic gesture makes everyone at Steinway very proud."
MEMPHIS, the show that is currently blowing the roof off of Broadway, stars Tony Nominee Adam Pascal (Huey) and Tony Nominee Montego Glover (Felicia) with Derrick Baskin (Gator), J. Bernard Calloway (Delray), James Monroe Iglehart (Bobby), John Jellison (Mr. Simmons), and Nancy Opel (Mama). MEMPHIS opened on October 19, 2009 at Broadway's Shubert Theatre (225 W. 44th Street), previews began on September 23rd.
Critically acclaimed MEMPHIS won four 2010 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Original Score (David Bryan and Joe DiPietro), Best Book (Joe DiPietro), and Best Orchestrations (David Bryan and Daryl Waters). MEMPHIS won four Drama Desk Awards including Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Performance by an Actress (Montego Glover), Outstanding Music (David Bryan) and Outstanding Orchestration (David Bryan and Daryl Waters). MEMPHIS has also won four Outer Critics Circle Awards including Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Score (David Bryan & Joe DiPietro), Outstanding Actress (Montego Glover) and Outstanding Choreography (Sergio Trujillo).
MEMPHIS takes place in the smoky halls and underground clubs of the segregated 50's, where a young white DJ named Huey Calhoun (Adam Pascal) fell in love with everything he shouldn't: rock and roll and an electrifying black singer (Montego Glover). MEMPHIS is an original story about the cultural revolution that erupted when his vision met her voice, and the music changed forever.