Leslie Odom, Jr. Appears at John Paul Jones Arena Tomorrow

Leslie Odom, Jr. Appears at John Paul Jones Arena Tomorrow

Tony Award-winner Leslie Odom, Jr., who originated the role of Aaron Burr in the Broadway megahit Hamilton, is coming to John Paul Jones Arena at 3PM on January 19 as the 2019 UVA President's Speaker for the Arts. The multi-talented entertainer will discuss his life and career, the impact of the arts on education, and on the world in which we live during a brief address followed by a moderated conversation with University of Virginia President Jim Ryan.

Presented in conjunction with the University of Virginia's 2019 Community MLK Celebration, the event is free and open to the public. Details regarding the distribution of general admission tickets will be released within the next two weeks. The event will not conflict with the UVA Men's Basketball game at Duke, which has now been scheduled for 6PM.

The appearance marks a return to Grounds for Odom, Jr., following his memorable performance on the UVA Lawn as part of the Bicentennial Launch Celebration in October of 2017. The Bicentennial Launch Celebration, which drew more than 20,000 to the UVA Lawn, was held just months after the tragic events of August 11 and 12 in Charlottesville.

Leslie Odom, Jr.'s performance as Aaron Burr in Hamilton earned him the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical, as well as a Grammy Award as a principal soloist on the original cast recording, He made his Broadway debut in Rent, and starred in the stage adaptation of Leap of Faith. His film credits include starring alongside Johnny Depp, Daisy Ridley, Penelope Cruz, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Judi Dench in Kenneth Branagh's Murder on the Orient Express for Twentieth Century Fox. His previous film work includes the 2012 historical drama Red Tails, executive produced by George Lucas. Odom, Jr. is currently in production on Harriet, the story of heroic abolitionist Harriet Tubman, which is being filmed in Virginia.

Odom, Jr.'s television work includes a starring role in the cult-classic musical drama series, Smash, created by Theresa Rebeck, He has had recurring roles on NBC's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and CBS's Persons of Interest and CSI: Miami.

In 2016, Odom's self-titled debut album was re-released with additional tracks included, and charted #1 on the Billboard Jazz Chart. He followed that effort up with a re-release of his Simply Christmas album, which rose to #1 on both the iTunes and Billboard charts.

Leslie Odom, Jr.'s appearance as the UVA President's Speaker for the Arts is presented in partnership with UVA's 2019 Community MLK Celebration and sponsored by the offices of the President and Provost, the Vice Provost for the Arts, the offices for Diversity & Equity and Equal Opportunity & Civil Rights, and The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation. Media Sponsors are WTJU 91.1 FM, Charlottesville Radio Group (CRG) and C-Ville Weekly.

Please see arts.virginia.edu/odom for updates on timing, ticketing, and details on the Clear Bag Policy in effect at John Paul Jones Arena johnpauljonesarena.com/events/2019/loj.

Photo Credit: Jennifer Broski

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