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New Jersey Performing Arts Center and Prudential Announce Partnership to Celebrate New Orleans Culture & Jazz

Published 12-13-05

Submitted by Prudential Financial, Inc.

Newark, NJ - Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE:PRU) and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) announced Friday a partnership with the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Inc. (NOJO) that will allow the talented group of musicians to embark on its first national tour and create a residency program for NOJO at NJPAC that will include performance presentations (by NOJO and other New Orleans artists), educational workshops and community residencies, and commissioning of new jazz works to debut in Newark in 2006 and 2007. The partnership is supported through support from Prudential totaling $500,000, including a $300,000 corporate sponsorship for the NOJO tour, New Orleans: Then and Now; and an additional $200,000 for the creation of "New Orleans North" at NJPAC.

Following the devastation of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center learned that NOJO's inaugural national tour was threatened with cancellation due to lack of available funding. NJPAC reached out to Prudential for support. The collaboration being announced today is the result of discussions among the three organizations designed to, at once, preserve the rich cultural heritage of New Orleans and help to bring the sounds of jazz to Newark and the rest of the country.

Through their work as a permanent national performing arts and education organization, NOJO helps to carry the culture of the Crescent City to communities around the country and is in the forefront of the efforts to rebuild New Orleans culture. NOJO, under the direction of its Founder, trumpeter Irvin Mayfield, has received national acclaim for its efforts as a jazz education and performance organization dedicated to being at the forefront of the cultural reaffirmation process underway in New Orleans. Recent highlights include a segment on CNN's American Morning, and coverage ranging from the Arizona Republic to The New York Times and National Public Radio.

According to Mayfield, "the connection is natural. Newark and New Orleans are sister cities with similar experiences. So to be a part of celebrating jazz in a city that is so much like home only makes sense."

The new partnership is an appropriate fit for NJPAC and the City of Newark. In days past, Newark's jazz scene rivaled St. Louis and Chicago and other great American cities. Today, Newark is still home to the world's best jazz archive, the world's only jazz history degree and the only jazz station in the nation's largest radio market (WBGO-FM/Jazz 88.3). The partnership with NOJO has the makings to bring not only NOJO and its founder, Irvin Mayfield to New Jersey's largest city, but also other great artists from New Orleans. Since its opening in 1997, NJPAC has been home to many of the world's top jazz artists.

"NOJO is one hot band," said Lawrence Goldman, President and CEO of The New Jersey Performing Arts Center. "We are delighted to have played a small role in ensuring that people across the country could hear how amazing they are. We are even more excited about the prospect that NJPAC could one day be considered 'New Orleans North,' with Irvin and NOJO helping us to bring the best of New Orleans to New Jersey. Prudential's leadership on this is heroic. We are all grateful for the company's generosity and support of this vision."

"As the nation and the world look to rebuilding New Orleans, preserving the richness of the culture is tantamount," said Gabriella Morris, president of The Prudential Foundation. "Our support of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra is consistent with our commitment to grow and protect our communities. The NOJO represents the quality of the arts for which New Orleans is famous and we are honored to play a role in helping to preserve the culture that is unique to New Orleans, while also bringing some of Newark's jazz heyday back to the city through the sounds of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra."

About NJPAC
New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), located in the heart of an emerging downtown Newark, New Jersey, is the sixth largest performing arts center in the United States. Home of the Grammy® Award-winning New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, NJPAC has been widely cited as a catalyst in the revitalization of New Jersey's largest city, attracting over 3.5 million visitors (including more than 700,000 children) in its first nine years of operation.

About Prudential
Prudential Financial companies, with approximately $522 billion in total assets under management as of September 30, 2005, serve individual and institutional customers worldwide and include The Prudential Insurance Company of America, one of the largest life insurance companies in the United States. These companies offer a variety of products and services, including life insurance, mutual funds, annuities, pension and retirement related services and administration, asset management, securities brokerage, banking and trust services, real estate brokerage franchises and relocation services. For more information, visit www.prudential.com.

About The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra
Under the artistic direction of Mayfield, The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Inc. (NOJO) has created a permanent national performing arts and education organization that celebrates America's own native musical form, with roots in the birthplace of jazz, New Orleans. Supported by Prudential Financial, NOJO is more than just a jazz ensemble, it is a jazz education and presentation organization that harnesses the "universal language" of music and brings together the forces of New Orleans ' unique international reputation to build a new model to proliferate jazz.

The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Inc. is a non-profit organization operated in the public interest. Contributions to support NOJO's work are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law and can be made online at www.TheNOJO.com.

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Prudential Financial, Inc.

Prudential Financial, Inc.

Prudential Financial companies, with approximately $568 billion in total assets under management as of June 30, 2006, serve individual and institutional customers worldwide and include The Prudential Insurance Company of America, one of the largest life insurance companies in the United States. These companies offer a variety of products and services, including life insurance, mutual funds, annuities, pension and retirement-related services and administration, asset management, banking and trust services, real estate brokerage franchises, relocation services and, through a joint venture, retail securities brokerage services.

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