Yamaha and Syracuse University Present ‘Exonerated Five’ Member Kevin Richardson With Brand-New Trumpet

Mike Lawson • News • September 10, 2019

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This past weekend, Yamaha Corporation of America and Syracuse University (SU) came together to provide a brand-new trumpet to Kevin Richardson, a member of the “Exonerated Five.”

The generous gift was presented at SU’s Our Time Has Come Benefit Reception at the Community Folk Art Center in Syracuse, New York, which honored Richardson for his perseverance in a time of struggle. Ian Wudyka of Yamaha presented the instrument to Kevin Richardson.

Richardson, one of five men now known as the “Exonerated Five,” is the subject of the recent Netflix series “When They See Us,” which tells the story of the Central Park Jogger case and the men who were wrongfully convicted of assault. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Richardson explained his excitement toward playing the trumpet back in 1989, as well as his goal to play at SU — a goal he was never able to reach — which caught the attention of both SU and Yamaha.

“We were so taken by Kevin’s words to Oprah and we wanted to support him with this contribution,” says Wudyka. “I hope Kevin is able to not only fulfill his own dreams in playing but also share his passion and inspire others to make music.”

While on SU’s campus, Richardson was also honored with a scholarship in his name on behalf of the Our Time Has Come program. In addition to the trumpet presentation, Yamaha contributed $1000 to the scholarship, which supports African American and Latino students through a variety of scholarships based on financial need.

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