Tim Cook yesterday delivered a commencement address at Tulane University, and he followed up that speech by making an appearance at the Ellis Marsalis Music Center in New Orleans. Cook spent nearly two hours at the center, announcing that Apple is donating equipment for music production.

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According to The New Orleans Advocate, Cook spent two hours at the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music, including meeting with Ellis Marsalis and Harry Connick Jr., two of the center’s founders. He also mingled with students and faculty at the center.

“The center is an illustration of the unique creativity of this city,” Cook said on the sidelines of his visit to EMCM. “New Orleans can be whatever it wants to be” in technology, especially leveraging its unique cultural heritage, he said about the city’s ambitions to be a regional tech hub.

Cook announced during his visit to the Ellis Marsalis Music Center that Apple has partnered with it to donate Apple products that can be used to produce music, as well as to provide software training for music production. Some of the Apple products are already in use by students at the Ellis Marsalis Music Center:

Cook listened to students play in the state-of-the-art, 150-capacity, acoustically engineered performance hall in the center, which was opened in 2011 after a lengthy effort to fund it as well as surrounding housing in the Musicians Village, in the Upper 9th Ward.

He also spent time with students, including Mateo Smith and Alejandera Dillos, who demonstrated their audio and video mixing efforts on computers Apple had donated.

Speaking on the center’s relationship with Apple, Harry Connick Jr. said that having Cook visit the EMMC is “really monumental.”

“To have Tim Cook come here and be interested in our center is really monumental,” said Connick. “This is a first step, and hopefully this will be the beginning of a long relationship.”

During his commencement address at Tulane, Cook told the story of how he left Compaq for Apple, and spoke on important social issues such as climate change. Read our full recap of the speech here.


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