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JALC Honors Women, Makes Money

Jazz at Lincoln Center, New York City’s largest non-profit jazz organization, raised $1.38 million on Monday night at an awards gala and benefit concert that featured performances by Roberta Flack, Wynton Marsalis and Diana Ross, among others. The money will likely go toward the completion of Frederick P. Rose Hall, a performance, education and broadcast facility JALC plans to open in fall 2004 (more on that here).

CBS News’ Ed Bradley hosted Monday’s event, which was JALC’s eighth annual tribute to jazz musicians of the fairer sex: “Here’s to the Ladies: A Celebration of Great Women in Jazz.” Obviously, the first ladies of jazz vocals-Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan-were in attendees’ thoughts. Roberta Flack opened the evening’s musical program with “Prelude to a Kiss,” a song all three of those legends performed during their careers. And Diana Ross, a surprise guest, took the stage at the end of the show and performed the Holiday-associated tunes “Fine and Mellow” and “Don’t Explain,” backed by Marsalis’ Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.

Those moments bookended a night of music that featured female performers, including singer Cleo Laine, who sang “Willow Weep for Me” and “How High the Moon?” and singer Dee Dee Bridgewater (pictured), who did versions “Tenderly” and “Cottontail” with Marsalis’ Orchestra behind her. And four young women gave the audience a taste of jazz to come as vocalist Jennifer Sanon and alto saxophonist Erica VonKleist sat in on an Orchestra rendition of “Lullaby of Birdland,” and drummer Luciana Padmore and flutist Anne Drummond joined the big band for Marsalis’ “Petite Suite.”

Two awards were given out between musical numbers. Phoebe Jacobs, the executive vice president of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation was given the JALC Award for Leadership and jazz vocalist Shirley Horn was recognized with the JALC Award for Artistic Excellence.

Originally Published