The 10th anniversary of the death of Michael Jackson has brought an awareness campaign on behalf of the King of Pop (#HonorMJ), and an anonymous $20,000 donation to the Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong Summer Jazz Camp.
The New Orleans-based camp is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and it will receive the donation during Black History Month.
Every year the Michael Jackson Estate has held a muted remembrance on June 25. In honor of the tenth anniversary of Jackson’s passing, the estate opted to launch a Twitter campaign asking fans to honor Michael Jackson through their own acts of kindness and charity, prompting the anonymous donation.
“The Estate feels that there is no better way to remember and honor Michael than to pay tribute to his lifelong commitment to helping others and caring for the planet we all share,” according to its website. “It is up to each of you to do what feels right for you as a way of helping make the world better.”
For one anonymous donor that meant awarding $20,000 to the jazz camp, which runs now until July 24 at Loyola University New Orleans.
“This is such a great honor as Michael Jackson will always be one of the most prolific entertainers ever, and his commitment to music, education and the arts lives on,” said the camp’s Executive Director Jackie Harris. “Just as Louis Armstrong is still so much a part of our lives even today, nearly 50 years after his death.”
This year the jazz camp will honor not only its namesake but also “The Queen of Swing,” Norma Miller, who passed away on May 5 just shy of her 100th birthday. Miller, a longtime Artist-in-Residence at the camp, was the last surviving member of the dance group Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers and knew Louis Armstrong personally.
The three-week intensive music, dance, and voice summer camp attracts talent from around the country and overseas. Since it started, the camp has seen its share of award-winning musical names come through its doors; trombonist and trumpeter Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews; trumpeter, composer, and producer Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah; trumpeter/vocalist Shamarr Allen; and Jon Batiste, pianist, producer, composer, bandleader, and musical director of the in-house band for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, among others.
The camp has two special events coming up. On July 10 its Artist-in-Residence & Faculty Jazz Camp Benefit Concert will be held at 7 p.m. in the George and Joyce Wein Jazz and Heritage Center, located at 1225 N. Rampart St., New Orleans. Tickets cost $30 in advance and $35 at the door.
On July 12 the camp will present its Student Culminating Concert, featuring campers and alums, to be held at 8 p.m. in the Loyola University Music & Communications Complex, located at 6363 St. Charles Avenue. Admission is free.