The generosity of Louis Armstrong has been felt for years, with the grants and programs funded through his foundation. Since 2005, the Louis Armstrong Center for Medicine and Music has been providing the unique and powerful service of music therapy and specialty treatments to children and adults in the Manhattan area.
On Tuesday, Sept. 23 the center will hold the What a Wonderful World Awards celebration and silent auction, honoring violinist Regina Carter (pictured), Edward E. Conway Jr., MD, MS of the Beth Israel Medical Center and patient of the center Shirl Wright.
Dancer and choreographer Mercedes Ellington will serve as mistress of ceremonies. Performances at the event will be from the Oscar-nominated choir of the IMPACT Repertory Theatre of Harlem directed by Jamal Joseph, trumpeter Jon Faddis and pianist David Hazeltine.
Along with a cocktail-style reception, the evening will feature a silent auction with music, entertainment and sports related items up for bid. Proceeds from the auction benefit the clinical services provided by the Armstrong Center, whose patients include musicians and children with HIV and asthma, as well as adults with cancer and heart disease.
Since 1994, the music therapy department at Beth Israel has received funding from the Louis Armstrong Foundation. Professional music therapists in the Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine offer outpatient services, as well as mind-body techniques for adults in pulmonary and cardiac rehabilitation. The center also runs the Asthma Initiative Program to help children and teens with asthma using wind instruments like recorders and flutes, as well as music visualization techniques.
Assistance from the Louis Armstrong Education Foundation also helps support the Music & Health Clinic, a medical service center that offers physical, mental and emotional care for musicians and performing artists tailored to the meet the needs and concerns of their lifestyle. The clinic addresses physical traumas that may hinder performance, chemical dependencies, depression and anxiety disorders that artists may suffer.
The awards reception in September will be from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Phillips Ambulatory Care Center in the Nerken Family Atrium in New York.
About the honorees:
Carter has been considered the most popular jazz violinist of modern music-her combined classical training and fresh perspective has led her to critical success and a far-reaching fan base bridging genres. The violinist has produced numerous albums in her decades-long career as a professional musician.
In addition to embarking on frequent tours, Carter has been an active mentor in the field and taught for the Berklee College of Music and the Stanford Jazz Workshops. Carter has previously been recognized for her creative contributions, as recipient of the MacArthur Fellows Program “genius grant” in 2006 as well as the International Society for the Performing Arts Distinguished Artist Award in 2007.
Conway is the Pediatrician-in-Chief and Chief of the Division of Pediatric Critical Care of the Beth Israel Medical Center. Conway specializes in pediatric neurological disorders and head injury-pediatrics is a main focus of the Armstrong Center.
The third honoree at the event, Shirl Wright, is a jazz vocalist and composer who has performed throughout American cities and served as a consultant on Gregory Royal’s “The Music of Art Blakey.” Wright has used music therapy in her recovery for the past two years.
More information on the services of the Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine can be found at Music and Medicine.org. To RSVP for the awards reception, contact Sherry Williams at 212-420-2704.