California Jazz Gala Goes Virtual for Musicians in Need


Honorees Tim Jackson and Horace Silver

(Photo: Courtesy California Jazz Foundation)

The California Jazz Foundation’s annual “Give the Band a Hand” gala will be delivered online at 6 p.m. (PDT) on June 6 to raise money to support California’s jazz musicians in financial or medical need.

The annual event, in its ninth year, will honor the late pianist and composer Horace Silver as well as Tim Jackson, artistic director of the Monterey Jazz Festival. It will feature performances by Billy Childs, John Clayton, Darryn Dean, Russ Ferrante, Lee Ritenour and Scott Tixier. Jazz DJ LeRoy Downs will be the master of ceremonies and comedian and NPR personality Alonzo Bodden will also take part in the festivities.

Tim Jackson will be honored with the Nica award, which is given to individuals who exemplify the legacy of Baroness Pannonica (Nica) de Koenigswarter, the iconic patron of such great jazz artists as Charlie Parker and Thelonious Monk. In 1992, Jackson took over the duties of programming the legendary Monterey Jazz Festival from its retiring founder, Jimmy Lyons. He became artistic director in 2011 and is credited with revitalizing and widening the festival’s musical spectrum and expanding its educational components.

CJF will honor the memory of Horace Silver with the Heritage Award recognizing his many contributions to the jazz community. Silver was the heart of the hard bop era, composing many blues and gospel-flavored songs that have become part of the jazz canon, including “Lonely Woman,” “Song For My Father,” “Señor Blues,” “The Preacher,” “Nica’s Dream” and “Peace.” For more than 28 years, Silver recorded for the Blue Note label and was named an NEA Jazz Master in 1993.

The “Give the Band a Hand” gala is an essential source of financial support for CJF.

“The California Jazz Foundation fills a critical void by assisting California’s jazz musicians in need,” said Edythe L. Bronston, CJF founder and president. “The COVID pandemic closed jazz clubs and concert halls and put musicians of all ages out of work. Many older musicians have no Social Security or health insurance, and some see no residuals from their important work. They rely on us and we rely on the community to keep the Foundation financially sound and swinging.”

For more information, visit DB

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