Jazz at Lincoln Center Plans Spring Benefit in Harlem


Harlem has long been the home and inspiration for generations of musicians, including Eubie Blake, James P. Johnson, Fats Waller, Duke Ellington and countless others. Honoring this community’s integral role in the development of jazz, Jazz at Lincoln Center (J@LC) will hold its inaugural spring benefit, entitled “Comin’ Home to Harlem,” in the newly renovated historic Apollo Theatre on Monday, May 20 at 7:30 p.m.

Actress and comedian Whoopi Goldberg will host the event, which will also feature singer and composer Stevie Wonder performing with the Wynton Marsalis Septet, playing his own songs with new arrangements by J@LC Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis. Tap dancer Savion Glover will also perform to new music composed by Marsalis and played by the Septet. Internationally-acclaimed actress and vocalist Vanessa Williams (appearing on her day off from the new Broadway production of “Into the Woods”) will also enchant the house by performing with the Septet, which will also perform other songs from the vast repertoire of Harlem-inspired jazz. Plus, pianist Sir Roland Hanna will demonstrate the complexity and greatness of stride piano, a style of playing that originated in Harlem and grew out of ragtime.

The concert will be followed by a dinner held in a tented space behind the theatre. Designer B. Michael, the fashion partner for the event, will be dressing some of the celebrities as well as some members of the benefit committee. At dinner, there will be a live auction of 10-12 exclusive packages, led by Christie’s auctioneer George McNeely and a guest celebrity to be announced. Auction packages include a week at a villa in Milan, the New York Yankees owner’s box for a day, a trip to the MTV Awards and After-Party, a signed page of music from Wynton Marsalis’s Pulitzer Prize-winning score “Blood on the Fields,” the NBA Skybox for an evening game, and many more to be announced.

Individual benefit tickets cost $250, $500, $1,000, $2,500, and tables of 10 are $5,000, $10,000 and $25,000 are available by calling Karen Hershey at (212) 343-1920. Cole Haan, JPMorgan Chase, and Movado are the lead corporate sponsors of the event. The benefit will help raise funds to support the many educational activities, concert programs, and broadcasts produced annually by J@LC.

For more information, go to www.jazzatlincolncenter.org.

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