Jazz Legends for Disability Pride Features Good Music for Great Cause


Mike LeDonne is the founder and organizer of the Jazz Legends for Disability Pride concert, which will take place Jan. 5, 2017, in Manhattan.

(Photo: Courtesy of the artist)

Jazz Legends for Disability Pride is a concert fundraiser organized by keyboardist Mike LeDonne. LeDonne, whose name appears regularly in the Organ category of the annual DownBeat Critics and Readers and Critics Polls, also serves as President of Disability Pride NYC, an organization dedicated to promoting inclusion, awareness and visibility of people with disabilities. 

Every year, jazz musicians graciously donate their voices to help this cause, and 2017 will be no exception. Among the jazz celebrities in this year’s Jazz Legends for Disability Pride concert will be Ron Carter, Benny Golson, Jimmy Cobb, Harold Mabern, Eddie Henderson, George Coleman, Buster Williams, Louis Hayes, Jon Faddis, Bill Charlap and many others. Concerts will take place takes Jan. 5 at the Quaker Friends Meeting Hall in Manhattan.

The organization recently announced that three more stars will join the roster: pianist Larry Willis, vocalist Roberta Gambarini and trumpeter/bandleader Jon Faddis.

This yearly comingling of jazz musicians is held in partnership with the 2017 NYC Winter Jazzfest, which is scheduled to run Jan. 5-10 in various locations around Manhattan’s Greenwich Village neighborhood.

LeDonne traces his public advocacy for disability awareness back to the birth of his daughter, Mary, who was born with a rare syndrome called Prader-Willi and was also diagnosed with hydrocephalus. In 2012, LeDonne created Disability Pride Day in New York, an annual that sought to change the public perception of people with disabilities. Funds raised from the annual event would eventually help launch the Disability Pride Parade, which was first held on July 12, 2015, the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

For more information on the organization, or to purchase tickets for the event, click here. DB

  • 23_Carla_Bley_by_Mark_Sheldon.jpg

    ​Bley told DownBeat in 1984: “I’m just a composer, and I use jazz musicians because they’re smarter, and they can save your ass in a bad situation. … I need all the help I can get.”

  • 23_Samara_Joy_Linger_Awhile_copy.jpg
  • image002.jpg

    “Blue Note music has been such an integral part of my musical and life experience for so long,” says Redman. “It’s surreal to be a part of this lineage.”

  • TOny_Bennett_Mohegan_Sun_2013_DSC2627_copy_3.jpg

    Bennett had a wealth of material to draw upon, and he had a direct association with much of it.

  • 2024_grammys_winners_nominations_nominees_full_list_66-grammy-awards-Nominees-Full-List_1644x925_no_text.jpg

    The 66th GRAMMY Awards will air live (8–11:30 p.m. ET) on Feb. 4 on CBS Television and stream on Paramount+.

On Sale Now
December 2023
Pharoah Sanders
Look Inside
Print | Digital | iPad