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The California Jazz Foundation Gala at The Downtown Hotel LA 4/8/17

It comes once a year, sort of like Christmas, when the California Jazz Foundation puts on its Gala to honor and celebrate the "greats " of jazz.

Being honored this year was the legendary and brilliant guitarist and educator, Kenny Burrell who was presented with the "Nica Award" for his devotion to the music and the support of the students of jazz.

Also being honored posthumously was the great orchestrator, educator and band leader, Gerald Wilson who received the "Heritage Award".

There were the auctions, silent and otherwise and after the presentations that were made by the president of the California Jazz Foundation, Edythe Bronston to Mr. Burrell (accepted by Russell Malone) and to Mr. Wilson (accepted by Anthony Wilson), the music began.

The show was hosted for the evening charmingly by Russell Malone. After a heart-warming tribute performance to Kenny Burrell by pianist Tamir Hendelman, the Los Angeles Jazz Orchestra Unlimited took the stage being conducted by Dr. Bobby Rodriguez and then later conductor Charlie Harrison.

Kenny Burrell created this Orchestra because he felt that the City of Los Angeles deserved a world class jazz orchestra and to also be a vessel for the younger musicians to have a chance to play with the masters and find out what it feels like to play in a big band. Several key musicians from Gerald Wilson's big band would join the orchestra when Gerald's orchestrations were played conducted by Anthony Wilson.

To tell you it was a great musical experience would be a gross understatement.

I am posting photos from the evening as well as a fabulous video featuring three great guitarists and the orchestra playing Kenny Burrell's "Midnight Blue".

https://youtu.be/CYJy5i2q_zU - "Midnight Blue"

This video was made by my good friend and fellow photographer, Don Saban.

- Bob Barry/Jazzography

http://jazzography.com/SR17 (Step & Repeat -- Photos by Don Saban) 

http://jazzography.com/CJFGala17 (Photos by Bob Barry) 

https://youtu.be/CYJy5i2q_zU  (video by Don Saban -- performance by Russell Malone, Paul Jackson Jr, and Anthony Wilson with the Los Angeles Jazz Orchestra Unlimited directed by Dr. Bobby Rodriguez)

California Jazz Foundation Honors Educators And Jazz Icons Kenny Burrell And Gerald Wilson At Annual Give The Band A Hand Gala On April 8, 2017

News provided by
The California Jazz Foundation

Feb 16, 2017, 14:04 ET


The California Jazz Foundation is grateful for support from Turkish Airlines


The California Jazz Foundation is a charitable, nonprofit organization created to aid and assist California jazz musicians in financial or medical crisis. Established in 2006, the Foundation was formed to fulfill an unmet critical need to help these talented artists who have given us so much pleasure over the years – often with so little reward.

The California Jazz Foundation is committed to providing access to quality social and economic services for all eligible applicants. We do so through a team of caring, knowledgeable professionals in collaboration with community partners.

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You made me proud to call myself a jazz musician because your efforts demonstrate a love, respect, and genuine concern for us I did not know existed. You allowed me to endure the healing process with courage and dignity.

Jazz Vocalist

We are proud to report that since our founding in 2006, we have accomplished a great deal and touched the lives of countless California jazz musicians. The many services we've provided include arranging for desperately needed dental work, in-home nursing care, transportation to physical therapy, MRI's, discount prescriptions, hearing examinations, housing relocation, rent and utility payments and instrument replacement.

I am very happy to serve on the Advisory Board and to support the California Jazz Foundation. This group is strongly committed to helping jazz musicians in crisis. Their dedication to assisting those who have given so much is deeply appreciated.

CJF Advisory Board Member

We have established a growing network of medical professionals in every discipline, ready to provide essential healthcare services to qualified recipients on a sliding-scale basis. Beyond these services, our membership in the Entertainment Assistance Cooperative enables us to expand the safety net for our musicians.

The California Jazz Foundation also seeks to avert crises by raising musicians' awareness of the importance of prevention and early treatment of disease through free public education and community outreach programs.

By some miracle, I was put in touch with the California Jazz Foundation, and they generously sprang to my rescue... They have enabled many of us to go on, doing what we believe in and spreading music that brings joy to millions!


As a charitable nonprofit organization, the California Jazz Foundation relies on membership and support, not only from jazz lovers but all those who value the arts! Your support will allow us to continue helping California's jazz musicians in time of need. Won't you join us?

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