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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 "
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
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
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
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
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".