On October 6, a great wealth of jazz talent gathered at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in Manhattan for “Playing Our Parts: The 2nd Annual Benefit Concert for The Jazz Foundation of America.” Among the musicians who donated their time and talent to the event were Joe Lovano (pictured here with John Scofield), Brad Mehldau, Jim Hall, Joey DeFrancesco, Matt Wilson, Matt Penman, Bobby Hutcherson, Lee Konitz and Cedar Walton. In addition, Jazz at Lincoln Center donated the venue, and Great Performances – a catering business – donated the hors d’oeuvres and wine.
The beneficiary of all this kindness was the Jazz Foundation of America’s Jazz Musicians’ Emergency Fund, which provides an array of services to jazz musicians who, for one reason or another, need a helping hand. “Through the Jazz Musicians’ Emergency Fund,” explains the Jazz Foundation’s executive director, Wendy Oxenhorn, “we pay rents when musicians are too sick to work, keep food on their tables, and, thanks to our 14-year partnership with Englewood Hospital’s Dizzy Gillespie Memorial Fund, we can also provide free medical treatment for uninsured musicians. We consider it a privilege to be there for these national treasures after all the times their music has been there for us.”
Participants at this year’s benefit gathered in remembrance of jazz bassist Dennis Irwin, who died without health insurance in March 2008, and in support of jazz musicians in need of health care today. Anyone wishing to donate to this exceptionally worthy cause can do so online at www.jazzfoundation.org or by sending a check, payable to The Jazz Foundation of America, to:
The Jazz Foundation of America
322 West 48th Street, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10036
Photo courtesy of Richard Conde