To raise money for musicians’ health and welfare, how ’bout a jazz party? In three lofts with river views, a thousand attendees of every age, shape, style enjoyed food ‘n’ drink ‘n’ performances including Jimmy Heath playing “Gingerbread Boy,” Arturo O’Farrill‘s teen sons mastering Latin jazz, baritone saxist Hamiet Bluiett with Kahil El’Zabar on mbira. The Jazz Foundation of America kicked out the jams on Sunday night, and raked in donations.
I’ve mc’d at the JFA’s righteous annual benefits for several years now, watching the event grow even as has the need of artists nationwide (probably world-wide) for a safety net providing emergency medical care and occasional help with landlords, instrument repairs and employment opportunities. The financial goal for the five hour, three-ring circus Sunday, Oct. 18 was $150,000 — probably exceeded, as tickets cost $250 and there were noted funders in attendance, besides representatives from ASCAP, BMI, WBGO (which recorded Madeleine Peyroux‘s set), Englewood Hospital, Citigroup, the Institute for Jazz Studies at Rutgers U., etc. The desired amount doesn’t seem very high, considering the amount of good the JFA does and the vast good vibes a festive night such as this one generates.