Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Jackie Robinson Foundation Hosts 4th Annual JAZZ on the Grass Benefit

Rachel Robinson (2nd from left), widow of baseball great Jackie Robinson at the 2009 Jackie Robinson Foundation annual awards dinner, with honorees Robert Redford, Dr. Ben Carson and Robin Roberts, March 16, 2009

(Los Angeles, Aug 24)-The Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF), a premier scholarship organization that supports deserving college students with financial need, will host the 4th Annual JAZZ on the Grass benefit concert (JAZZ) on Saturday, October 3, 2009 from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Held at the private Sherman Oaks estate of noted director and producer Oz and Lynne Scott, JAZZ features three-time Grammy Award winner James Ingram and a list of nationally and internationally-renowned artists including multi-Grammy nominated recording artist Patrice Rushen, Grammy and Tony nominated singer/songwriter Brenda Russell, and world-class drummer and percussionist Ndugu.

"JAZZ on the Grass reflects the Foundation's mission to empower and uplift deserving college students," said Della Britton Baeza, President & CEO of JRF. "In today's challenging economic climate, students need financial and strategic support now more than ever. JAZZ allows us to enhance and expand the comprehensive resources that we provide to our bright Scholars."

Rooted in the Robinson legacy of promoting social causes through art, JAZZ on the Grass boasts four hours of live musical performances, wonderful cuisine, and a silent auction. Hosted again this year by Mistress of Ceremonies, Pat Prescott of 94.7 The WAVE, JAZZ raises funds for JRF to continue its all-encompassing commitment to young people, including the provision of financial support, mentoring, professional development, internship and job placement, and the imparting of practical life skills. With nearly a 100 percent graduation rate, JRF has earned the distinction as one of the nation's most effective scholarship organizations.

"It is with incredible honor and enthusiasm that we open our home in support of such a remarkable cause," said Event Chair Oz Scott who heads the JAZZ Host Committee, which includes Bill Cosby, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Salli Richardson, Dondre Whitfield, and Kenny Rankin (posthumously) to name a few. "The Jackie Robinson legacy is synonymous with advancement and empowerment. Lynne and I take extraordinary pride in our alignment with such an important organization."

Although new to the west coast, JAZZ on the Grass' historic roots span nearly five decades. Inspired by the March on Washington, Jackie and Rachel Robinson organized their first jazz concert at their home in Stamford, Connecticut, in 1963 to raise bail money for jailed civil rights activists including the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The high-profile concert attracted some of the most iconic names in jazz including Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, and Dizzy Gillespie. After Jackie Robinson's death in 1972, the concert became an east coast JRF fundraiser, eventually becoming a signature west coast event when the Foundation opened its Los Angeles home in 2005. West coast performers have included Lalah Hathaway, Marcus Miller, Brian McKnight, Dave Koz, Jeffrey Osborne, Patti Austin, and George Duke.

JAZZ on the Grass also features the soaring musical talents of JRF Scholars, including saxophonists Anthony Diamond and Julian Clarkson, jazz percussionist Taylor Moore, and songstress Amanda Patterson. In addition to serving as ambassadors of Robinson's legacy, this academically gifted group will grace the stage and display the diverse talent of JRF scholarship recipients.

Corporate sponsors include Ford Motor Company, American Airlines, CBS Corporation, Hennessy, New Era Cap Company, Broadway Federal Bank, ESPN Zone LA LIVE, UCLA, Anheuser-Busch, Nordstrom, City National Bank and Pepsi.

For additional information or to purchase tickets to this limited-seating engagement, please contact ELMS Entertainment at 323-936-5052. For artist updates or to purchase tickets online, please visit www.jackierobinson.org/events/lajazz.php.
See related posts HERE and HERE.

Source: Press Release

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