Philadelphia jazz saxophone icon Larry McKenna will receive the third annual Jazz Bridge “Making a Difference” Award on Sunday December 16th at LaRose Jazz & Banquet Hall, 5531 Germantown Avenue in Philadelphia. The event runs from 6 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $20. Information: 610-745-3011.
This gala is a Jazz Bridge benefit for the Daphne Fund, an organization dedicated to helping Philadelphia area women Jazz and blues musicians. Previous recipients of the “Making a Difference” Award have been Jazz organist Trudy Pitts and Jazz advocate Thelma Anderson.
Larry McKenna will also be performing at 8:30, backed by drummer Rob Henderson, bassist Steve Beskrone and pianist Luke O'Reilly. An open jam session will be part of the evening's festivities, and for a $10 contribution, musicians are welcomed and invited to sit-in.
Larry McKenna has indeed been making a difference in Philadelphia Jazz — and beyond — for decades, in virtually every type of musical setting. He’s spent some quality time on the road with the legendary Woody Herman, and has backed giants such as Clark Terry, Buddy DeFranco, Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra. McKenna is simply a beautiful player in every sense of the word. No matter what the nature of the performance, the musical style, the tune or type of recording session — and he’s appeared on hundreds of CDs as an accompanist and leader - he can always be counted on to swing tastefully, inventively, creatively and with feeling. His singular sound and refreshing approach to improvisation make him a certifiable, one-of-a-kind, instantly identifiable artist.
His contributions to Jazz education have been significant as well. He’s taught at University of the Arts, Temple University School of Music, West Chester University, Widener University, Community College of Philadelphia and privately. Many of his students have pursued successful careers in music, and they are the first ones to tell you I studied with Larry".
Jazz Bridge is a Philadelphia-based non-profit organization dedicated to assisting area Jazz and blues musicians in need. For information on upcoming events, please visit Jazz Bridge.