The honorees will be feted at a special cocktail reception to be held on Monday, September 24 at Beth Israel’s Phillips Ambulatory Care Center’s Nerken Family Atrium, 10 Union Square East in Manhattan.
Dancer/choreographer Mercedes Ellington will preside over a program that will open with the Broadway cast of Evita, performing selections from the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, and will also feature a performance by honoree Jon Hendricks with perennial favorites — renowned trumpeter Jon Faddis and pianist David Hazeltine. A silent auction of musical, sport, entertainment, travel treasures, antiques, art and clothing will benefit the Louis Armstrong Center’s clinical services.
“Our honorees are emulating the legacy of Louis Armstrong, a great musician and humanitarian,” said Dr. Loewy. “Each one of them is making a difference in the lives of many people and we are pleased to recognize and celebrate their contributions and achievements.”
A critically acclaimed singer, lyricist and drummer, Jon Hendricks is among America’s living legends. He is an originator of vocalese, the art of crafting lyrics for instrumental music, which changed jazz singing around the world and elevated scat-singing to extraordinary heights. He has taught jazz studies at the University of Toledo (Ohio), his alma mater, California State University at Sonoma, Stanford University and UC Berkeley, and abroad. He has performed with some of the brightest luminaries in the entertainment industry. A much-honored musician, he has received the National Endowment for the Arts’ Jazz Masters Fellowship, the highest honor bestowed by the nation to jazz artists who have made exceptional contributions to the advancement of jazz. He also is the recipient of France’s Legion D’honneur. Several of his projects have won Emmy, Peabody and Grammy awards.
Dr. Louis Harrison is an internationally renowned radiation oncologist with expertise in head and neck cancer, sarcomas, and intraoperative brachytherapy, and a co-inventor of the instrument used in the therapy. As Physician-in-Chief of Continuum Cancer Centers of New York and Gerald J. Friedman Chair of Radiation Oncology at Beth Israel Medical Center and St. Luke’s and Roosevelt Hospitals, he has been a leader in the development of multidisciplinary management strategies that prioritize cancer cure with organ and function preservation. He has published extensively and is the lead editor of the award-winning textbook, Head and Neck Cancer, A Multidisciplinary Approach. Dr. Harrison is Past President and Chairman of the Board of The American Society of Radiation Oncology, as well as Past President of the American Brachytherapy Society. He is a recipient of the Louise and Allston Boyer Award for Biomedical Research, the Ulrich Henschke Lecture Award for Brachytherapy, and the Distinguished Alumni Award from SUNY Downstate College of Medicine.
Ilene Harrison, RN, who worked as a nurse and nurse educator for many years, is being honored for her contributions as a Louis Armstrong Center volunteer research assistant — interviewing patients in the Chemotherapy Suite at Roosevelt Hospital and collecting data for a study on the impact of music therapy on resiliency for patients receiving first-time chemotherapy. She previously worked for the American Red Cross and Children’s Aid and Family Services in New Jersey, and actively oversees “Marilyn’s Place,” a program established by her family in her mother’s honor that offers a variety of amenities and resources to hospitalized patients and their families at Continuum hospitals.
Author and musical theater educator Deena Rosenberg Harburg is Executive Vice President and Artistic Director of the Yip Harburg Foundation, named for her husband’s father – the lyricist of Brother Can You Spare a Dime and all the songs in the movie, The Wizard of Oz, among several memorable songs. She is author of Fascinating Rhythm: The Collaboration of George and Ira Gershwin and Founding Chair, Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program, NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Her current focus, Literacy through Musical Theatre, is a unique program that endeavors to improve the way young students learn by bringing musical theater into inner-city elementary classrooms in New York’s East Village. She has benefited from music therapy during the course of her hospitalization and recovery at Beth Israel.
The Louis and Lucille Armstrong Music Therapy Program at Beth Israel, established nearly two decades ago, is a legacy of the beloved jazz trumpeter that became the foundation for The Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine, located in the Phillips Ambulatory Care Center, 10 Union Square East in Manhattan. It is made possible by a generous gift from the David B. Kriser Foundation and through the estate of John H. Slade, directed to Beth Israel from hospital trustee Richard Netter, and with additional support provided by Phoebe Jacobs and the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation.
For more information about the 2012 What a Wonderful World Awards cocktail reception and silent auction, as well as the programs and services offered by the Louis Armstrong Center for Music & Medicine, please call 212-420-2704 or check out its website at musicandmedicine.org and on Facebook.