WBGO Champions of Jazz Gala Honors Bobby McFerrin, Bruce Lundvall and Hogan Lovells November 7 at Jazz at Lincoln Center
Bobby McFerrin & Friends, featuring Joe Alterman, Cyrus Chestnut, Paquito D’Rivera, Al Foster, Gil Goldstein, Joe Lovano, Richard Marx, Marcus Printup, Ahmir ?uestlove Thompson and More to Perform at Benefit in Celebration of Jazz
NEWARK, NJ: Multi-Grammy winning vocalist Bobby McFerrin, legendary record executive Bruce Lundvall and the pioneering global law firm Hogan Lovells will be honored for their contributions to jazz at WBGO 88.3 FM’s eighth annual Champions of Jazz on Wednesday, November 7, at 7:30 pm at The Allen Room in Jazz at Lincoln Center's Frederick P. Rose Hall, New York City. The event pays tribute to organizations and individuals who have augmented and elevated the jazz idiom through their professional work, artistry, educational activities and philanthropy.
Bobby McFerrin & Friends, featuring Joe Alterman, Cyrus Chestnut, Paquito D’Rivera, Al Foster, Gil Goldstein, Joe Lovano, Richard Marx, Marcus Printup, Ahmir ?uestlove Thompson and other special guests, will celebrate the honorees and the music of WBGO at the Champions of Jazz benefit.
In addition to the Gala, there will be a pre-concert reception and dinner at Porter House New York at 5:00 pm and a cocktail hour at The Atrium at 6:30 pm. Tickets range from $500 for the cocktail hour and concert seating to a $50, 000 package including seating for 10 at the dinner, concert and VIP after-party plus on-air spots, brand presence at the Gala and more. For information on tickets and packages, visit WBGO.org/benefit, write to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (973) 624.8880, ext. 269. Proceeds from the Champions of Jazz Benefit enable WBGO, via 88.3 FM and wbgo.org, to continue the production of programming that is vital to both public radio and jazz.
“We are celebrating the talent and work of Bobby and Bruce, and we’re thrilled to bring together these amazing, multi-talented artists to pay homage to the diverse styles and sheer greatness of our honorees," said Amy Niles, the event producer and WBGO’s Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer."
This year’s honorees are as dynamic and diverse as the music. Born in 1950, Bobby McFerrin grew up in California, played piano and concentrated on his voice after he was discovered by the vocalese master Jon Hendricks. He made his debut in the early 80s during the “Young Lions” period. After he released his self-titled debut in 1984, he garnered critical acclaim for his jazz-based/genre-crossing, four-octave vocal excursions and body percussion. He then started recording and performing solo. In 1988, he scored his biggest hit to date, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy, ” which earned him four Grammy awards that year, including Song of the Year and Record of the Year. Since then, he’s released many recordings that encompass jazz, classical and world music styles. His wide-ranging array of collaborators includes Wynton Marsalis, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea, The New York Philharmonic, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, David Byrne and Cyndi Lauper. In 1994, he became a conductor and was named creative director of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and developed a program called CONNECT (Chamber Orchestra’s Neighborhood Network of Education, Curriculum and Teachers). His latest release is “Vocabularies.”
When we look back at the greatest jazz recordings of the past 50-plus years, chances are we will find the name Bruce Lundvall, Chairman Emeritus of Blue Note Records, listed on the recordings. Born in 1935, the New Jersey native and Bucknell University alumnus virtually oversaw the resurgence of jazz in the 80s. In the 70s at Columbia Records, Lundvall worked as A&R executive with Dexter Gordon, Weather Report, Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter; was largely responsible for the momentous 1979 Havana Jam concerts in Cuba, and signed Wynton Marsalis to the label. In 1982, he was in charge of the Elektra Musician label, where he worked with Ron Carter, Bobby McFerrin and the Thelonious Sphere Monk band, Sphere. In 1984, he launched the pop label Manhattan records, and re-launched the historic Blue Note label. He brought many of today’s brightest jazz stars to that label, including Stanley Jordan, Greg Osby, Jacky Terrasson, Joe Lovano, Eliane Elias, Dianne Reeves, Cassandra Wilson and Norah Jones. He also won a Grammy for the original soundtrack recording of August Wilson's Broadway play Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, a platinum album and four Grammy Awards for Bobby McFerrin, one Grammy for Dexter Gordon, and for the motion picture soundtrack to the movie Round Midnight. Lundvall’s philanthropic activities include Chairman of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA); Chairman of the Country Music Association (CMA); Director of the National Association of Recording Artists and Science (NARAS); Director of the T.J. Martell Foundation for Leukemia Research and most recently, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. He also helped establish the industry-wide non-profit advocacy group Jazz Alliance International in 1999. He was named Chairman Emeritus of Blue Note Records in 2010, and received the Gershwin Award in 2010.
For over 100 years, the global law firm, Hogan Lovells has reigned supreme as one of the most comprehensive and diverse legal conglomerates on the planet, as a global legal practice that helps corporations, financial institutions, and governmental entities across the spectrum of their critical business and legal issues globally and locally, with over 2, 300 lawyers operating out of more than 40 offices in the United States, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and Asia. The firm has an extensive reach into the world’s commercial and financial centers, expertise in government regulations, litigation and arbitration, corporate, finance, and intellectual property, and access to a significant depth of knowledge and resource in many major industry sectors including hotels and leisure, telecommunications, media and technology, energy and natural resources, infrastructure, financial services, life sciences and healthcare, consumer, and real estate. Hogan Lovells became a top 10 global legal services provider in 2010 through an unprecedented merger of two firms with international credentials, U.S.-based firm Hogan & Hartson and European-based firm Lovells. Modern-day Hogan Lovells carries on the tradition of excellence established by the founders and further builds on their legacy.
Past benefit honorees include: Herb Alpert, Arthur H. Barnes, Dave Brubeck, Paquito D’Rivera, Downbeat Magazine, Ahmet Ertegun, Lorraine Gordon, Jimmy Heath, Phoebe Jacobs, Jazz Foundation of America, JazzSet, Abbey Lincoln, Tommy LiPuma, Marian McPartland, James Moody, The Star-Ledger, Dr. Billy Taylor, George Wein and Nancy Wilson. Past Performers have included Natalie Cole, Jimmy Heath, Joe Lovano, Danilo Perez, and Lizz Wright.