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Dave Brubeck, Jon Hendricks to Attend CREC Arts Academy Benefit Gala


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Hendricks to Perform Selections from Brubeck Musical The Real Ambassadors with Students

(Greater Hartford) – Dave and Iola Brubeck, authors of the musical The Real Ambassadors, and multiple Grammy Award winner Jon Hendricks, who performed in the musical in 1962 at the Monterey Jazz Festival, and Kurt Elling will attend a benefit gala for the CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts on Sunday, April 3 at the Academy’s Theater of the Performing Arts, 359 Washington Street, Hartford.

A wine reception with Hendricks – who also received a President’s Merit Award at the 2nd Annual GRAMMY Salute to Jazz on February 8 – and a silent auction begin at 2:30 p.m., followed at 4 p.m. by the performance featuring Kurt Elling and Hendricks, the father of “vocalese," the art of creating lyrics for jazz orchestral instrumental standards and arranging multiple voices to sing the parts of the instruments. [Note: see for more information about vocalese.]

This is not the first time Hendricks has performed with students from the Academy’s jazz choir, also named The Real Ambassadors. In 2003, the group placed first at the Monterey Jazz Festival High School Competition based on a performance of songs from the musical, complete with vocals by Hendricks, perhaps best known for his five years as part of the vocal jazz trio Lambert, Hendricks and Ross.

Originally written for Louis Armstrong, who also performed at the 1962 festival, The Real Ambassadors uses a fictional version of Armstrong and his band touring the world as ambassadors of good will to promote the belief that all people deserve equality and that racial discrimination should not be tolerated.

Tickets are $100 for Patron seating and $200 for Ambassador seating (center orchestra). The price includes admission to the wine reception with Jon Hendricks, featuring food from Hot Tomato’s, the Max Restaurant Group and Pastis. For $500, contributors can also have dinner at the Hartford Club following the performance with the Brubecks and local media personalities Colin McEnroe, Dan Kain, Dennis House and Kara Sundlun. Please call the Box Office at 860-757-6388 for all tickets. More information about the musical and the April gala are online at

CREC is a non-profit, regional educational service center serving 35 Greater Hartford public school districts. It was founded in 1966 by local school districts working together to solve common problems. Today, CREC administers more than 100 programs and services spanning the entire educational spectrum with the same goal in mind. CREC’s Division of Magnet Schools strives to offer the highest quality educational opportunities that reduce racial, ethnic and socio-economic isolation of students by initiating, developing and managing innovative educational programs. For more information about CREC and the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, please visit

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