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Jazz Bridge Opens "Kwame Hall Fund" For Saxophonist With Brain Tumor

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Starting today, Jazz Bridge opens the tax-deductible “Kwame Hall Fund" for Kwame Hall, an alto saxophonist and composer born and raised in Philadelphia who was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor. Tomorrow is a big day for Hall. He'll undergo a 12-hour surgical intervention at the Hospital of University of Pennsylvania for a condition only diagnosed two months ago when he started having hearing and balance problems.

Son of drummer George Hall, young Kwame studied piano at the Settlement Music School and began playing saxophone at the age of 9. He was taught and mentored by the Philly's best—Rufus Harley, Trudy Pitts, Bootsie Barnes, Tim Warfield, and Rayburn Wright—and went the usual route to professional playing: high school jazz band, the Tony Williams Youth Ensemble and the Philadelphia Cleff Club Youth Ensemble. After high school, he was accepted into the famed Florida A &M University Jazz Ensemble, where he studied with Victor Goines, and then later to Long Island University in Brooklyn, studying with Pete Yellin. His first professional gigs started at Radio City with gospel singer Hezekiah Walker, and he quickly rounded out his musical life working with singer Bilal, pianist Orrin Evans, trumpeter Duane Eubanks, and singer TC III.

After the surgery, Kwame Hall may lose his hearing entirely. He recently posted on the Internet, “There is a possibility that I may not play the sax again, but the devil is a liar and I am a fighter."

The Philadelphia jazz community has been supporting him all the way, already raising about $4600, but he'll need more.

To donate to the “Kwame Hall Fund"an help with excess medical bills and post-surgical rehabilitiation, please go Jazz Bridge and select the menu option “I want my donation to go to" and choose the “Kwame Hall Fund". All donations are tax-deductible.

Photo credit: Anthony Dean

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