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The California Jazz Foundation Gala at The Downtown Hotel LA 4/8/17

It comes once a year, sort of like Christmas, when the California Jazz Foundation puts on its Gala to honor and celebrate the "greats " of jazz.

Being honored this year was the legendary and brilliant guitarist and educator, Kenny Burrell who was presented with the "Nica Award" for his devotion to the music and the support of the students of jazz.

Also being honored posthumously was the great orchestrator, educator and band leader, Gerald Wilson who received the "Heritage Award".

There were the auctions, silent and otherwise and after the presentations that were made by the president of the California Jazz Foundation, Edythe Bronston to Mr. Burrell (accepted by Russell Malone) and to Mr. Wilson (accepted by Anthony Wilson), the music began.

The show was hosted for the evening charmingly by Russell Malone. After a heart-warming tribute performance to Kenny Burrell by pianist Tamir Hendelman, the Los Angeles Jazz Orchestra Unlimited took the stage being conducted by Dr. Bobby Rodriguez and then later conductor Charlie Harrison.

Kenny Burrell created this Orchestra because he felt that the City of Los Angeles deserved a world class jazz orchestra and to also be a vessel for the younger musicians to have a chance to play with the masters and find out what it feels like to play in a big band. Several key musicians from Gerald Wilson's big band would join the orchestra when Gerald's orchestrations were played conducted by Anthony Wilson.

To tell you it was a great musical experience would be a gross understatement.

I am posting photos from the evening as well as a fabulous video featuring three great guitarists and the orchestra playing Kenny Burrell's "Midnight Blue".

https://youtu.be/CYJy5i2q_zU - "Midnight Blue"

This video was made by my good friend and fellow photographer, Don Saban.

- Bob Barry/Jazzography

http://jazzography.com/CJFGalaSR17 (Step & Repeat -- Photos by Don Saban) 

http://jazzography.com/CJFGALA17 (Photos by Bob Barry) 

https://youtu.be/CYJy5i2q_zU  (video by Don Saban -- performance by Russell Malone, Paul Jackson Jr, and Anthony Wilson with the Los Angeles Jazz Orchestra Unlimited directed by Dr. Bobby Rodriguez)


California Jazz Foundation Honors Educators And Jazz Icons Kenny Burrell And Gerald Wilson At Annual Give The Band A Hand Gala On April 8, 2017

News provided by
The California Jazz Foundation

Feb 16, 2017, 14:04 ET

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