Hello friends and fans:
This past weekend I had the pleasure and privilege of performing at the historic Apollo Theater with a true all-star band. Headliners including Elvis Costello, Macy Gray, Chad Smith and Babi Floyd came together with special guests Quincy Jones, Paul Shaffer, Danny Glover and Morgan Freeman. We gathered to raise money for the Jazz Musicians Emergency Fund for the Jazz Foundation of America. This program works to assist elderly jazz musicians in need. They provided some assistance to me after Hurricane Katrina, and are constantly helping those affected by natural disasters and other unfortunate circumstances.
I accompanied many featured musicians with the Kansas City Band. Stephen Bernstein created the musical charts and led the group, which included Don Byron, Nicholas Patton, Victor Lewis, Brad Jones, and James Carter.
Another highlight was hearing New Orleans pianist Jonathan Batiste. He is very musical and has a high level of pianistic proficiency. In my opinion, he is the best pianist coming from his generation. He happens to have studied with me, and now, I’m studying him.
Its great when groups of people, who have accomplished so much, come together and leave their egos at the door, especially when it’s for such a worthy cause.