NJMH holds gala at Schomburg
AmNews Staff Reports | 11/23/2017, midnight
Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, at the historic Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, the National Jazz Museum in Harlem hosted its Third Annual Fall Benefit Concert, Uptown in Autumn, which was attended by approximately 400 guests and successfully met its goal of raising more than $50,000 for the organization’s year-round free jazz concerts and educational program offerings.
The one-night-only celebration featured celebrated blues singer and W.C. Handy Award-winner Guy Davis performing harmonica and 6- and 12-string guitar selections, including Davis’ original “Kokomo Kid” and other selections that paid homage to blues greats Sonny Terry and Leadbelly. The audience was also treated to a special duo performance by jazz legends Randy Weston on piano and Reggie Workman on bass. The evening ended with a performance by pianist and composer Marc Cary leading a band comprising drummer Ronnie Burrage, saxophonist Ron Blake and bassist Curtis Lundy.
Also as part of the evening’s program, the National Jazz Foundation in Harlem’s Board Chair Tim Porter paid tribute to the organization’s outgoing managing director, Jasna Radonjic, under whose leadership over the past four and a half years the organization achieved unprecedented growth. Radonjic and Porter were presented with an official proclamation from the office of Congressman Adriano Espaillat (13th District) in recognition of the important work and critical programming that NJMH has brought to the Harlem community.
In addition, Porter announced that NJMH has appointed a new executive director, Tracy Hyter-Suffern, who is set to take over in December. Hyter-Suffern joins the organization with more than 20 years’ experience in the nonprofit world, having worked in the performing arts, social and equity justice spaces. She is a graduate of Tufts University.