Credit: Gideon Manasseh

The Friendly 50 Club held their annual scholarship dinner dance at the Alhambra Ballroom in Harlem. The group consists of senior citizen musicians dedicated to keeping the music of jazz alive and passing the legacy on to younger jazz musicians by giving them $750 scholarship awards.

This year’s music scholarship recipients included 11-year-old percussionist Kojo Roney. He studied at City College Youth Center from preschool through kindergarten. He began playing drums, with his father, Antoine Roney, as his teacher. Currently, he is taking private lessons. He had lessons with great musicians such as Jimmy Cobb, Louis Hayes, Lenny White, Buster Williams and many more. 

The other scholarship recipient was Sean McQuard, who plays the trumpet. He is currently studying jazz at SUNY Potsdam with Jan Faddis. McQuard has studied with many great teachers, including Ingrid Jensen, Joe Magnrelli and Tatum Greenblatt. He has preformed with Ray Blue and Grace Jazz Elite.

Also, a special citation was given to Friendly 50 Club Corresponding Secretary Abraham Hampton.

The evening’s dinner dance was filled with the wonderful live entertainment of Fred Staton’s Original Jazz Gents, with dancing, laughter and delicious food enjoyed by the evening’s guests. Sugar Hill community activist Sylvia Alston and Miss Kennedy and their friends celebrated their birthday with all this great jazz music and dancing