The cast of Get Ready (242735)
Credit: J.B. Ollivierre

Wednesday, June 21, 2017, was a day for celebrating seniors, but all were welcome as Roz Nixon Entertainment hosted “Celebrating Jazz, Salsa & Motown.” It was New York’s first annual exciting Senior Day party. The much talked about event was part of Make Music New York and offered complimentary delicious food provided by sponsors Applebee’s and Golden Krust. The occasion also featured the music of the Phil Young Experience as well as the cast of the jazz musical “SS NIRVANA,” featuring La La as Celia Cruz, Lil Phillips as Dinah Washington, Gregory Bastien as Nat King Cole and Louise Murray as Sarah Vaughn. Audience members commented, “We loved it. It was like going back in time.”

Joyce Roach and Benjamin Urreta, two of the city’s most respected event and show producers, receive the first annual RNE Impresario Award for the many years of great entertainment they have presented. They both received special proclamations from the office of Congressmen Adriano Espaillat presented by staff member Christopher Bell, as well as a momentous proclamation from the office of City Council Member Bill Perkins that was composed by staff member Kevin Russell. This well-deserved day for seniors was co-sponsored by WellCare Health Plans (“where a journey to better health begins”), the Jazz Foundation of America’s Gig Fund Project and Associated Food Stores (1585 Westchester Ave., Bronx N.Y.). The event took place at the Jackie Robinson Bandshell in Harlem. 

As the afternoon progressed there was a waiting list for healing massages by Shai Plonski, who relaxed and soothed audience members who were not line dancing with Roselle Hayward, one of NYC’s top dance instructors, while Pioneer Supermarket (380 Malcolm X Blvd., Harlem, N.Y.) supplied tasty refreshments.  

Roz Nixon Entertainment has produced concerts, shows and musical productions since 2000. RNE is also the presenter of Great Women in Music, a New York City based, month-long October festival that features established as well as up-and-coming performing artists. Make Music New York is now entering its 11th season (takes place each year on June 21), simultaneously with similar festivities in more than 750 cities around the world in a global celebration of genres from hip-hop to opera, and from jazz to punk rock, featuring artists from high school bands to recognizable marquee names. The two organizations came together to make one incredible day of music at the Jackie Robinson Park Bandshell that was skillfully administered by RNE event managers Claudette Telfair and Valli Rosario, who made all attendees feel welcomed.

The afternoon was highlighted by special guests such as June Monteiro of the ’60s girl group, The Toys, and producer, arranger and hit-record maker Norman Connors, who served as the presenter of the RNE award. The grand finale for the day included a toast to Motown from the show “Get Ready” featuring Martinez Little, Gloria Ryan, Gregory Rowland, Richard Shade and Monifa Maat.