Jazz Foundation of America

What a wonderful occasion and event and fabulous stay in the Big Apple. Oh, my, my, my, I’ve been here so many times, but never experienced the city like this.  I sang with keyboard player/singer, Joe Turano, from my band, at a wonderful and elegant fundraiser party. I must begin by introducing you as well as I can to Wendy Oxenhorn. She is an angel in appearance, and most importantly, in her enormous heart. I wonder where she puts her wings. We first met in Montreux, Switzerland, at an international jazz singing festival and competition. We listened to a dozen singers, representing all continents in the world, who sang their butts off! You’d have been laughing and smiling and reassured. Montreux is fabulous on any occasion, and any event. Swiss Alps, Lake Geneva. This occasion in New York was the one for the memories. Spring time, seventy-two degrees, trees just becoming full in their bloom, and spring flowers everywhere, with a crescent moon at night. Take a deep breath, and you can smell the beginning of summer.

This was the perfect time to ask benefactors and patrons to open their hearts and minds and contribute to the fund for aging and struggling musicians who’ve come upon hard times. The line stretches from here to New Orleans. Wendy is the engine, cheerleader, and organizer extraordinaire. Just look up “Wendy Oxenhorn.” Just google her. It’ll blow your mind. That’s commitment. That’s love. That’s “the ethic of Jesus.” Normally, this event takes place at the Apollo Theater, with a couple of thousand people in the house. This time, we were at the fabulous townhouse, 3 floor apartment, of one of her generous and faithful board members, who always answers the call.  We gathered in a large living room, with a modern fireplace on one end, with windows all around, about sixty feet square. It was amazing. Joe played the grand piano and an electric keyboard too. I played the cabasa and sang, and Joe also joined me to sing on some choruses. It felt and seemed special, even at the time that we did it, and from the reaction of this very smart and hip audience, Joe and I feel pretty convinced that we made new friends for the duo.


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