Upcoming: Jackie Robinson Foundation Jazz on the Grass in Sherman Oaks

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karenyoung110BY KAREN YOUNG

Forty-six years ago, baseball legend Jackie Robinson and his family held a concert in their Stamford, Connecticut backyard to help raise bail money for jailed freedom fighters, inspired by the Civil Rights march on Washington D.C. Among those in attendance was Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

Jackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson

Continuing on a family fundraising tradition that spawned decades of concert series in New York, the west coast office of the Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) will hold its 4th annual Jazz on the Grass (JAZZ) benefit on Saturday, October 3 from 2 to 6 pm at the private Sherman Oaks estate of noted director and producer Oz Scott, and his wife, Lynne, to help raise funds for the Foundation’s Education and Leadership Development Program.

JAZZ is hosted again this year by Mistress of Ceremonies, Pat Prescott of 94.7 The WAVE, and features three-time Grammy Award winner James Ingram, as well as a list of nationally and internationally renowned artists including multi-Grammy nominated recording artist Patrice Rushen, Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Brenda Russell, and world-class drummer and percussionist Ndugu.  Admission includes valet parking, silent auction, plentiful cuisine, open bar, a gift bag, and of course, four hours of jazz.

Oz and Lynne Scott

Oz and Lynne Scott's Sherman Oaks estate is home to the Jackie Robinson's Foundation's annual Jazz of the Green. Photo: Karen Young

 

“The Jackie Robinson legacy is synonymous with advancement and empowerment. Lynne and I take extraordinary pride in our alignment with such an important organization, ” said Oz, who heads the JAZZ Host Committee, which includes Bill Cosby, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Salli Richardson, Dondre Whitfield, and Kenny Rankin (posthumously), to name a few.

 

Robinson’s widow, Rachel, founded JRF in 1973 shortly after his death as a way to perpetuate Jackie’s memory and achievements. The foundation provides four -year college scholarships ($7500 package per year) to minority students who have strong capabilities, but limited financial resources.  The Los Angeles office was established in 2004.

Rachel has said she wanted to expand on her husband’s core belief that “a life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives”— and that when she established the foundation she said that it was not enough to give financing — she said the students also need mentoring.

Dave Koz and Jeffrey Osbourne performed at JAZZ in past years. Photo: Karen Young

Dave Koz and Jeffrey Osborne with Herman Matthews on drums performed at JAZZ in past years. Photo: Karen Young

 

James Ingram will be featured in the four-hour Jazz on the Green concert this year.

Three-time Grammy Award winner James Ingram will be featured in the four-hour Jazz on the Green concert this year.

JAZZ raises funds for JRF to continue its all-encompassing commitment to young people, including the provision of financial support, mentoring, professional development, internship and job placement, and the imparting of practical life skills. With nearly a 100 percent graduation rate, JRF has earned the distinction as one of the nation’s most effective scholarship organizations.

 

“JAZZ on the Grass reflects the Foundation’s mission to empower and uplift deserving college students,” said Della Britton Baeza, President & CEO of JRF. “In today’s challenging economic climate, students need financial and strategic support now more than ever. JAZZ allows us to enhance and expand the comprehensive resources that we provide to our bright Scholars.”

Commanding  the spotlight will also be the musical talents of the JRF Scholars, including saxophonists Anthony Diamond and Julian Clarkson, jazz percussionist Taylor Moore, and songstress Amanda Patterson. In addition to serving as ambassadors of Robinson’s legacy, this academically gifted group will grace the stage and display the diverse talent of JRF scholarship recipients.

The late Kenny Rankin, seen here in 2007,  was a

The late Kenny Rankin (seen here in 2007), who died this summer, was a member of the host committee headed by Oz Scott. Photo: Karen Young

Sharon Robinson, JRF Vice-Chair and daughter of Jackie and Rachel, says her parents loved music and that her dad particularly enjoyed jazz.  She says that both were “committed to social change, to maintaining that change and teaching leadership development”  — and that they used music to initially further their vision of helping people.

“There’s no magic to what we are doing— we are taking advantage of opportunities, developing a network, so that we may be able to turn around the circle of poverty,” says Britton-Baeza, who gives all credit to Rachel and Sharon Robinson for “taking the torch and running with it.”

To purchase tickets to this limited-seating engagement, please contact ELMS Entertainment at 323-936-5052. For artist updates, performer biographies, or to  purchase tickets online, please visit www.jackierobinson.org/events/lajazz.php   Admission to this benefit fundraiser includes valet parking, silent auction, plentiful cuisine, open bar, a gift bag, and  four hours of jazz. $300 per person. Sponsorship packages also available.

Karen Young is the Publisher/Editor of MY DAILY FIND

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About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.

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