Wynton & Katrina
The Higher Ground Hurricane Relief Benefit Concert and Auction at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Rose Theater brought out the heavyweights in the entertainment industry. Hosted by Laurence Fishburne, the multi-hour program was televised nationally on PBS and BET Jazz (to an estimated 7-million viewers nationwide), and broadcast on NPR (National Public Radio) and XM Satellite Radio. Tickets for the benefit concert ranged from $50 to $10,000. Overall, more than $2-million was raised from the benefit event.
The idea: raise funds. "The focus of the Fund will be to help those individuals and families evacuated from the greater New Orleans area as they address immediate concerns related to housing, food, education, health care and basic survival necessities. The Fund will also provide resources to assist individuals over time to rebuild their homes and livelihoods, said Derek E. Gordon, President and CEO of Jazz at Lincoln Center. Gordon also just happens to be a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Artists heeding Wynton's call to action include: Harry Belafonte, Terence Blanchard, Ken Burns, Shirley Caesar, Cyrus Chestnut, Peter Cincotti, Bill Cosby, Elvis Costello, Paquito D'Rivera, Robert De Niro, Renee Fleming, Danny Glover, Herbie Hancock, Jon Hendricks, Norah Jones, Marlon Jordan and family, Diana Krall, Abbey Lincoln, Joe Lovano, Irvin Mayfield, Bette Midler, Toni Morrison, Art and Aaron Neville, Mark O'Connor, Arturo O'Farrill, Eric Reed, Dianne Reeves, Marcus Roberts, Paul Simon, Meryl Streep, James Taylor, McCoy Tyner, Robin Williams, Cassandra Wilson, Jeffrey Wright and Buckwheat Zydeco. Plus, the late-night jam in Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola included Dr. Michael Smith, Ellis Marsalis and friends.
Remember, this music came from the ol' gospel spirituals. This music is healing. This music will survive. New Orleans will survive.
Performing by Carolyn Appel
In New Orleans by Frank Stewart