One jazz musicians’ response to a societal challenge

This is a story of one jazz musician’s sense of humanity that has been deeply touched by personal experience. While perusing the myriad possibilities offered by the annual Winterjazzfest (January 9-10), conspicuously tagged onto many of the releases about that mid-winter NYC delight was a January 8 event with the curious title Jazz Legends Play for Disability Pride. That benefit, organized by the soulful organist-pianist Mike LeDonne, was held at the Quaker’s Friends Meeting House in Manhattan, and was scheduled to feature such greats as NEA Jazz Masters Ron Carter, George Coleman, Benny Golson, and Jimmy Cobb, along with Renee Rosnes, Russell Malone, Brad Mehldau, Peter Bernstein and a cast of dozens. A subsequent post from Jim Eigo’s Jazz Promo Services detailed LeDonne’s touching motivation behind producing this event; touched to his core by his daughter’s disability, he aimed to generate a disability pride parade that he hoped would have a similar impact on public consciousness as the gay pride parades held around the world.

Read the complete interview here…

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