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WBGO Celebrates 30 Years with Benefit Concert Honoring Paquito D'Rivera and Downbeat Magazine

Vocalist Ernie Andrews Added to Champions of Jazz Benefit Concert

WBGO Celebrates 30 Years with Benefit Concert Honoring Paquito D’Rivera and Downbeat Magazine

November 3, 8:00 pm

Rose Theater in Frederick P. Rose Hall

Tickets on Sale Now

NEWARK, NJ WBGO celebrates 30 years with the annual Champions of Jazz benefit concert honoring nine-time Grammy-Award winner and NEA Jazz Master, Paquito D'Rivera, and the venerable jazz industry authority, Downbeat Magazine, celebrating its 75th anniversary. The benefit is set for Tuesday, November 3, at 8:00 pm at Rose Theater in Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center on Broadway at 60th Street, New York City.

Renowned vocalist Ernie Andrews has been added to the concert that features the 20-piece Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra joined by vocalist Freddy Cole, vibraphonist Stefon Harris and 15-year-old Canadian singing sensation Nikki Yanofsky. Lester Holt, anchor of the weekend editions of Today and NBC Nightly News, will be the Master of Ceremonies for this event, which will feature an unforgettable jazz concert to honor WBGO’s 30th anniversary.

The concert begins at 8:00 pm, with pre and post events available to those who purchase sponsor tickets. For information on sponsor tickets and packages, call (908) 781-8418 or visit Tickets, ranging in price from $30 to $95, are on sale now through the Jazz at Lincoln Center Box Office, located at Broadway at 60th Street, or through CenterCharge at (212) 721-6500.

The Champions of Jazz benefit will raise funds to help WBGO keep the flame of classic jazz music alive while paying tribute to individuals and organizations for their outstanding humanitarian, civic and artistic contributions to both jazz and our world.

About the Artists:

The moment Ernie Andrews takes the stage with his special strut and rich voice tinged with gospel roots, audiences know they are in for an exciting time. Born Christmas day in Philadelphia, Andrews' early years were spent singing in his mother's Baptist Church until the family moved to Los Angeles. Soon after, he won an amateur show at the Lincoln Theatre. Songwriter Joe Greene was so impressed that he immediately took Andrews into the studio to record at age 17. The hit "Soothe Me" with "Wrap It Up and Put It Away" on the flip side, catapulted Andrews to stardom. In 1953, he scored with another big record, "Make Me A Present of You" with Benny Carter. He went on to work with Harry James and Cannonball Adderley, followed by a second stint with James before he decided to fly solo. Ernie continues to play clubs, concerts and jazz festivals throughout the world, and often performs in Las Vegas. He performed with his own small group at a WBGO New Year's Eve gala, which was nationally broadcast on National Public Radio. After a two hour stint with his own quartet, Ernie then tore the house apart with a big band including the Heath Brothers, led by Jimmy Heath. After that stellar performance, it's no wonder that he has been tapped to make this return engagement to celebrate the station's 30th anniversary.

Without even striking a beat, the The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra (CHJO) presents an unusual edge. The group is comprised of three leaders: bassist John Clayton, saxophonist Jeff Clayton and drummer Jeff Hamilton. The stats of just one of their individual careers is impressive; but when you bring the three together to lead a big band filled with top Los Angeles players, the audience hears one powerful music machine. Hamilton performed regularly with Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown, Gene Harris and Monty Alexander as well as leading his own stellar trio. Jeff Clayton logged time with Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Ella Fitzgerald, Woody Herman, Lionel Hampton, Lena Horne, McCoy Tyner, Dee Dee Bridgewater in addition to Michael Jackson, Patti LaBelle, Stevie Wonder and others. John Clayton, whose outstanding arrangements give the orchestra its swinging personality, toured with Count Basie and Monty Alexander and has written and arranged music for Diana Krall, Natalie Cole, Quincy Jones, Dr. John, Queen Latifah, Dee Dee Bridgewater, among others. John and Jeff also co-lead The Clayton Brothers Quintet. The CHJO’s latest CD is Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra Live at MCG.

Freddy Cole grew up in a musical family; his three elder brothers, Eddie, Ike and Nat were all musicians and visitors in his Chicago home included Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Lionel Hampton. After moving to New York in 1951, he laid the groundwork for a career that continues to flourish to this day. He developed a vast repertoire of songs in Manhattan bistros and supplemented his live performances with television and radio commercial jingle work. A resident of Atlanta since 1972, he currently leads a trio that regularly tours the United States, Europe, the Far East and South America. A recording artist since 1952, Cole's latest release is The Dreamer in Me.

Stefon Harris’ passionate artistry, energetic stage presence, and astonishing virtuosity have propelled him into the forefront of the jazz scene. Widely recognized and lauded by his peers and jazz critics alike, he is committed to both exploring the rich potential of jazz composition and blazing new trails on the vibraphone. A graduate of Manhattan School of Music, Stefon is a recipient of the prestigious Martin E. Segal Award from Lincoln Center and has earned three consecutive Grammy nominations. He has toured with the San Francisco Jazz Collective in addition to leading his band Blackout. An active educator, Stefon conducts clinics and lectures throughout the country. He teaches at New York University and is Artist-in- Residence at Fontana Chamber Arts (Kalamazoo, MI) and University of Nebraska. His latest CD is Urbanus.

Nikki Yanofsky is a 15-year-old musical prodigy. Since her debut at the 2006 Montreal International Jazz Festival, Nikki has never looked back. She was the youngest singer ever on a Verve Records release when she recorded "Airmail Special" for the Ella Fitzgerald tribute album, We All Love Ella: Celebrating the First Lady of Song. She recorded the swing-era classic, "Stompin’ at the Savoy" with Herbie Hancock and for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s audio book, On the Shoulders of Giants. Along with playing to sold-out crowds at jazz festivals, Nikki has been on a multi-city tour with Marvin Hamlisch. In anticipation of her first studio album, which she is currently recording with Grammy Award-winning producer Phil Ramone, Nikki released Ella of Thee I Swing, a live CD and DVD in 2008.

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WBGO/Jazz88.3FM serves the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area with mainstream jazz, blues, and award-winning news and public affairs programming. Non- commercial WBGO is supported by nearly 17,000 annual members and has over 400,000 weekly listeners via Jazz88.3FM and worldwide over the internet on Jazz88 was named the "Jazz Station of the Year" by the Gavin Report, is the recipient of the Blues Foundation’s "Keeping the Blues Alive Award" for Achievement in Non-Commercial Radio, and also recently won the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s My Source Award for Community Outreach. WBGO is a publicly-supported, cultural institution that champions jazz, an American art form, and presents news to a worldwide audience through radio, other technologies and events.

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  • Artist / Group Name: WBGO
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