|104 E. 126th Street • Suite 2D • New York, NY 10035|
It is with great enthusiasm that I tell you about our wonderful event: on Tuesday, November 23rd. The National Jazz Museum in Harlem will host its 2010 Annual Gala at The Players in New York City. It promises to be a truly special evening in celebration of, and support for, our jazz museum, held at this historic Gramercy Park landmark. I am thrilled to inform you that the evening will feature a special performance by pianist Geri Allen and vocalist Carmen Lundy, presenting the music of Mary Lou Williams.
In addition, I am delighted to announce that our honoree will be NJMH Board Chair, Arthur H. Barnes. Born in Harlem, Arthur is committed to revitalizing the neighborhood and spent his career working to improve the lives of all New Yorkers, most recently as the Senior Vice President for External Affairs and Corporate Contributions at HIP (Health Insurance Plan of New York) and prior to that as the CEO of the Urban Coalition. Arthur's love of jazz and passion for bringing this art form to all sectors of the community is evident in his unwavering commitment to building the National Jazz Museum in Harlem and we are deeply indebted for his efforts.
The National Jazz Museum in Harlem, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is dedicated to preserving and perpetuating jazz as a living entity that stretches as far into the future as it does into the past. NJMH programs currently attract several thousand visitors a year. This event is the Museum's largest and most important annual fundraising effort. Proceeds from the gala will support the Museum's mission.
As you may have seen in the August 17th New York Times cover story, the National Jazz Museum in Harlem made a acquisition of a historic collection of never-before-heard recordings, including live performances of great American jazz icons from 1935-1941. The collection of 975 aluminum and vinyl discs, encompassing over 100 hours of material, was created by William Savory, a recording engineer and Harvard-educated physicist who worked at a radio transcription service in New York and used the equipment his job afforded him to record hundreds of hours of material directly off the radio. The collection includes performances by jazz icons such as Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Lester Young, Lionel Hampton, Fats Waller, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, and more, as well as classical broadcasts including Toscanini, Ormandy, and Kirsten Flagstad. The quality of the discs is extraordinary for the time, as most jazz enthusiasts in the 1930s did not have the access to the professional equipment that Savory enjoyed. You can sample some these newly discovered treasures at the Museum's website.
The search for, and cultivation of, this collection is an exemplary example of the Museum's commitment to preserve the history of jazz, while nurturing its evolution for future generations. It also comes at a fortuitous time in the Museum's development as we are currently preparing to build a permanent home at Mart 125 - a historic landmark in Upper Manhattan which stands directly across from the famed Apollo Theatre on Harlem's 125th Street.
I invite you to join me in supporting the important mission of The National Jazz Museum in Harlem by purchasing a table or tickets for the Gala. Enclosed please find a response form which outlines all sponsorship levels. If you have any questions, please contact the benefit office at 212-763-8590 or email@example.com.
Your consideration is greatly appreciated. Together we can make important strides to keep jazz at the forefront of American culture, and build the Museum in the community in which it truly belongs.
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