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Grammy Winner Poncho Sanchez to Receive 2010 “Jazz Tribute Award” at 27th Annual LA Jazz Society Awards Dinner & Concert

Los Angeles, CA, Sept. 2, 2010 — The Los Angeles Jazz Society’s (LAJS) 27th Annual Jazz Tribute Awards Dinner & Concert, honoring Grammy® Award musician Poncho Sanchez with the organization’s “Jazz Tribute Award,â€? will be held Sun., Oct 10, at the Los Angeles Marriott Downtown Hotel, it was announced today by LAJS President Florence “Flipâ€? Manne. Renowned pianist and composer Mike Melvoin will also receive a “Lifetime Achievement Awardâ€? from LAJS during the event, which raises money to promote music education, and the legacy of jazz, throughout Los Angeles.

Legendary sports icon Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will present Sanchez with his award during ceremonies which will also honor Dee Dee Bridgewater (“Jazz Vocalist Award�), Bill Cunliffe (“Jazz Composer/ Arranger Award�), Anita E. Berry (“Teri Merrill-Aarons Founders Award�), John Mosley (“Jazz Educator Award�) and Chloe Feoranzo (“Shelly Manne Memorial New Talent

Award�). Master of Ceremonies Leonard Maltin will preside over the gala, for which Norman Lear is Honorary Tribute Chair, the Herb Alpert Foundation is Tribute Host, and Lois Saffian is Event Chair.

Regarding this year’s event, Flip Manne said, “We are thrilled to be honoring the greatest Latin Jazz artist living today – Poncho Sanchez –concurrently with the 25th Anniversary* of the founding of the Los Angeles Jazz Society. We are certain that this year’s event will be a huge success. We truly look forward to our next 25 years of promoting and nurturing jazz throughout all of the communities in Los Angeles.”

Promoted as a “Night of Live Jazz Not to be Missed,� and featuring over 1+1/2 hours of live music, many of the 2010 LAJS Honorees will perform at the gala, including the Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band, Dee Dee Bridgewater with pianist, Bill Cunliffe with his all star Big Band performing his 2010 Grammy® winning “West Side Story� arrangement, the Mike Melvoin Trio, and Chloe Feoranzo Saxophone, with Trio.

Sponsorship, tribute journal advertising and tickets for the LAJS Awards Dinner & Concert, or concert only can be purchased by calling 818-994-4661. * NOTE: The LA Jazz Society was not incorporated until 1985, although this is the 27th Annual Dinner & Concert)


As Elvis Presley was to rock and roll, and James Brown was to soul, Poncho Sanchez is to Latin jazz. For almost three decades, Grammy® Award winning artist Poncho Sanchez has been an unswervingly-passionate exponent of the bedrock style of Afro-Cuban Latin jazz. The leader of the most popular Latin jazz group in the world today, Sanchez’ congas and seasoned ensemble continue to express a musical style pioneered half a century ago by such legendary musicians as Machito, Tito Puente and Dizzy Gillespie. In addition to a Grammy® Award as well as several Grammy® nominations, Sanchez’ unprecedented 27-year relationship with Concord Records has produced two dozen recordings, including his latest, Psychedelic Blues.


Over a period of 40 years, Mike Melvoin, composer, arranger, conductor, producer, recording artist, and studio player, has firmly established himself as one of the most versatile and accomplished artists. His credits, across all media and all styles, include working with a “Who’s Who� of music, ranging from Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Ray Charles, and Tony Bennett, to John Lennon, Michael Jackson, and Quincy Jones. Melvoin was the recipient of three NARAS “Most Valuable Player� Awards and the prestigious “Emeritus Award.� He has also been honored with the “Musician’s Musician Award� from the Friends of Jazz at UCLA


Grammy® and Tony® Award winning artist/singer Dee Dee Bridgewater is a consummate entertainer. Enjoying a broad and rich career spanning almost 40 years, Bridgewater has been a fixture on the New York jazz scene, having performed in The Wiz on Broadway, and portraying jazz legend Billie Holiday in Stephen Stahl’s Lady Day.


Earlier this year, Bill Cunliffe was the recipient of a 2010 Grammy® Award for “Best Instrumental Arrangement� for his work on Oscar Peterson’s West Side Story Medley. Cunliffe’s books, Jazz Keyboard Toolbox and Jazz Piano Inventions, are fast becoming standard reference books in jazz.


At 70 years old, Anita E. Berry became the first person in the world to charter a whole ship for jazz. Ten years and 25 Jazz Cruises later, Jazz Cruises, LLC, helmed by Berry as Chairman, has employed nearly 2,000 jazz musicians, and has entertained over 40,000 cruise guests.


Teacher John Mosely has created a comprehensive music program at Agoura High School which has received recognition and accolades throughout the country. With three jazz bands, five combo classes, three wind ensembles, three choirs, and two orchestra classes, many of his students have received outstanding soloist awards and have gone on to become teachers and professional players.


Saxophonist and clarinetist Chloe Feoranzo was the first ever youth guest artist invited to perform at the San Diego Thanksgiving Dixieland Jazz Festival. Though just out of high school, newcomer Feoranzo has already released her first solo CD and will be attending Webster University’s Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts majoring in Jazz Performance for tenor saxophone and clarinet.


The LAJS Annual Awards Dinner & Concert was established in 1983 to recognize and honor Los Angeles based artists for their contributions in furthering the art form of jazz. The event attracts musicians and jazz lovers from all over Southern California, and raises funds to support the general operations of the organization and its educational programs. Sponsors of the LAJS 27th Annual Awards Dinner & Concert include the Herb Alpert Foundation, Barbara Abell, Cathy & Howard Stone, Michael Lazaroff, Remo, Inc., ASCAP, Howard Banchik, Jim & Carole Barrall, Ruthie Lane Flinkman, Florence “Flip� Manne, Angela & Albert Nassi, the Professional Musicians Union, Local 47 and Lois Saffian.


The mission of the Los Angeles Jazz Society, founded in 1985 by a group of musicians and jazz lovers committed to elevating the image of jazz and its artists in the community, is to excite, educate and engage public school students with the vibrant rhythms and sounds of the only indigenous American music – jazz. Recognized throughout the country as a leading preserver and promoter of the legacy of jazz, the organization strives to ensure its future by identifying and nurturing the emerging jazz musicians of tomorrow.

The Society presents multi-cultural and interactive in-school and off-campus jazz education programs. Among these programs are: “Jazz in Schools,� providing close to 100 free jazz education performances annually by professional musicians to 45 elementary schools throughout the Los Angeles area; and “The Bill Green Mentorship Program,� which awards students with scholarships that include private one-on-one lessons with a professional jazz player, and workshops to practice with other students, as well as a professional recording session.

For more info, please visit or call 818-994-4661.