The East Bay jazz scene remains vibrant as we head toward the end of summer 2014. Two upcoming events are particularly of note.
This Friday, ALICE Arts launches Live at the Bellevue, a concert series designed to mark the organization’s 10th anniversary year. And ALICE (Arts and Literacy in Children's Education) is doing it in style by presenting three of Northern California’s finest jazz performers – Mads Tolling (violin), John Santos (percussion) and Dan Zemelman (piano). Expect an evening of music that fuses Afro-Cuban rhythms with the folk traditions of Scandinavia and the singular compositional genius of Monk.
Of course, one could argue the venue itself is worth the price of admission. The Bellevue Club is a beautifully restored, circa 1920s structure with one-of-a-kind views of Lake Merritt.
A month and a day later, on September 23, Yoshi’s will present the acclaimed group Mingus Amungus in a concert to benefit the Anthony Lee Franklin Memorial Scholarship.
Anthony Lee Franklin, a 2002 graduate of Berkeley High School, is the embodiment of a scholar athlete. He lettered in baseball, football, and basketball, while maintaining a 3.8 overall grade point average. He was recognized by his fellow graduates as the “Athlete of the Year” and was among the first group of inductees into the Berkeley High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2007.
Lee lived a short and fulfilled life, having succumbed to leukemia in November 2006, at the age of 22. He battled his disease for two more years, through another remission and recurrence, and finally, a bone marrow transplant. He struggled courageously, without feeling sorry for himself, and by making everyone fortunate enough to know him feel blessed in his presence. His smile and spirit were legendary and brightened many homes, classrooms, gyms, and baseball and football fields.
This scholarship, sponsored by Berkeley High School Athletic Fund, Hematology-Oncology Department at Children’s Hospital Oakland, and The Lee Franklin Memorial Fund is dedicated to Lee’s fighting spirit and to his lasting memory as a scholar athlete.
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