Jan. 11, 2006 — "Jazz for a Cause," a Saturday night concert and a major component of United Way's winter fundraising efforts, is really a lot of jazz helping to fund several local causes.
Proceeds from the concert, scheduled for 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21 at the Reichhold Center for the Arts, will benefit all 13 United Way member agencies. The concert features nationally acclaimed vocalist Dianne Reeves along with the islands' own Ron Blake and Reuben Rogers.
"Reeves is known throughout the world," said St. Thomas-St. John United Way Executive Director Thyra Hammond. "We are so, so very fortunate to have her."
Reeves has played with St. Thomian bassist Reuben Rogers, who is from the Virgin Islands, and that connection and friendship helped bring Reeves to the islands.
"It's an incredible opportunity we just couldn't pass up," Hammond said.
The United Way campaign theme this year is "Our Islands, Our Home, Our United Way," and Hammond said this concert, with V.I. musicians, fits right into that theme.
Reeves has won Grammy Awards for Best Jazz Vocalist for each of her last three recordings, a first in any Grammy vocal category. She has performed with the Berlin Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and more. She is also featured in the recently released movie "Good Night and Good Luck."
Reeves will perform at the Reichhold Center with Rogers, who is a member of Reeve's touring group. Another St. Thomian, Ron Blake, will join them on stage and play pieces from his recent solo album, "Sonic Tonic."
"It is vital that we make this concert a success as the funds raised will not only help us meet our campaign goal but directly benefit those in need in our community, such as the elderly, the youth, the disabled, the hungry and the homeless," United Way President Raymond Green said in a press release.
Tickets for the event are currently available through the Reichhold Center for the Arts box office. For tickets, call 693-1559.
The event's sponsors are the West Indian Co. Ltd., VIGAS Insurance Services, Subway and Guardian Insurance. Hammond said a number of other businesses are offering services in-kind for the event.
United Way St. Thomas-St. John provides funds for community services on St Thomas. The organization supports the V.I. American Red Cross, V.I. Catholic Charities, V.I. Boy Scout Council, Civil Air Patrol, V.I. Institute for Teaching & Learning, Downstreet People's Youth In Action, Ebenezer Gardens, Yellow Cedar Group Home, Dial-A-Ride St. Thomas, Dial-A-Ride St. John, Legal Services, and two summer programs.
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