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Stevie Wonder and Wynton Marsalis?
Harlem has long been the home and inspiration for generations of musicians, including Eubie Blake, James P. Johnson, Fats Waller, Duke Ellington and countless others. Honoring this community’s integral role in the development of jazz, Jazz at Lincoln Center (J@LC) will hold its inaugural spring benefit, entitled “Comin’ Home to Harlem,” in the newly-renovated historic Apollo Theatre on Monday, May 20, 2002 at 7:30pm.

World-famous actress and comedian WHOOPI GOLDBERG will host the event, which will also feature legendary singer and composer STEVIE WONDER performing with the WYNTON MARSALIS SEPTET, playing his own songs with new arrangements by J@LC Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis. Tap dancer extraordinaire SAVION GLOVER will also perform to new music composed by Marsalis and played by the Septet. Internationally-acclaimed actress and vocalist VANESSA WILLIAMS (appearing on her day off from the new Broadway production of “Into the Woods”) will also enchant the house by performing with the Septet, which will also perform other songs from the vast repertoire of Harlem-inspired jazz. Plus, celebrated pianist SIR ROLAND HANNA will demonstrate the complexity and greatness of stride piano, a style of playing that originated in Harlem and grew out of ragtime.

The concert will be followed by an elegant dinner held in a tented space behind the theatre. Famed designer B. Michael, the fashion partner for the event, will be dressing some of the celebrities as well as some members of the benefit committee. At dinner, there will be a live auction of 10-12 exclusive packages, led by Christie’s auctioneer George McNeely and a guest celebrity to be announced. Auction packages include a week at a villa in Milan, the New York Yankees owner’s box for a day, a trip to the MTV Awards and After-Party, a signed page of music from Wynton Marsalis’s Pulitzer Prize-winning score “Blood on the Fields,” the NBA Skybox for an evening game, and many more to be announced.

Guests expected to attend include Ed Bradley, Glenn Close, Harry Crosby, Alfonse D’Amato, Maurice DuBois, Ahmet Ertegun, Peter Jennings, Kellie Martin, Deborah Roberts and Al Roker, Andrew and Karenna Gore Schiff, Bobby Short, Denzel Washington, and others.

Sun Apr 14 2002 (11:54:31 PM)