It was a glorious evening of song at the Kennedy Center on Oct. 4 as the 2010 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition and Gala Concert paid an all-star tribute to the Great American Songbook. A who’s who of jazz legends was hosted by Thelonious Monk, Jr., Herbie Hancock, Phylicia Rashad and Billy Dee Willliams. Aretha Franklin could not be present to accept the Maria Fisher Founder’s Award but Gladys Knight was a wow replacement. The finalists were world class. French-born Cyrille Aimée placed third, Charenée Wade of Brooklyn second, and winner Cécile McLorin Salvant of Miami garnered a $20,000 scholarship and Concord Music Group recording contract. She held her own with the pros as she sang the opening lines of the Blue Skies finale. [gallery ids="99264,104323" nav="thumbs"]
The American-Russian Cultural Cooperation Foundation chaired by The Honorable James Symington celebrated Kennedy Center President Michael Kaiser for his commitment to the arts of Russia at a benefit gala held at the Embassy of the Russian Federation on Oct. 7. The program included remarks by Ambassador Kislyak, “godfather of détente” Donald Kendall, arts patron Adrienne Arsht and special guest Maestro Valery Gergiev, Artistic and General Director of the Mariinskiy Theatre in St. Petersburg. The cultural presentation featured ABT Principal Veronika Part as the Dying Swan and an aria from Eugene Onegin performed by Aleksey Bogdanov. Funds raised will be used to prepare the exhibition in Russia entitled The Tsar and the President: Liberator and Emancipator. Alexander II and Abraham Lincoln. [gallery ids="99263,104325,104319,104322" nav="thumbs"]
The spirit was alive and well as Niloo and David Howe hosted supporters of the Georgetown Ministry Center at their hidden treasure of a home on October 14 to honor the Reverend Stuart Kenworthy of Christ Church, Georgetown. Georgetown Ministry Center is a non-profit social service organization assisting the homeless. The evening also saluted the 95th birthday of Georgetown doyenne Frida Burling. Lauded as "a man of faith a source of strength, wisdom and peace," Rev. Kenworthy, surrounded by his family, hailed the "connectiveness" of the Goergetown community, "a village in one of greatest cities in the world." Guests delighted in the temptation-filled buffet and libations provided by Serendipity3 and Potomac Wine and Spirits. [gallery ids="99262,104314,104320,104317" nav="thumbs"]
A screening of the film on foster care "From Place to Place," was held at St. John's Church parish hall on September 30. Former Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend introduced the program, hosted by Mary Bird and Felicia Stidham. Townsend said these young adults-who must leave the system after turning 18-"need an advocate for foster care."
The DC Jazz Festival held its Annual Benefit Gala at the Embassy of Italy to celebrate the Festival and to benefit its education programs. [gallery ids="99260,104315,104309,104312" nav="thumbs"]
Fashion lovers gathered October 15 for this year's cutting edge presentation "Raw," which celebrates fashion as not just a way to protect from the elements, but a way to show one's creativity and personality. [gallery ids="99259,104307,104304" nav="thumbs"]
Over 100 private donors poured through the Georgetown Neighborhood Library on Oct. 5 for the first major preview of the dramatically improved library. The event also celebrated the library's 75th anniversary and was hosted by the DC Public Library Foundation, which launched the Georgetown Recovery and Restoration Fund shortly after the 2007 fire. [gallery ids="99266,104330,104327" nav="thumbs"]