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Posted on on October 10th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (

Jazz For Obama 2012 Fundraiser

On Tuesday October 9th, Symphony Space hosted an All-Star Jazz Concert to benefit the Obama-Biden 2012 Presidential Campaign. Jazz For Obama 2012 featured artists like Ron Carter, Roy Haynes, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Ravi Coltrane, Geri Allen, and many more legendary musicians taking the stage in support of Obama. The Symphony Space management is careful to say that they do not pick sides in the election – but know what good music is.

Tickets were:
$250 – VIP – will include reserved seating and access to the reception with the musicians, following the concert.
$50 – SENIOR (AGE 55+) AND STUDENT TICKETS – please bring appropriate ID to the box office.

Date: Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Venue: Symphony Space (2537 Broadway, New York, NY 10025)
Doors/Show: 6:45pm/7:30pm

Email  jazzforobama2012 at for more information or visit their website here.


The program was:


Ron Carter/Jimmy Heath/Kenny Barron/Greg Hutchinson:

1)There Will Never Be Another You

2)Autumn In New York

Ron Carter/Jim Hall:

3)All The Things You Are

4)Bag’s Groove (Milt Jackson)

Ron/Kenny B:

5)Like Someone In Love

Ravi Coltrane/Geri/Christian/Ralph:

6)Wise One (Coltrane)


7)Walk Spirit Talk Spirit (Tyner)

8)Search For Peace (Tyner)

Dee Dee Bridgewater (voice)/Christian McBride (bass):

9)It’s Your Thing (Isley Bros)


Gretchen Parlato and Becca Stevens – two young new performers and composers who are already established in the Jazz circles.

105 (Becca Stevens/Jane Tyson Clement)  “just to be clear” music by Becca which she wrote for poetry by jane tyson clement

Magnus (Gretchen Parlato/Magnus Thompson Marcelin)

Brad Mehldau on the piano and Christian McBride joined halfway by Jeff “Tain” Watts:

3) Think of One (Monk)

Arturo O’Farrill and sons Zack and Adam/Claudia Acuna/Alex Hernandez/Craig Haynes:

4) Moondance (Van Morrison) arranged by Arturo

Henry Grimes/Geri/Tain:

5) Freedom Jazz Dance (Eddie Harris)


6) Epistrophy (Monk)


The event was organized by Aaron Goldberg who also performed on the piano at the opening of the second half. He was assisted by Dee Dee Bridgewater who was the conferencier. She later performed (voice) with Christian McBride.

To my surprise, looking up Andy Goldberg background, I found that besides having been a child prodigy Jazz Pianist, he has also a degree in Jazz music from Harvard and a Master’s degree in Analytic Philosophy having studied with Daniel Clement Dennett at Tufts University.  Dennett is an American philosopher, writer and cognitive scientist whose research centers on the philosophy of mind, philosophy of science and philosophy of biology, particularly as those fields relate to evolutionary biology and cognitive science. He is currently the Co-director of the Center for Cognitive Studies, the Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy, and a University Professor at Tufts University. Dennett is a firm atheist and secularist, a member of the Secular Coalition for America advisory board,[4] as well as an outspoken supporter of the Brights movement. Dennett is referred to as one of the “Four Horsemen of New Atheism“, along with Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and the late Christopher Hitchens. Having read this I started to understand how Aaron Godberg feels compelled to help make sure that Mitt Romney does not become the new face of America.

Aaron introduced Andy Borowitz of the New Yorker who was the featured speaker – a 7 minutes spirit enhancer.

He is best known for fathering the Borowitz Report, a satirical news column that has been read by millions around the world and for which he won the first-ever National Press Club award for humor. He has published two best-selling books in the past year: “The 50 Funniest American Writers,” which became the first title in the history of the Library of America to make the Times best-seller list; and his memoir, “An Unexpected Twist,” which Amazon named the Best Kindle Single of 2012. His Twitter feed, @BorowitzReport, has more than two hundred and seventy thousand followers and was voted the best Twitter feed of 2011 in a poll by Time. As a comedian, he performs to sold-out theatres across the country and has made countless television and radio appearances, including on National Public Radio, VH1, and Comedy Central. He has been called a “Swiftian satirist” (the Wall Street Journal), “America’s satire king” (the Daily Beast), “the funniest human on Twitter” (the Times), and “one of the funniest people in America” (CBS News’ “Sunday Morning”).

Dee Dee Bridgewater is a star as well. Born in Memphis Tennessee into a family of musician, raised in Michigan, married to a musician, she had a great singing career in New York and overseas. She has three daughters accomplished musicians as well. Bridgewater is the first American to be inducted in Paris to the Haut Conseil de la Francophonie. She has received the Award of Arts and Letters in France. She also won the 1975 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance in The Whiz. She is also a rowing Ambassador for the UN Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome.

No mistake – this was a get-together of great musicians that enjoyed each other’s company and the lively audience, but this was also as stated  a political event. America’s Jazz, led by today’s most prominent intellectual and professional figures, is solidly behind Obama and if nothing else – they made it clear that they want you to go out and vote and take your neighbors along as well.

Jazz musicians are not complacent people – rather a liberal creative humorous bunch – so there was no inhibition when criticism is the outlet for honesty, and I heard here for the first time that the US Presidential elections, already for many years, are about electing a President for Ohio and Florida. Nevertheless they want you to go out and vote so you show that as the New York Upper West Side goes, so should America go! But they do not let you go with this alone – they want you to go and canvas in Ohio – to help the locals sway the vote right there where it counts.

The income from the event was all to the campaign. Looking up the web I found that the financial goal was to raise $50,000 from this event and in effect from 304 contributions, till now, they netted $37,840

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