WBGO Champions of Jazz Gala

For forty incredible years, WBGO has been Public Radio's voice of jazz and blues, committed to connecting a global audience to the vibrancy of our local community's past, present and future through jazz music in all its forms.

In honor of this significant milestone, WBGO is proud to invite you to Public Radio's most celebrated event, the Champions of Jazz Gala, a 40th Anniversary celebration featuring one-night-only performances by a roster of celebrated artists.

WBGO Champions of Jazz A 40th Anniversary Celebration
Wednesday, November 6, 2019

130 Bowery
New York City


Dee Dee Bridgewater

Grammy© and Tony© Award winner, NEA Jazz Master and UN Goodwill Ambassador


André Ménard

Cofounder of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal

Hosted by

Joe Morton

Emmy© Award-winning actor

Performers include*:

  • Kurt Elling is a GRAMMY Award winner and 10 time nominated jazz singer and songwriter
  • Legendary pianist George Cables who has performed & recorded with many jazz legends including: Art Blakey; Dizzy Gillespie; Dexter Gordon; Sonny Rollins; Sarah Vaughan.
  • Singer Alicia Olatuja is celebrated as both a leader and collaborator, whose work includes the Jazz at Lincoln Center commissioned Songs of Freedom project with our honoree, Dee Dee Bridgewater
  • Newark’s own rising star vocalist and two-time winner of the Apollo Theater’s Amateur Night, Alexis Morrast
  • Born and raised in Montreal to Haitian-Canadian immigrant parents, singer Dominique Fils Aime’s trilogy of recordings focuses on the history of African-American music from jazz to blues to soul.
  • Renowned singer and Tony Award-winning actress Lillias White, known for her iconic roles on stage (The Life, Fela!) and screen (Hercules, Pieces of April).
  • 8-time Grammy-nominated drummer, percussionist, and host of WBGO’s Latin Jazz Cruise Bobby Sanabria
  • Prodigiously talented trombonist and longtime member of the Trey Anastasio Band, Natalie Cressman
  • An amazing house band lead by our Musical Director for the evening,  trumpeter/arranger/composer Steven Bernstein, who in addition to multiple bands of his own, has worked  with everyone from Henry Butler to Levon Helm, Lou Reed to Allen Toussaint  

*Subject to change

6:00pm - Cocktails & Cuisine

7:30pm - Performance & Presentations

9:00pm - VIP After Party

Individual tickets start at $1,250. Click here for more information, including ticket packages and contribution benefits.

Program ads start at $750. Click here for more information, including ad specs and sizes. 

For more information, please email Gala@WBGO.org or call 973-388-2889.

Gala Co-Chairs

Robin & Steve Edwards
Karl Paul Frederic
David Komar
Vasili Krishnamurti
Prudential Financial

Gala Vice Chairs

Wendy Barasch & Marc Rosenbaum
Bill Hofstetter
Investors Foundation
Nancy & Henry Klingeman
Bob Sommer
Elizabeth Steimberg & David I. Weiner
TD Bank

Gala Committee

Mindy Cohen & David Bershad
Brenda Feliciano & Paquito D’Rivera
Andrea Gabor & Jose W. Fernandez
Zenola Harper & Allen J. Green
Lotus Equity
Michael Ostroff & Esther Rosenberg
Kelly Peterson