BJA NewsUncategorized

BJA “Kind Of Blue” Gala Fundraiser – A Great Time Had By All

It was a fine autumn night October 14, 2023, when the Baltimore Jazz Alliance held its first fundraiser gala in many years. Taking place in the elegant high-ceilinged event space of the Redwood Exchange Building downtown, the “Kind of Blue” gala was attended by some 90 to 100 festively clad guests (many wearing blue), including BJA members (musicians and others) and sponsors.

An array of delicious and substantial hors d’oeuvres was served by Sheri’s Sensational Catering, and included beverages (wine, beer, water) and cookies embellished with the BJA logo on white icing.

Musical entertainment was provided by the Craig Alston Syndicate, with Craig Alston on tenor sax, Patrick Cooper on keyboard, Adrian Norton on bass, John Lamkin III on drums, and featuring vocalist Karen Linette. The band created a lively atmosphere that got people up on their feet dancing.

[Pictured: Left: BJA Board Members. Left to right: Liz Fixsen, Tyrone Crawley, Anna Celeza, Brynn Rhodes, Steve Everette, Tre Barr. Top right: Organizer Tre Barr. Center Right: BJA President Tyrone Crawley and wife Tyra Crawley. Bottom right: BJA member Brynn Rhodes (L) and organizer Eileen Miller (R)]

A raffle was held with prizes including bottles of wine and BJA t-shirts. BJA’s newest board member, Jacqueline Slade, was one of the winners. Photographs of guests posing in front of a large Baltimore Jazz Alliance banner were taken by photographer and BJA member Michael Friedman, who also took many unposed photos of guests mingling.

[Pictured above: Top left: Caterer. Top middle: New BJA Board member Jackie Slade & Eileen Miller. Top Right: Craig Alston Band. Bottom left: Dessert Table. Bottom Center: View from the balcony. Bottom Right: Tre Barr with sponsors.]

Co-sponsors of the event included the Davis H. Elliot Company, 2 A.M. Music, Stella May Contracting, Entrust Solutions Group, Afro News (Afro American Newspaper), Quanta Services and Infrasource, as well as the Redwood Exchange, which donated the space. Guests included a number of representatives of these organizations. The BJA is deeply grateful to the support of these sponsors and to the guests who bought tickets to the event, all of which will help support BJA’s many jazz-related programs in and around Baltimore.

The gala was organized by BJA board member Tre Barr, who put in a tremendous amount of work to ensure a successful event.  All in all, it was a delightful evening for socializing, eating, dancing – and hopefully a precursor to another gala in 2024.

–by Liz Fixsen

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