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LAJS 30th Anniversary Tribute Awards
Dinner & Concert

Jazz lovers and jazz artists came together to celebrate some of the music’s great talents at the 30th Anniversary Los Angeles Jazz Tribute Awards Dinner and Concert on October 27, 2013.

More than 350 guests filled the ballroom at the Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City to honor 2013 Jazz Tribute Honorees and first family of Latin Jazz, legendary percussionist, Pete Escovedo and his talented progeny, dynamic drummer Sheila E., and multi-talented musicians Peter Michael and Juan Escovedo. The award was presented by Louie Cruz Beltran.  Leonard Maltin served as Master of Ceremonies for the event.

It was also a night for the jazz community to pay homage to the highly-respected flutist and saxophonist Hubert Laws who received a Lifetime Achievement Award for a career spanning over 40 years in jazz, classical and other music genres.

Honored with Jazz Educator Awards for their commitment and contributions to the Jazz Society’s Jazz in Schools program, were Jazz Hall of Fame artist, saxophonist Ernie Fields, Jr., master woodwind musician, Charles Owens, and pianist, Delbert “The Maestro” Taylor.

Each year the Jazz Society also recognizes an extraordinary new talent with the Shelly Manne Memorial New Talent Award. This year’s recipient was 14 year-old drummer/percussionist, Alex Smith, who was presented with his award by Jazz Society President, Florence “Flip” Manne.

A concert featuring the honored musicians began with the Alex Smith Trio. Hubert Laws delivered a lush rendition of Lush Life with guitarist Larry Koonse, then was joined by Tierney Sutton (presenter of his award) on vocals. Charles Owens and Maestro Delbert Taylor with Leslie Baker on bass and Dr. Maria Martinez on drums performed Wildfire and an Ellington Medley. Bringing it full circle in a Latin Jazz frenzy, and a conga line through the ballroom, the Escovedo Family and their band had the crowd dancing in a joyful conclusion to the evening with Sheila E leading on The E Medley, Pete Escovedo crooning Fly to the Moon, and the band wrapping it all up with What Ya Gonna Do?

During the program, two 2014 Jazz Cruises were live auctioned by Michael Lazaroff (who donated the 7 day cruises) and David Strauss to help the educational programs of the Society.  Generous sponsors of the event included the Herb Alpert Foundation, Howard Stone, Carole & James Barrall, Remo Belli, Barbara Abell, ASCAP, Mrs. Shelly Manne, Lois Saffian, Corky Hale & Mike Stoller, Martha & Johnny Mandel, Albert Nassi, Jackie & Howard Banchik and Professional Musicians Local 47.  Hugh Hefner served as honorary 30th Anniversary Tribute Chair, with Tribute co-chairs Lani and Herb Alpert, Carole and James Barrall, and Cathy and Howard Stone. Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti was Honorary Dinner Chair, while Jazz Society Vice President, Lois Saffian and Richard Parker served as Event Chairs.