A celebratory week

Leave a comment
Quincy Jones, flanked by Morgan Freeman, was honored by the Jazz Foundation.Photo courtesy Richard Conde
Quincy Jones, flanked by Morgan Freeman, was honored by the Jazz Foundation.

It was amazing to me that, in one week, I was “with” Clive Davis, Quincy Jones and Morgan Sohmer. The first is a giant in the entertainment industry, “Q” is a musical genius and the last is my granddaughter, who celebrated her fourth birthday with great glee.

I also had the pleasure of being present to pay tribute to my dear friend, the humanitarian Juliana Terian. She was being honored by the Caron Foundation at a gala at Cipriani on 42nd Street.

For years, she has given her time and generosity to help multiple organizations, even donating a building to her alma mater, the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.

That magical night last week was to benefit an organization that has saved the lives of many people who suffer from addiction. A former patient at a Caron program eloquently spoke about her recovery and strength to continue. The need to be vigilant her whole life was dramatically told. I was so moved by her testimony that it brought tears to my eyes.

Juliana was rightfully praised and given her award by the legendary Davis. To add to the excitement of the evening, music great Paul Williams, a recovering alcoholic, was feted by another legend in the music world, Judy Collins. They serenaded us as I sat in awe. What a night!

Then two days later, my friend Tamar Hirschl invited me to a fundraiser at the one and only Apollo Theatre. I hadn’t asked her what the cause was, but when I got there I was delighted to learn it was the Jazz Foundation. It turned out to be one of the most exciting musical nights of my life.

The group provides for jazz musicians who are in need. One told the story about how during Sandy, his Manhattan neighborhood was cut off from everything — no electricity, no food, no stores. He walked several miles to find a piece of chicken. But a day later, there was a knock on his door and there stood the director of the Jazz Foundation with two roast chickens! It was a small but profoundly personal approach to helping.

Between the spellbinding performances there were bold-face names: Danny Glover, Samuel L. Jackson and former Time Warner CEO Richard Parsons, who helped recognize the main honoree of the night, Quincy Jones.

I sat in the second row of the overflowing theatre and was in awe to hear and see “Q,” as he is called, talk about his rise to stardom and the power of the group everyone was there to support. What a night!

But it was bittersweet, since my husband Stu, who loved jazz so much and would have been thrilled to be in the audience, was not there to share it.

Then to cap off the week my remarkable star, Morgan Sohmer, my daughter Samantha’s daughter, turned four. To celebrate, there was a non-stop party at a gymnastics center. It was the gathering of our little clan: big boy Blake, darlings Jonah and Addison and little smiley Hudson with their parents watching in awe the energy of those almost 50 four-year-olds tumbling and jumping. What a sight! They lit up the space.

What a day, what a week! So much to celebrate and be grateful for…