Saturday, December 7, 2019 — LAMusArt’s Fifth Annual Winter Benefit filled Tamayo Restaurant with outstanding live performances that brought guests to their feet throughout the evening. Over 160 arts champions and community members came together at the East Los Angeles Tamayo Restaurant and Art Gallery in support of arts education.
Hosted by the LAMusArt Young Professionals Advisory Board for the fifth year in a row, the Winter Benefit began with an upbeat opening reception followed by a warm welcome from YPAB Chair Jumi Aluko and Executive Director Manny Prieto, recognizing guests for their presence and for their continued “bold commitment to the arts”. Aluko recognized sponsors who helped make the evening possible, Blueprint Studios, Gooby Pets, DunniWeddings, and Algenist.
“This year we celebrated the joys that come with placing over 700 children on a Creative Path to a Creative Future,” reported Prieto. “To keep students on that path, we give them every opportunity we can to perform and showcase their skills.” The LAMusArt Tuition-Free Choir performed a collection of arrangements, conducted by Lori Pasqualino and accompanied by the Jazz Ensemble with accompanist Brendan White. As a preview to “Female Voices”, our Winter Concert highlighting women trailblazers in music, twenty choir members impressively performed tunes by female songwriters like Sara Bareilles and Carole King followed by holiday classics from folk to pop, including the crowd-pleasing “All I Want for Christmas” featuring 13-year-old student soloist Cadiz Salazar.
YPAB members Kristen Oshiro and Joseph Yoon introduced the Jazz Ensemble and the feature performance for the evening, Celia Cruz’ “La Vida es un Carnaval” and “Tu Y Las Nubes” performed by the Jazz Ensemble and sweetened by the tight harmonies of sisters Azucena and Alejandra Ortega. Jazz Ensemble Director, Dr. Isaac Lopez, invited guests to join the dance floor and experience the music as it was written to enjoy.
LAMusArt’s Jazz Ensemble and Choir previewed a portion of their Winter Concert repertoire to showcase the caliber of the Tuition-Free Music Ensembles program, which includes the aforementioned Jazz and Choir Ensembles, the Mariachi Ensemble, String Ensembles and the only East LA Youth Orchestra. The program offers year-round instruction and mentoring in music at no cost to families during non-school hours starting at age 7. As a keystone program of LAMusArt, over 1200 children have enrolled over the last ten years and started on their Creative Path to a Creative Future. Proceeds for Winter Benefit allow these particular programs to thrive and develop.
As the evening continued, Aluko and 8 representatives from the YPAB partnered with choir members to announce winners of raffle items from our generous raffle sponsors. The evening closed with special announcements from
former YPAB-member and founder, Jasmine Ako who spoke of her experience establishing the board 5 years ago. “(Starting the YPAB) was particularly rewarding because I could champion an organization that uplifts children and gives them a platform for expression.” Joined by Executive Director, Manny Prieto, the event closed with a joyous display of support from guests.
LAMusArt would like to thank everyone in attendance at the 2019 Winter Benefit and everyone who contributed to its success. For more information on LAMusArt programs or to make a donation, please click here.
For tickets to the upcoming 2019 Winter Dance Recital or Winter Concert, please click here.
Visit our Facebook at @LAMusArt for more photos of the event:
Photography by CBGRPHY