Everything you need to know about Thursday night’s Legends of … Tribute to George Duke concert
What do Michael Jackson, Barry Manilow, Frank Zappa and Stanley Clarke have in common? Each of these musicians collaborated with George Duke, the legendary jazz artist, producer and educator who died this past August after a career that spanned 40 years and many genres. Expect deeply personal performances: each of the artists, Kirk Whalum, Lalah Hathaway and Jonathan Butler, had a relationship with Duke.
The tribute concert supports the Auntie Karen Foundation, which Karen Alexander founded in 2001 to empower, enlighten and educate children through the arts. “The original idea was to start a business, but the needs were so great that I ended up creating a foundation instead,” Alexander said. “We estimate that 2,000 children have been served by the Foundation’s programs. The Legends Of … Concert Series pays tribute to the contributions African American music has made to history. In addition to performing, the artists hold a master class for area students the day before the concert. It’s a big deal for the kids to learn from successful artists like Gladys Knight, Roberta Flack and Al Jarreau.”
“Kirk was Whitney Houston’s music director and performed that famous sax solo on “I Will Always Love You,” Alexander said. “Donny Hathaway’s daughter Lalah Hathaway just won her first Grammy and Jonathan Butler, a South African musician who has been nominated for several Grammys. They bring a world of talent to Columbia.”