WESTPORT — The 2018 roster of master musicians for the "Stay In the Night" Armsted R. Christian Scholarship Jazz Fundraiser, Sunday, April 29, 3 to 7 p.m., at White's of Westport, is once again a who’s who of prominent jazz musicians. What's more, the organizers expect to reach the $50,000 endowment goal by the end of the year.
"Armsted brought so much of his versatile talent to the profession that those who knew him, loved him and played with him over the years want to still have that connection to him," organizers said in a news release.
Added to this year's roster is Rebecca Parris, Boston's first lady of jazz. Also performing is Gabrielle Goodman who toured for many years with Chaka Khan, Roberta Flack and Anita Baker, and was the writer of one of Chaka Khan’s hits. From Atlanta, one of the two musical directors, Morris Pleasure is a master musician. He also was the musical director of Janet Jackson, Earth Wind & Fire, and was to be on Michael Jackson’s This is It Tour.
Christian, a SouthCoast resident, musician and professor at Berklee College of Music, died in January 2016. “His family and friends thought one of the best ways to honor his legacy was to establish the Armsted R. Christian Endowment Scholarship at Berklee College of Music,” organizers said.
They went on to note that this is the fourth musical event sponsored by the Scholarship Committee in two years. "The event is more than a fundraiser. It is keeping in the tradition of what Armsted gave to his audiences throughout his musical career. The versatility of the music and the spirituality that comes across in the connection of the artist with the audience is what made Armsted Christian a special performer," organizers said.
"There is no doubt Armsted’s aura is in the midst with every event. It is a musical high that is heaven-sent. Collectively, all of these musicians have written songs for, recorded with and shared the stage with some of the best in the industry. Most are master musicians, some teaching master classes. We in SouthCoast will experience a musical journey that can go any and every way."
With each event the committee is moving closer to the goal and said it is thankful to the growing list of supporters of the music and the cause. The scholarship will enable Armsted to still help students to stay in school as many struggle with high tuition fees, the committee said.
Tickets are $45 and can be purchased at Symphony Music in Dartmouth. Checks should be made out to the Armsted R. Christian Scholarship Fund.