Jazz it Up 2017
Our third annual Jazz It Up! took place on Wednesday, April 26, at Bernunzio Uptown Music. This year, we honored School of the Arts student Keoni Smith with our REF 2017 Musical Instrument Award. Keoni received a C Trumpet from REF's Spring for Music Opportunities program. He thanked REF, his family, high school colleagues, and teachers for their support, saying he couldn't be the musician he is today without them. He will be taking his new trumpet to the renowned Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam in the fall.
As part of Jazz It Up!, a capacity-crowd at Bernunzio's enjoyed musical performances by The Department, a rotating group of city school educators, the Grammy-nominated Jimmie Highsmith, Jr. and his accompanist Tony Hiler, and last year's REF Musical Instrument Award winner, bassoonist Aliciana LoTemple, and her teacher, Blaire Koerner. Thank you to these wonderful musicians who donated their time for our cause - music opportunities for city kids.
We also thank John Bernunzio and Julie Schnepf from Bernunzio's who hosted the event at their amazing store in Rochester's East End District.
The donation of this instrument is made possible by Nannette Nocon and Karl Wessendorf, the Arts in Education Fund of Rochester Area Community Foundation, the Ruth M. Knight Foundation, and other donors to REF's Spring for Music Opportunities program.
Proceeds from this event support summer music lessons for city students and REF's other music programs.
REF 2017 Musical Instrument Award Winner Keoni Smith (seated) was presented with a new C Trumpet by donors Karl Wessendorf and Nannette Nocon and REF Executive Director Pat Braus.