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Denyce Graves and celebrity guests star in "A Jazz, Gospel
and Classical Spectacular," a concert at The Mann Center for
the Performing Arts in Philadelphia. The performance was recorded
by WHYY and will be produced into a 90-minute national television
Photo ©Nigel Parry / CPi
Soul diva Patti LaBelle join Denyce Graves for "A Jazz, Gospel
and Classical Spectacular,"a gala evening featuring some of
the best known jazz, gospel and classical music ever sung.
Photo by Keith Major
R&B vocal group and recent Grammy winners, Take 6, join
Denyce Graves for "A Jazz, Gospel and Classical Spectacular,"a
gala evening featuring some of the best known jazz, gospel
and classical music ever sung.
Photo by: Dennis Keeley
WHYY Press Room
this press release (MS Word document)
WHYY NATIONAL PRODUCTION FEATURES DENYCE GRAVES IN CONCERT AT THE MANN CENTER
Education material based on program available for schools
Denyce Graves and celebrity guests
star in "A Jazz, Gospel and Classical Spectacular," a concert
at The Mann Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia.
The performance was recorded by WHYY and will be produced into
a 90-minute national television special scheduled for broadcast
on PBS in March, 2004.
Soul diva Patti LaBelle
and popular R&B vocal group and recent Grammy winners, Take
6, join Graves and other special performers for a gala evening
featuring some of the best known jazz, gospel and classical
music ever sung.
This multimedia project
also calls for production of radio content, a DVD and a VHS
tape, a Web site and an educational experience for thousands
of school children in Philadelphia. WHYY offered the opportunity
for 2,000 people from underserved communities to obtain free
"Thanks to our partnership
with Denyce Graves and the Mann Center, we were able to create
a distinctive program that serves the diverse community in the
Philadelphia region and at the same time share this experience
with viewers across the country," said WHYY President and CEO
William J. Marrazzo. "In addition, at a time when many schools
have reduced music education programs, we are offering a valuable
music teaching experience."
WHYY worked with Dr.
Dennis Creedon of the School District of Philadelphia to develop
six "Learning Through Music" lesson plans, and presented workshops
for teachers. The teachers received "Teaching Through Music
Toolkits" containing jazz, classical and gospel music curriculum
material, and some 800 Philadelphia students attended concert
rehearsals. There are also plans to put the toolkits on the
Craig Hamilton, WHYY Executive Director of Development said, "Denyce Graves believes it is important to be a role model and to inspire young children. The opportunity to reach out to school children through this concert is just one of the benefits of producing this program."
Mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves is recognized
worldwide as one of today's most exciting vocal talents. Her
career has taken her to the world's great opera houses and concert
halls. She has become particularly well known to operatic audiences
for her portrayals of the title roles in Carmen and Samson et
Dalila. She also appears in a broad range of musical programs
with leading theaters in North America and Europe, and is a
much sought-after recitalist. Her recordings range from a performance
of Rigoletto with conductor James Levine and the Metropolitan
Orchestra to the recent release, "The Lost Days: Music in the
With support from
WHYY's Presenting Sponsor PNC Bank and other underwriters, WHYY
made available 2,000 free concert tickets through nonprofit
and community groups. "We waned to make this music accessible
to those who might not be able to afford concert tickets," notes
This is the second production shared by WHYY and The Mann Center. On September 16, 2001, The Mann Center, WHYY and The Philadelphia Orchestra jointly presented A TRIBUTE CONCERT for victims of 9/11, which was broadcast nationally on television and radio.
The Denyce Graves television program is produced by WHYY in partnership with Carmen Productions. Producers are Paul Gluck, Craig Hamilton and David Perry. The program is made possible by PNC Bank, The ARAMARK Charitable Fund, Peter Buttenwieser, The Philadelphia Tribune, Carmen Productions, Philadelphia Newspapers, Inc. and Terry Ann Marek and The Connelly Foundation.
WHYY is what a diverse community has in common. WHYY, through television, radio and other communications services, makes our region a better place, connecting each of us to the world's richest ideas and all of us to each other.