2011 Jazz Tribute Awards Concert

The 28th annual Jazz Tribute Awards Concert will honor jazz greats Arturo Sandoval, Jeff Clayton, Monica Mancini, rising talent Max Lesser and jazz educator Ira Nepus. Fluent in at least four musical languages, Sandoval can burn through an Afro-Cuban groove, tear up a bebop tune, soar over a Mozart concerto and sooth you with a luscious ballad, all with equal power and grace. All honorees will perform live during the tribute, so you can expect an evening of great jazz. The night will begin in our ballroom with cocktails and a silent auction, followed by dinner with concert and the awards to follow. It will be a night to remember for any Jazz enthusiast young or old.

We want to congratulate the award recipients and highlight their many accomplishments.

Arturo Sandoval was born in Cuba and granted political asylum in 1990 and citizenship in 1999. America is musically richer with him here. He was a founding member of the Grammy-Award-Winning group, Irakere. He has evolved into one of the world’s most acknowledged guardians of jazz trumpet and flugel horn. Over the years, he has worked with jazz greats such as Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Herman and Stan Getz as well as Frank Sinatra and Paul Anka. He has been awarded 4 Grammy awards, 6 Billboard Awards and an Emmy Award for an HBO movie based on his life.

Jeff Clayton is a well known and much-loved reed artist in the Los Angeles community and a co leader in the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. He has recorded with such well known artists as Stevie Wonder, Kenny Rogers, Michael Jackson, Patti Labelle and Madonna. He has performed live with some of the greats like Frank Sinatra, Lena Horne, Sammy Davis Jr. and Ella Fitzgerald. He received a Grammy Nomination in 2009 for Best Jazz Instrumental Album.

Ira Nepus was born into Jazz heritage by his father one of the founders of Hot Club of France in Paris during the thirties. With a Masters Degree in music and jazz studies, Ira has enjoyed several years of teaching. He has had the pleasure of performing with BB King, Elvis Costello, Elton John, and Quincy Jones to name a few.

Monica Mancini exudes the name that has been a hallmark of musical excellence for more than half a century. Daughter of Henry Mancini one of the preeminent composers of film music, Monica has become a musician in her own right. She has come a long way from her beginnings in Henry Mancini’s Chorus. Recording with artist like Michael Jackson and David Foster, for starters, earning two Grammy Nominations for her album, Ultimate Mancini, and her sold-out concert at Carnegie Hall has made her a pillar of the Jazz Community. She is excited about the release of her newest album, I’ve loved These Days.

Max lesser began with his love of the saxophone at the age of ten. He began playing through his school band, private lessons and Jazz Camps. He has really grown as a jazz musician and has collected an impressive number of awards along the way. In Middle school he was awarded the Outstanding Individual Player at the Heritage Music Festival. This past year he was accepted into the Los Angeles Jazz Society Bill Green Mentorship Program. Currently a freshman at Los Angeles High School for the Performing Arts, he is thankful to have received the support form professional jazz musicians.

The Los Angeles Jazz Society is dedicated to promoting, preserving and perpetuating the American art form, JAZZ. Recognizing that the future of jazz rests in the hands of young musicians and jazz lovers, the Jazz Society has increased its focus on young people. The Jazz Society’s youth programs identify and nurture emerging jazz musicians and help to create future audiences by stimulating an appreciation for jazz. We are so honored to be the hotel they have chosen for their award ceremony.


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