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Published: 2012/05/18

Bono Joins Dr. John, Steven Bernstein, Rebirth Brass Band, Bettye LaVette and More for A Great Night in Harlem

Photos by Dino Perrucci

Dr. John, David Johansen, Rebirth Brass Band, Bono, Macy Gray, The Swell Season’s Glen Hansard, Bettye LaVette, The Treme Brass Band, Sweet Georgia Brown and comedian Darrell Hammond shared the stage at New York’s legendary Apollo Theater last night. The all-star performance was the 11th annual A Great Night in Harlem, an event named after the famed a Great Day in Harlem photo that benefits the Jazz Foundation of America (an organization that supports aging jazz musicians). Trumpeter Steven Bernstein, who leads Sex Mob and performed in Levon Helm’s band, served as the evening’s musical director and performed with a number of the evening’s acts, including surprise guest Bono.

The U2 frontman—whose investment group Elevation Partners made 1.5 billion when Facebook went public earlier today thanks to a 2.3 percent stake in the company—emerged for a take on “Angel of Harlem” (Bono has championed Glen Hansard recently and even performed with The Swell Season frontman at New York’s tiny Living Room recently). The evening also included tributes to Etta James, Donna Summer and even Levon Helm. For his part, Dr. John performed “Motherless Child” while Hammond impersonated Al Sharpton. In true New Orleans fashion, the members of Rebirth Brass Band and The Treme Brass Band also helped open the evening by marching through the crowd and onto the world famous stage.

Comments

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Grey May 18, 2012, 15:49:05

Some of you may love Bono, some may not….no matter ones personal opinion — it is undeniable that the man brings some serious juice to whatever cause he chooses to champion. The guy is among the few who have actually made the decision to apply his Pop status for the good. With the ears of the people as well as the politicians, Bono is in distinct position. A position from which change can emanate. A fact that didn’t get past President Obama. Obama met with Bono very early into his presidency to discus harnessing new technology to empower activists and entrepreneurs across Africa. Music has no cultural barriers and is possibly the most enriching element of humanity. Yet finical instability is part of the musicians job description and it is a career typically forged with great sacrifice. Musicians must move forward despite knowing their future may never be secure. A musician does not have the option to choose their career —> music is imbedded within the DNA of a musician, tied to the fabric of their existence. “Musician” is more of a personality trait than a job title. I know this has become a rant but my point is that its a shame that anyone must accept that in order to be themselves a musician has to accept a career that offers more tumult than ability to plan a future never mind insurance benefits and 401k. But I digress. I’ve said all that to say this : A Great Night in Harlem is an important foundation and its refreshing to see someone using their fame for something more than themselves. His private motives are irrelevant, Bono has cultivated his ‘PopPower’ and uses it for the greater good, all of us can learn from his example especially Big Hollywood.

Action Jackson May 18, 2012, 18:37:27

Amen!! Go Bono Go!

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