The Bartlett Contemporaries band kicked off their 50th year in music with a “Weekend to Remember.” The festive three-day event co-sponsored by The Thomas White Jr. Foundation, Greater Jamaica Development Corporation, Great Women In Music and York College was held in Queens, NY and ran Sept. 11-13, 2015. This stellar occasion, was also an inaugural fundraiser that celebrated the Bartlett’s new foundation, which will benefit students, seniors, and veterans with a mission to “Enrichment Through the Power of Music.”
Sept.11, was the opening night with a “Meet and Greet” held at “The Proper’ (Cambria Heights, NY), and on Sept. 12, a Black Tie, VIP, reception and Concert was held at York College which was hosted by WBLS FM personality Lenny Green. The night featured delicious island food from Golden Krust, Caribbean Bakery & Grill, (234th St. Cambria Heights, NY) their well-seasoned, mouth- watering jerked, curry and brown stewed, chicken saluted the Bartlett’s Caribbean heritage and kept their guests coming back for more, many thanks to Omar Hawthorne (CFE of Golden Krust) for securing such a tasty sponsorship for the foundation, gala night!
As the well-dressed audience continued to file in they were also seduced by food from “Applebee’s” (Valley Stream) with a menu that featured savory bar-b-queued, boneless chicken, mixed green salads and scrumptious mozzarella sticks all beautifully served by store manager Lindsey McKinney-Prupis and her super fab assistant, Tamika Harper and then there was even more great food from Sangria-Tapas Restaurant (Jamaica. NY.) Black Opal Cosmetics and Precious Beauty Supply- sponsored the gala VIP gift bags.
The honorary hosts and special guests for the evening included Bill McCreary, Bernard White, Marcia Keizs (President ,York College), former City Council Deputy Speaker Archie Spigner, Dr. Kenneth Saunders (President of Nassau Community) and percussionist Stevie Croon. Councilman I. Daneek Miller received proclamations from various noted elected officials in a list of names that included Congressmen Gregory Meeks and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz! It was a well- coordinated night, wrapped in a tightly woven satin bow by event planner Philippa L. Karteron – president & CEO of Galleria Noire.
In a night that was entitled “From Basie to Beyonce” the concert starred the Bartlett Contemporaries band with their “Next Generation Sound” the entertainment portion of the evening was led by Charles Bartlett who rocked the audience with music from big band swing (featuring a 16 piece orchestra) to a soulful, retro funk (featuring five or six pieces). The various segments presented such well known, talented musicians as bassist Jerry Brooks, vocalist Deborah Evens & Stephanie Jeannot and saxophonist Carl Bartlett Jr.
The “Weekend To Remember” closed on Sunday, Sept.13, with a Jazz-Brunch-Jam (co-sponsored by Amor Cubano, Mannas Soul Food Harlem, The Restaurant 147, and Liquor & Wine Warehouse, 174th St., Bronx NY) at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center. The joint was jumpin’ with vocalists, Lil Phillips, Claudette Morgan and actress Bea Montgomery from the Jazz Musical SS NIRVANA that will open October, 2015 at Minton’s Play House in NYC.