Arts & Entertainment

Jazz and Soul Night at the Jazz Forum to Benefit Community Voices Heard

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by Lisa Genn – 

For the second year in a row, on Thursday, January 30 from 7 to 10 p.m., Tarrytown’s Jazz Forum will be opening its doors for a special event—a fundraising jazz and soul concert to benefit Community Voices Heard (CVH).

CVH is a grassroots member-led, multi-racial organization principally comprised of women of color and low-income families in the lower and mid-Hudson Valley and New York City. CVH tackles tough issues and seeks to secure racial, social and economic justice for all New Yorkers. Through grassroots organizing, leadership development, policy changes, and creating new models of direct democracy, CVH is working to create a truly equitable New York State.

This past year, CVH celebrated 25 years of member-leaders fighting for an equitable society. The Westchester chapter played a significant role in encouraging the first County Housing Needs Assessment in over a decade, which was released late last year.

In addition to food and drink, this year’s Jazz and Soul Night will once again feature performances by Harlem’s favorite soul singer and three-time winner of Live at the Apollo, James “Petawane” Burris.

Last year’s Jazz and Soul Night brought the house down, drawing guests from places near and far for a night of amazing music, delicious food, joyful dancing, and heartfelt community building. “Despite frigid weather, people came from Yonkers, New Rochelle, New York City, Portchester, Ossining, Goldens Bridge, Irvington, White Plains, Tarrytown, and Sleepy Hollow to support Community Voices Heard,” recalled Peter Bernstein, a Jazz and Soul Night organizer and CVH Board Member.

The evening included food from Ossining’s Cravin Jamaican Cuisine, piano jazz by Maria Caputo and an inspiring performance by Soul and R&B master Petawane, who got the crowd up on the dance floor. “The folks in the room were moved by Petawane sharing his story of homelessness, underlining why the fight for affordable housing is critical,” said Bernstein. “We exceeded our fundraising goal and the event was so successful, we are excited to do it again.”

Joining Bernstein in hosting Jazz and Soul Night this year are Omar Herrera (Ossining CVH member/leader and former Ossining Village Trustee), Farihah Akhtar (CVH Westchester Organizer), Tarrytown resident Josh Kellerman, and Irvington residents Sarah Cox (Irvington Activist Leader) and Paula Romanow Etzel (Co-Chair of the Irvington Democratic Committee). The host committee is working closely with Ellen Prior, General Manager of the Jazz Forum, to ensure that this year’s event is another great success.

There is an early bird special ticket price of $125 until January 10. After that, tickets are $150 each. There are also sponsorship packages at the $500, $1,000 and $2,500 levels. The $2,500 Jazz Legend sponsorship package includes six tickets to the event plus six tickets to a Friday/Saturday Jazz Forum concert, and a one week stay at an Ecuador Mountain vacation home on the grounds of a renowned eco-lodge. (Food and airfare not included; some shows excluded.)

For those unable to attend, contributions can be used to sponsor CVH member-leaders who may otherwise be unable to afford the ticket price. To become a sponsor or purchase tickets, please visit: For questions about Jazz and Soul Night at the Jazz Forum or the work of Community Voices Heard, please contact or call 914-314-2018.

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