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Published: Thursday, 10/5/2006

Jazzmen to headline benefit in Maumee

BY TOM HENRY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Several high-profile jazz musicians are playing a benefit Sunday for the Wright family in the Maumee Indoor Theater.

Performers include Jon Hendricks, Sean Jones, Marcus Belgrave, Donald Walden, Claude Black, Marion Haydon, and Vincent Chandler.

The 6 p.m. show is a fund-raiser for the family of Toledo jazz drummer Andre Wright, whose baby girl, KaLailah Jazz Wright, is being treated for a heart defect at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital on the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor.

Born April 21, KaLailah was hospitalized two months ago with Tetralogy of Fallot, an obstruction and defect found in about one of every 2,000 babies. It reduces blood flow to the lungs and mixes blood from both sides of the heart, causing a loss of oxygen in the blood, resulting in blue-tinged skin. With early diagnosis, the disorder is treatable.

"I was overwhelmed these guys would come here and support me," Wright said. "Thank you is just not enough."

Jones is one of the rising stars on the national jazz scene. The 27-year-old trumpeter from Warren, Ohio, has played with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. So has veteran Detroit trumpter Belgrave, who toured with Ray Charles during the 1950s.

Saxophonist Walden is founder of the Detroit Jazz Orchestra. And Toledoan Hendricks is the father of vocalese and one of the world's foremost jazz singers.

Hendricks said the benefit reminds him of the unwritten "laws of show business" he learned during the waning days of vaudeville, when he was 10 and in the early stages of his career: Performers help each other in times of need.

"You do what you can to help out, because it could be you someday," said Hendricks, now 85 and a distinguished professor of jazz studies at the University of Toledo.

The West Toledo home of Wright and his wife, Faye, was burglarized last weekend. Losses totaled nearly $9,000, according to Toledo police.

The ordeal has taught Wright to be more compassionate, trust his instincts, and not take anything for granted. "Learn to walk in your faith," he said.

An Evening of Jazz with Sean Jones and Donald Walden takes place at 6 p.m. Sunday in the Maumee Indoor Theater, 601 Conant St. Tickets, $20 apiece or $30 per couple, are available at the theater box office or by calling Regina Mosley at 419-699-5581. Proceeds will go to the Little Helping Hands for KaLailah Fund. Other contributions, payable to the fund, are being taken by KeyBank.

Contact Tom Henry at:

thenry@theblade.com

or 419-724-6079.



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