John Legend to play at Jazz on the Pond | Arts & Culture
Rochesterians have jazz on their minds. The Xerox Rochester International Jazz Fest kicks off tonight and a more intimate event exactly one month from now. That's when one family in Greece turns their backyard into a full fledged concert venue. For the Belascos -- it's a real family affair.
In one month, nature's sounds on Cranberry Pond in Greece will be replaced with nine-time Grammy winner John Legend who will be firing up the crowd in the Belasco family backyard.
Right now, David Belasco and his sister, Jackie Stone, are knee deep in preparation. This is the sixth year for Jazz on the Pond – a littler fundraiser they host to provide scholarships for Eastman School of Music students.
Their backyard will be transformed to host a massive stage for the artists and 650 people who're coming to hear some great music.
They've had Chaka Khan, Jeffrey Osborne, Phillip Bailey, Everett Harpe and headlining this year – John Legend.
The Belascos started Jazz on the Pond in part as a tribute to their mother who loved music. The fundraiser is their way of giving back to their community. Last year they raised $50,000 in scholarships for Eastman students.
“I personally believe every one deserves a shot at a good education. It doesn’t matter where you’re from or who your parents are everyone should get that chance.”
Belaso says John Legend is an advocate for education too. He's agreed to perform in their backyard at a very generous rate -- so as a gesture of their appreciation? “We're sending some of the proceeds to his charity “The Show Me” campaign for education”
It's four weeks to Jazz on the Pond day. There is a lot of work to do but the Belascos make it a real family affair. “We get together and do this as a family and everything from the food to the driving to the musicians – everything is done by family.”
With John Legend, trumpeter Rick Braun, Everett Harpe on sax and the Eastman Music students – get ready for a real change of scenery on Cranberry Pond.
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