(Article republished with permission from Broadway World) 2015 Sing for Hope Gala Featured Performer Jon Batiste photographed at a Sing for Hope Piano in Times Square Jon Batiste, the newly appointed 28-year-old musical director of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert is a New Orleans-bred, Juilliard-trained, fully irresistible musical force. Regularly sharing his artistry in concert halls around the world, Jon is also known for his spontaneous performances in subways, parks, and city streets. As Ben Ratliff of The New York Times asked earlier this week, “What kind of late-night talk-show bandleader is he going to be? What does it mean that a jazz pianist from Kenner, La., just outside of New Orleans, is running one of the most visible musical platforms in the country?” Supporters of Sing for Hope will soon have a chance to find out. On Monday, October 26, at TriBeCa Rooftop, the New York City-based “arts peace corps” organization will produce its ninth annual Sing for Hope Gala in support of its arts outreach programs for communities in need. Co-Chaired by Sing for Hope champions RenĂ©e Fleming, Ann Ziff, Margie Loeb, and Muhammad Yunus, with Vice-Chairs The Arnhold Family, the gala will feature Mr. Batiste in an intimate performance, along with some exciting surprise musical guests. Mr. Batiste’s performance at TriBeCa Rooftop is motivated by his belief in Sing for Hope’s “art for all” programs, which range from after-school arts classes for at-risk youth to hospital performances to the Sing for Hope Pianos that appear each summer in the city’s parks and public spaces.

In Batiste’s words, “Art is a language that connects us all, and Sing for Hope’s arts outreach programs make sure that everybody – our school kids, our elders, our vets, everybody – gets invited in.” The four cultural leaders co-chairing the gala this year are all dedicated board members of Sing for Hope. Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus says of the organization of which he was a founding board member, “I believe we have a responsibility and a built-in urge to use our talents and innate gifts to help improve the lives of those less fortunate. Sing for Hope Volunteer Artists do this every day — from a hospital room in Hell’s Kitchen, to an after-school program in the South Bronx, to The Sing for Hope Pianos on our city streets. I am inspired by this work and proud to be a part of an organization that transforms the lives of under-served New Yorkers on a daily basis.” 2015 Sing for Hope Gala Co-Chair & ,The People’s Diva RenĂ©e Fleming Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and 2015 Sing for Hope Gala Co-Chair Muhammad Yunus 2015 Sing for Hope Gala Co-Chair Ann Ziff 2015 Sing for Hope Development Committee Chair and Gala Co-Chair Margie Loeb Dr. Yunus’ fellow Gala Co-Chairs and board members — Ann Ziff, Margie Loeb, and RenĂ©e Fleming — are equally passionate about the organization’s arts outreach mission. Their ongoing generosity and commitment has helped to ensure that under-resourced New Yorkers have access to the uplifting power of the arts on a daily basis. Furthermore, Ms. Ziff and the event Vice-Chairs, The Arnhold Family, joined in 2013 with Marina Kellen French and the The Anna-Maria & Stephen Kellen Foundation to form Sing for Hope’s Founders’ Circle — a key pillar of the organization’s ability to bring arts outreach to thousands more individuals and communities in need. Another generous multi-year supporter of Sing for Hope is Steinway & Sons, which returns this year as a gala sponsor.
Excitingly, Mr. Batiste, already an official “Steinway Artist,” will play a special concert grand piano on loan from the company. In the words of Sing for Hope Co-Founders Camille Zamora and Monica Yunus, “We are thrilled once again to have the generous support of Steinway & Sons. From our student days at Juilliard onward, we’ve always felt (like all musicians!) that Steinway is the piano you dream of having at your fingertips. In light of our commitment to the public Sing for Hope Pianos across the five boroughs, Steinway’s generosity means the world to us. Furthermore, a personal donation made this year to Sing for Hope by Steinway owner John Paulson makes the support particularly meaningful.” 2015 Sing for Hope Gala Honoree Eva Haller The 2015 Sing for Hope Gala Honoree is Eva Haller, the beloved Chair Emeritus of Sing for Hope. Eva helped to establish the organization in 2006, and has remained one of its most impassioned supporters. When asked about her reason for supporting Sing for Hope, Haller speaks eloquently of how access to music in post-war Hungary allowed her to “feel human” once again, and how important it is “to ensure creative arts opportunities for individuals and communities who are working to uplift themselves and to heal.” Other Sing for Hope friends lending their support as part of the host committee include Arianna Huffington, Diana & Joel Peterson, Joan & Barry Tucker, Shelley & Donald Rubin, Deborah & Craig Cogut, Monica Winsor & Josh Mailman, Kim Brizzolara, Dr. William Isacoff, Joshua Cohen, Peter Culver, Mark Epstein, Peter Goldmark, Susie Hovsepian, Elizabeth Sarquis, Cynthia Vance & Bob Abrams, Polly & Mike Brandmeyer, and Elias & Sarah Roman. Furthermore, in addition to the Sing for Hope board members Ms. Fleming, Ms. Loeb, Ms. Ziff, and Dr. Yunus serving as Co-Chairs, other board members committed to the event’s success include Plácido Domingo, Andrea Bocelli, Jeffrey Chertoff, Valerie Demont, Flavia Gale, Annabelle Garrett, Linda E. Johnson, Andrea Jung, Lilia Marini-Calves, Board Chair David Miller, Roland Scahill, Cara Smyth, Kara Unterberg, Billy Weisman, and Damian Woetzel. A limited number of tickets and tables are still available at GALA.SINGFORHOPE.ORG. We hope to have you with us for this exciting, one-night-only event!