Jazz for Jennings Is Sweet Music for Bridgehampton Child Care Center

John Ludlow, a local up-and-coming musician, second from left, was invited to join the jazz greats onstage for a song on Sunday. Deb McEneaney

Jazz for Jennings, a music and brunch fund-raiser held Sunday for the Bridgehampton Child Care and Recreational Center that honored the late Peter Jennings, generated more than $150,000, the center announced Thursday.

"It was a really nice, heartwarming event," Bonnie Michelle Cannon, the center's executive director, said by phone Thursday. "Everyone seemed genuinely sincere. It wasn't just come and listen to jazz. It was, 'We want to learn about the center and we're here to support you.' "

Jazz for Jennings is the reincarnation of Jazz at Jennings, held for many years at the Bridgehampton home of Mr. Jennings and his wife, Kayce Freed Jennings. Last summer, around the 10th anniversary of Mr. Jennings's death, the fund-raiser was brought back to fill the gap in funding created when Jazz at Jennings ended.

On Sunday, close to 200 people came together at the Watermill Center to listen to several jazz greats perform together, including Jon Faddis, the bandleader, on trumpet, along with Cyrus Chestnut on piano, Carl Allen on drums, Dan Rose on guitar, Ada Rovatti on tenor sax, Randy Brecker on trumpet, Kiyoshi Kitagawa on bass, and Steve Turre on trombone. They all donated their time and talents for the cause. John Ludlow, an up-and-coming local musician, joined them onstage for their final song.

As they arrived, the guests were greeted by several students from the center's programs. Carl Johnson, the Bridgehampton High School boys basketball coach and alumnus of the Bridgehampton Child Care and Recreational Center, praised the center during a speech, attributing his success as an adult to his time there. Ms. Cannon said she even recruited a new volunteer tutor during the event.

The Jazz for Jennings proceeds this year represent about half of the $300,000 the center needs annually to maintain its current programs and services. In a news release, the center said some of the money will support the after-school program, expand the music program and college preparatory program, and upgrade the basketball court.

"It was a great event, definitely a great success," Ms. Cannon said.
 

Children from the center's programs, including, from left, Pearl, Samantha, Mikail, Carlos, and Alanna, served as greeters at Jazz for Jennings on Sunday.Leslie Sokolow