All that jazz (and rock): Sonny Rollins, Keith Richards featured guests at jazz benefit

By , on October 23, 2015


(Photo from Wikipedia/Bengt Nyman)
(Photo from Wikipedia/Bengt Nyman)

NEW YORK—Keith Richards has saluted vocalist Merry Clayton of “Gimme Shelter” fame and an all-star gathering of jazz musicians has paid tribute to saxophonist Sonny Rollins on the Apollo Theater’s stage. It was part of the Jazz Foundation of America’s 14th annual benefit gala, “A Great Night in Harlem.”

The 85-year-old Rollins spoke, but didn’t play, Thursday night as he received the foundation’s lifetime achievement prize.

Clayton, one of the top backup singers of the 1960s and ’70s, appeared only by video. She’s recovering from a 2014 auto accident in which she lost both her legs. Clayton was the first recipient of the Clark & Gwen Terry Courage Award.

The foundation provides a wide range of support for jazz musicians, from rent money to medical care.