Lunch and Concert to Benefit


By Regina Kravitz, roaming reporter

The sun finally came out on the East End this past Sunday and delivered a near perfect afternoon for the fifth annual “Jazz for Jennings” lunch and concert to benefit THE BRIDGEHAMPTON CHILD CARE & RECREATIONAL CENTER. This event at the Watermill Center raises critical funds to support the BCCRC educational, recreational and enrichment programs for children of working-class Hampton families.

For many years, it was hosted by the late news broadcaster Peter Jennings and his wife Kayce Freed Jennings at their Southampton home as an outreach of the Jennings” support and commitment to the local community.

A vital part of life for many working Hampton families, The Center’s programs range from outreach to the very young to aiding in college admissions. Unbelievably, celebrating its 65th year operating out of its original location on a field is happily breaking ground in 2020 for a brand new, modern facility to serve the fast-growing community of the East End.

Born out of the tragic death of two children of seasonal workers in 1949, the offspring of many generations flourish and excel in The Center’s varied programs.

Kayce Freed Jennings opened the afternoon on stage and then introduced a spirited group of young ladies who enthusiastically showed off their hand made “Affirmation Dolls” representing such character and self-confidence building ideas as “I Am Loved”, “I Am Intelligent”, “I Am Strong”.

Bonnie Michelle Canon, Executive Director of The Center, also addressed the audience. Bonnie is the first African-American woman to be elected to the Southampton Board of Trustees and serves on the Suffolk County Human Rights Commission among many other venues.

Sunday’s jazz luminary lineup was a full-on afternoon of jam. Drummer/Bandleader Evan Sherman, a young super star, rocked the day featuring Ku-umba Frank Lacy trombonist/vocalist who call their collaboration “a new dance-music cultural phenomenon, revisiting the old school”. Sherman’s 16 piece “Evan Sherman Big Band” has been the house band for Dizzy’s Jazz Club late night parties for many years.

A memorable and special day was shared by all for a dynamic cause. Rock on!!