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Jazz concert benefitting at-risk students at Maranathan Academy set for Dec. 1

From left: Joey Sommerville; Donna Dukes, Maranathan Founder and Executive Director, and Grammy Award Winner Marion Meadows. (PROVIDED)
The Birmingham Times 

A virtual jazz concert is set for December 1 to honor jazz great Cleve Eaton and raise funds for Maranathan Family Learning Center & Academy, Inc. and several other area programs.

The concert begins at 6:45 p.m.

Jacquelyn’s Jewels 2020 is a celebration of humanitarianism, great jazz and education to benefit Maranathan, which provides scholarships; Project Nourishment, a food bank and Project Academic Safety, which provides personal protective equipment. 

The event, named after educator Jacquelyn Bates Dukes, will honor the late Cleve Eaton, an international jazz Legend and an Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame Inductee, who died in July.

Eaton toured with the likes of Count Basie, Billy Eckstein, Ella Fitzgerald, Herbie Hancock, Henry Mancini, Frank Sinatra and Sarah Vaughn. 

 “Jacquelyn’s Jewels 2020 makes it possible to enjoy some of the best jazz on the planet, support education, and save the lives of critically at-risk youth and adults, all from the comfort of your own home,” said Maranathan Founder and Executive Director Donna Dukes. “There is a $30,000 matching funds challenge attached to JJ 2020, and we’re prayerful that the community will support us.”

The event features Grammy Award winning artist Marion Meadows and jazz artist Joey Sommerville and will be filmed at Alys Stephens Center in the Jemison Theater with Art Franklin, News Anchor, CBS 42 as Emcee.

Maranathan Academy is a nonprofit school on Birmingham’s Southside specializing in critically at – risk youth. Its primary goal is to break the cycle of government dependency that has plagued the critically at – risk populace for generations. Although originally founded solely for educating expelled students and youth in the juvenile court system, the Maranathan student body now includes bullying victims and other youth who have experienced traumatic life events (sexual assault, parental neglect/abandonment).

For more visit www.maranathanacademy.com