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Beth Israel Medical Center's Louis Armstrong Center for Music & Medicine "What a Wonderful World" Awards

2 October 2009

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Honoree Jon Faddis and members of the Broadway cast of “Chicago” performed for an enthusiastic audience at the fourth annual What a Wonderful World Awards program at Beth Israel Medical Center’s Nerken Family Atrium on Tuesday, September 22nd. In addition to honoring celebrated jazz trumpeter, composer and educator Faddis, the Louis Armstrong Center for Music & Medicine also recognized and presented etched crystal globes to his 2009 co-honorees – renowned pain medicine specialist Russell Portenoy, MD and pianist Michael Kingon. “We were honored to have dancer/choreographer Mercedes Ellington as our mistress of ceremonies, and to hear the rousing songs by the Broadway cast of musical hit Chicago,” said Joanne Loewy, DA, MT-BC, LCAT, Director of the Louis Armstrong Center. “We were thrilled to hear three trumpeters Max Darché, Bruce Harris and Kyla Moscovich.” Broadway stars Nicole Bridgewater and Melissa Ray Mahon sang “My Own Best Friend,” and Kecia Lewis-Evans raised the roof with “When You’re Good to Mama.” The young trumpeters, accompanied by pianist David Hazeltine, paid tribute to their teacher/mentor and event honoree, Jon Faddis, with the Louis Armstrong signature piece, “West End Blues.”


Dr. Portenoy is Chairman and Gerald J. Friedman Chair of Beth Israel’s Department of Pain Medicine and Palliative Care. He is Chief Medical Officer of Continuum Hospice Care/The Jacob Perlow Hospice and Professor of Neurology and Anesthesiology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Portenoy was honored for his embrace of music therapy as a component of treatment and healing process. Faddis, who has been an avid supporter of the work of the Louis Armstrong Center, was praised as a consummate musician, conductor, composer and educator by Robert O’Meally, PhD, Professor and Founder, the Center for Jazz Studies, Columbia University. Mr. Faddis has earned his international reputation for commanding one of the broadest dynamic ranges on the trumpet, as a lead player, and for his commitment to education. Mr. Kingon is a musical prodigy who began playing the piano at age 3. He has performed professionally since graduating from the Manhattan School of Music in 1989. He is celebrating 20 years of association with the Alvin Ailey School as Faculty Musician and an accompanist with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. He is benefiting from the services provided by the Louis Armstrong Center. In tribute to the 110th birthday of jazz great Duke Ellington, Mr. Kingon played “Reflections in D,” and emcee Mercedes Ellington, Duke’s granddaughter, along with dancers Michael Choi and Kent Drake, co-choreographed and performed a dance to the tune of “Sophisticated Ladies.” The Louis Armstrong Center for Music & Medicine is located at Beth Israel’s Phillips Ambulatory Care Center, 10 Union Square East, between 14th and 15th Streets in Manhattan. Established in 2005, it was an expansion of the work that began 15 years ago as the Louis and Lucille Armstrong Music Therapy Program at Beth Israel. It was made possible by a generous gift from the David B. Kriser Foundation and through the estate of John H. Slade, directed to Beth Israel by hospital trustee, the late Richard Netter, and with additional support from the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation.


For more information about the programs and services offered by the Louis Armstrong Center for Music & Medicine, please call 212-420-2704 or check out its website at

Photo captions:

1) 2009 “What A Wonderful World” Award recipients (L-R): Harris Nagler, MD, Beth Israel Interim President; Joanne Loewy, DA, Director, Louis Armstrong Center; honorees Russell Portenoy, MD, Jon Faddis and Michael Kingon; Stephan Quentzel, MD, Medical Director, Louis Armstrong Center; Mercedes Ellington, dancer/choreographer; and Prof. Robert O’Meally, Founder, Center for Jazz Studies, Columbia University

2) “What A Wonderful World” 2009 awardee Jon Faddis stands behind trumpeters (L-R): Bruce Harris, Kyla Moscovich and Maxilmilien “Max” Darché who paid tribute to their teacher and mentor with “West End Blues,” a Louis Armstrong signature piece that made jazz history.

3) (L-R): Students Max Darché and Brian Harris; Prof. Robert O’Meally, Founder, Center for Jazz Studies, Columbia University; Phoebe Jacobs, Executive Vice President, Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation; Faddis; student Kyla Moscovich, winner of ITG March 2009 Young Artists Award; and Joanne Loewy, DA, Director, Beth Israel Medical Center’s Louis Armstrong Center for Music & Medicine.,

Source: Carol Rubiano, Rubiano and Associates

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