Sold-out ‘Jazz at Palms Court’ event to support Venice Community Housing
By Michael Aushenker
Once again, as it has for more than two decades, “Jazz at Palms Court,” benefiting the Venice Community Housing Corporation (VCHC), will swing on Sunday, Sept. 15. The champagne brunch, scheduled from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Palms Court apartments in Venice, will mark the 21st such fundraiser.
And organizers say the event has been so successful that this year may prove to be the last year that “Jazz at Palms Court” is held at the Palms Court.
Already sold out, the event will offer a gourmet brunch at the location’s garden courtyard along with a silent auction. This year’s entertainment will come courtesy of contemporary jazz band House of Games, a seasoned L.A. outfit that has performed at jazz clubs and art festivals since 1990. Between them, members Scott Hiltzik (piano/keyboards), Brad Rabuchin (guitar), Dave Tull (drums), and Chris Colangelo (bass) have performed with musicians from Quincy Jones and Ray Charles to Chuck Mangione, Thad Jones, and Yusef Lateef.
Each year, this event has single-handedly contributed some $50-60,000 to the housing corporation, which works to provide permanent, affordable housing to low-income people in and around Venice. Services include an after-school program, a science club aimed at youth ages 8-14, and YouthBuild, which offers an array of job skills classes, career guidance, work experience, and individualized high school instruction. Among YouthBuild’s targets are gang members seeking to turn their lives around.
“Virtually none of them have a high school diploma,” Steve Clare, one of the founders of the housing corporation 25 years ago, said of the latter.
Clare, who created the “Jazz at Palms Court” event 21 years ago, told The Argonaut that selling out the event once again, as it has in the last two years, is a good problem to have. He expressed his appreciation for the some 40 organizers and volunteers behind the scenes as well as the people who have already made the benefit a success.
He added that most likely, this will be the last “Jazz at Palms Court” held at the Palms Court location; it appears that the event has outgrown its site and a new location for this event is being discussed for next year.
“It’s an opportunity for supporters of recovery to get together, not only for a wonderful program but for the camaraderie of the day,” he said.