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April 9th, 2009 by Temple City Tribune
With wine, champagne and dinner provided by philanthropists S. Robert and Denise Zeilstra, Red White and Bluezz owner Andre Vener planned and hosted an ambitious project and musical undertaking Saturday night at the brand new Pasadena Convention Center.
“We are honored to put on this concert for the men and women who protect and serve our country,” said Robert and Denise Zeilstra as they were introduced on to the stage. “The sole purpose of this Freedom concert is to thank them.”
The star-studded event included a red carpet where photographers had an opportunity to shoot the performers as they arrived with a Freedom Concert backdrop.
As the military and other service personnel arrived, their cars whisked away by the efficient valet service, guests greeted and thanked them for their service.
The Freedom Concert that honored these servicemen and women Saturday, featured some of the most distinguished musicians and other artists which included a rather pregnant Molly Ringwald ( she’s expecting twins apparently), James Tormé ( Mel’s son),Greg Porée, Robert Kyle, Kenneth Crouch, Ryan Farish, Sheila E.,
USC Trojan Band ( who did a rather hasty version of TUSK which appeared on Fleetwood Mac’s album of the same name in the 1980’s) Local legend Byron Miller, Munjungo Jackson, Fred White, State of Man,Karen Brig, Ryan Cross,Jacques Lesure, Darrell Crooks, Kalil Wilson, Montell Jordan, the Gold Coast Pipe Band who naturally play Amazing Grace, Bryan Pezzone , and Brandon ColemanVin . There was a special presentation by Congressman Adam Schiff,as well as Mayor Bill Bogaard, Sheriff Leroy Baca, Police Chief Melekian, Fire Chief Downs, Maestro Victor VenerActors and actors Jane Kaczmarek, Mike Farrell. Melissa Gilbert, Kevin Kilner
Eric Lutes, DJ Radio Hosts Cynthia Fox, Lisa Foxx, and Radio Rene The US Marine Corps Color Guard started off the proceedings with the traditional salute.
Victor Vener got a chance to don some shades as well as his original USC Trojan headgear as he introduced the ever-popular USC marching band. The crows literally stood to their collective feet ( except the UCLA crowd which was, by all accounts, not large in numbers on Saturday.
The four-hour event was free for active or retired servicemen in the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Police, Sheriff, CHP or Fire (plus a guest)
The event was held in the new Grand Ballroom at the newly completed Pasadena Convention Center.
As the official launch of the redwhite+bluezz CD the Experience, (a copy of which was given to each attendee) the first half of the concert featured redwhite+bluezz musicians playing some of the material from the CD. The second half of the program saw the on stage an all-star line-up of artists of all musical genres, with musical accompaniment from the redwhite+bluezz orchestra.
The redwhite+bluezz orchestra featured Byron Miller on bass, Ryan Cross on stand-up bass, Brandon Coleman on piano, Kenneth Crouch on keyboards, Darrell Crooks on guitar and Greg Porée on lead guitar, Munjungo Jackson on percussion and Gerry Brown on drums. Additional redwhite+bluezz artists performing this evening include: Robert Kyle on saxophone, Jacques Lesure on Guitar and Bryan Pezzone on piano.
By Terry Miller
Photos by terry miller