Jazz in Pink to benefit breast cancer, diabetes causes
Published 9:31 pm Monday, November 4, 2013
A breast cancer and diabetes awareness and fundraiser show this weekend will feature some big names, including Karen Briggs, Will Ledbetter, Vinnie Knight and comedian Granny Love.
The event is being produced by Harris Music Productions, and proceeds will go to the Virginia Faith Based Outreach Initiative, according to organizer Vanessa Harris.
Briggs, a Portsmouth native, recalled recently how her music teacher, Jerelene Harding, at a Portsmouth middle school sparked her career.
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“She kept her students interested,” Briggs said. “Not only did we play the classical music, but we played the music that was considered hip at that time.”
Briggs got into the orchestra class when her mother steered her away from taking home economics for her elective.
“She didn’t even look up from her cooking, and she said, ‘Choose something else,’” Briggs said. “Once I got involved, it turned out I really had a knack for it.”
Her teacher got to see Briggs perform at New York’s Carnegie Hall before she died.
“She followed me even after I was done with regular public school,” Briggs said. “She was a brilliant teacher. They just don’t make them like that anymore. It’s a very privileged thing when you do encounter a teacher like that.”
Briggs’ career as a violinist has now lasted for nearly 40 years.
“I’ve had the blessing of being diversified,” she said.
She performed with the Virginia Symphony for four and a half years and, on the other end of the spectrum, was the violinist on the first hip-hop record to include a violin, done by the Wu-Tang Clan, she said.
“It’s been a fascinating life, but not always easy,” she said. “I’m writing my own story.”
Her story will continue at Saturday’s event at King’s Fork Middle School, 350 Kings Fork Road, at 7 p.m. Tickets will go for a $35 donation and can be purchased at the door or beforehand at www.eventbrite.com.
Vendor tables and information on breast cancer and diabetes will also be available at the event.
“Hopefully, we can fill the house,” Vanessa Harris said.
Call 539-6500 for more information.