The Tubman Museum’s signature fundraising event returns Saturday with black ties and ball gowns.
The 21st annual “All That Jazz Concert and Ball” features R&B, gospel and jazz performances — usually to a sold-out crowd. The floor seating includes food, wine and a chance to dance.
“It’s gotten to be an evening that brings a large crowd together. It’s become one of those highlights in the social calendar,” said Andy Ambrose, executive director of the Tubman.
The opening act and special guest will be Avery Sunshine — an Atlanta resident and Spellman College graduate.
“She’s a really dynamic singer, who kind of merges soul, gospel, jazz and R&B into her own signature mix,” Ambrose said. “She’s going to launch the concert.”
There will be a short intermission and then the headline act After 7 will perform. The group is made up of brothers Melvin and Kevon Edmonds, Keith Mitchell and Jason Edmonds, who is not related to the brothers. Melvin and Kevon also are siblings of Grammy Award-winning pop and R&B star Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds.
“(The concert) goes to the heart of our mission to present and celebrate African-American history and art,” Ambrose said. “So, in that concert we’re really focusing on musical genres and artists that have been greatly influenced by African and African-American influences. In some ways, it’s just a reminder of how we’re all connected through those influences.”
After the show, there will be a dance party hosted by AJ the DJ.
“A lot of people hang around after the concert to dance,” Ambrose said.
The event raises funds for the Tubman’s educational programs, which include everything from after-school art instruction and traveling exhibits to family activities at the museum. There also are plans to add a stage area on the second floor for films, concerts and dance performances.
“We’re really meeting a need in terms of making visual and performing arts accessible to everybody,” Ambrose said.
“All That Jazz” was founded by community artist and former Tubman board member Chi Ezekwueche. The fundraiser also supports the museum’s other big events — the Pan-African Festival, International Taste of Soul and Motown Night at the Tubman.
“We’re really a unique museum,” Ambrose said. “We’re the largest museum in the nation devoted not just to African-American history and culture, but also to art. So we combine art and history, and art is not just visual art — it’s performing arts.”