Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine At Mount Sinai Beth Israel Announces 2015 "What A Wonderful World" Honorees

Legendary American jazz drummer; former New York Yankee to be recognized at annual gala

New York, NY
 – September 3, 2015 /Press Release/  –– 

The recipients of the 2015 “What a Wonderful World” Award are Roy Haynes, Bernie Williams, Gabriel A Sara, MD, and Kaley Clavell, announced Joanne V. Loewy, DA, MT-BC,LCAT, Director of the Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine at Mount Sinai Beth Israel.

The honorees will be feted at the center’s 10th annual gala, which will feature live Broadway music, jazz, a cocktail reception and silent auction on Monday, October 5, from 6 - 9 pm, at The Gramercy Theatre, 127 East 23rd Street in Manhattan.  With Mercedes Ellington and WBGO’s Bill Daughtry presiding as co-emcees, the annual awards ceremony celebrates health care advocates, music legends and patients.  Performances by honoree, Bernie Williams, musician and former New York Yankee, Jon Faddis and a Broadway medley of songs from several casts’ members will be among the evening’s musical treats.

Roy Haynes, American jazz drummer, is the pulse of legendary jazz.  For over 50 years he has influenced and innovated, shaping some of the greatest recordings in jazz.  His joyous drumming with the legends of the genre altered the very fabric and direction of jazz improvisation, from Louis Armstrong to Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Thelonius Monk, Sarah Vaughan, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Ella Fitzgerald, Stan Getz, Chick Corea and Pat Metheny.  The list goes on and on as does Roy's unflagging energy and marvelous invention.  With his latest group of 20-something cohorts, Roy sends his "Hard Swing" style to a timeless place.  Haynes elevates the performances of his Fountain of Youth Band, with a tremendous give and take between the generations fueled by masterful musicianship and youthful abandon.

Bernie Williams, former New York Yankee and four-time World Series Champion, discovered his love for baseball and music at roughly the same time.  While growing up in Puerto Rico at the age of eight, he fell in love with the sounds of a flamenco guitar his merchant-marine father brought home from Spain and also felt the same exhilaration when he first picked up a baseball bat.  The young student-athlete quickly excelled in both pursuits, going on to attend the special performance arts school Escuela Libre de Musica at the age of thirteen and becoming one of the most noted young athletes on the island.  When Williams signed a contract with the New York Yankees at age 17, he brought his love of music with him.  In his 16 year career patrolling centerfield for the New York Yankees, Bernie Williams was a four-time World Series Champion and a five-time All Star.  He is also among the Yankees all-time leaders in every major batting category, with his performance statistics often standing alongside such legends as Babe Ruth, Micky Mantle, Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio.  Throughout his years with the Yankees, his passion for music never waned and the sound of the guitar would often be heard emanating from the clubhouse or during team flights.  So it was no surprise in 2003 when he demonstrated how serious his musical pursuit was with the release of his first album, The Journey Within.  The record features fusions of jazz, rock and the tropical rhythms of Williams’ heritage and was met with both strong critical praise and instant chart-success – reaching #3 on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Chart.  His second album, entitled Moving Forward, debuted as Billboard’s #2 Contemporary Jazz album and continued to hold that chart position for five straight, spawning two consecutive #1 singles, “Go For It” and “Ritmo de Otono.”  The album was nominated for a Latin Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Album in 2009.  Bernie Williams also co-authored a book in 2011 titled, Rhythms of the Game: The Link Between Music and Athletic Performance.  The book examines the symbiotic relationship between musical artistry and athletic performance through the eyes of a man who has mastered both.

Dr. Sara is a medical oncologist who has been with Mount Sinai Roosevelt since 1987.  He is the Medical Director of the Chemotherapy Infusion Suite and is triple-board certified in internal medicine, hematology and medical oncology.  Dr. Sara received his early medical training in Beirut, Lebanon and Paris, France.  He completed his residency in internal medicine at Downstate Medical Center, followed by a fellowship in hematology and medical oncology at Mount Sinai Roosevelt and The Presbyterian Hospital of Columbia University.  In 2005, he established the Helen Sawaya Fund, a philanthropy program whose mission is to enhance the experience of cancer patients through art, music therapy, reflexology, a travel program and more.  Dr. Sara is the author of several articles in the field of hematology and oncology and in 2013, he co-edited the textbook Music and Medicine: Integrative Models in the Treatment of Pain.  

Honoree Kaley Clavell is a 19-year-old from Suffern, New York who is studying early-childhood education at SUNY Cortland.  She was diagnosed with a myxoma, a benign tumor located in the middle part of her mandible, in January 2015.  During an 8-hour surgery at Mount Sinai Beth Israel, doctors removed 6 teeth, and replaced her jaw bone with her fistula bone with support from a titanium plate and an artery and nerve from her leg.  Kaley leaned on her music during her one-week stay in the pediatric intensive care unit, spending her 19th birthday in the hospital.  With the help of the Armstrong music therapy program, she had a Hawaiian-themed birthday where everyone from the doctors, nurses and other patients played various instruments, danced, ate and laughed.  While she never could have imagined how impactful music could be in helping to heal, prior to her experience, she now has a deep appreciation for music therapy and how it helped to heal her physically, mentally and spiritually.

In addition to an evening of jazz, a silent auction will feature musical, sports, entertainment and travel treasures that will benefit the Louis Armstrong Center’s clinical services to those in need, including stroke survivors, cancer patients, teens with depression and adults with asthma, cancer, COPD heart disease.

“We treat musicians with physical and emotional challenges from Broadway to the subway, reflecting a diverse and underserved population,” says Stephan Quentzel, MD, Medical Director of the Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine.

The Louis and Lucille Armstrong Music Therapy Program at Mount Sinai Beth Israel, established twenty one years ago as part of the jazz legend’s legacy, was the foundation for the expanded programs of the Louis Armstrong Center for Music & Medicine, created in 2005.  The Center also provides specialty treatments for children with developmental disorders, and various other programs at Mount Sinai Roosevelt and Mount Sinai Brooklyn campuses.

About the Louis Armstrong Center for Music & Medicine
The Louis Armstrong Center for Music & Medicine is made possible by a generous gift from the David B. Kriser Foundation and through the estate of John H. Slade, directed to Mount Sinai Beth Israel from the late hospital trustee Richard Netter, and with additional support from the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, the Helen Sawaya and the Garry Dial Fund.  The Center is located at Mount Sinai Beth Israel’s Phillips Ambulatory Care Center, 10 Union Square East (between 14th and 15th Streets) in Manhattan.

For more information about the “What a Wonderful World” Awards gala and the programs/services offered by the Louis Armstrong Center for Music & Medicine, please call:  212-420-2704 or visit their website at: www.musicandmedicine.org.

About the Mount Sinai Health System
The Mount Sinai Health System is an integrated health system committed to providing distinguished care, conducting transformative research, and advancing biomedical education. Structured around seven hospital campuses and a single medical school, the Health System has an extensive ambulatory network and a range of inpatient and outpatient services from community-based facilities to tertiary and quaternary care.

The System includes approximately 6,100 primary and specialty care physicians; 12 minority-owned free-standing ambulatory surgery centers; more than 140 ambulatory practices throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and 31 affiliated community health centers. Physicians are affiliated with the renowned Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, which is ranked among the highest in the nation in National Institutes of Health funding per investigator. Seven departments at The Mount Sinai Hospital and one at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary (NYEE) ranked nationally in the top 25 in the 2015-2016 “Best Hospitals” issue of U.S. News & World Report. Mount Sinai’s Kravis Children’s Hospital also is ranked in seven out of ten pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report.     

For more information, visit http://www.mountsinaihealth.org/ or find Mount Sinai on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.