( ENSPIRE SPOTLIGHT ) JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER HOSTS CELEBRATION FOR THE MICA AND AHMET ERTEGUN ATRIUM
Thursday, December 17, 2015, Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC) held a special celebration and ribbon cutting, hosted by Bette Midler, to open its newly redesigned public gathering space, the Mica and Ahmet Ertegun Atrium and to honor Mica Ertegun, Jazz at Lincoln Center board member, philanthropist and designer whose lead gift helped to make the multimillion-dollar redesign possible. The celebration preceded the official kick-off of the annual Big Band Holidays performance featuring the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis in Rose Theater—the first event to welcome audiences back into the House of Swing since renovations began in July 2015. Aretha Franklin made a surprise appearance during the concert performing two songs with the orchestra.
Guests in attendance at Thursday night’s event included: Bette Midler, who also served as the reception’s emcee; JALC Board Chair, Robert J. Appel; former NYC Mayor, Michael Bloomberg; City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito; Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, Christine Baranski; Lyor Cohen and Xin Li, Roger Waters; Sigourney Weaver; Emily Mortimer; Kid Rock, George Wein, Rufus Wainwright and many more.
The new Mica and Ahmet Ertegun Atrium is an elegant public space set against a backdrop of sweeping views of Central Park and the Manhattan skyline. The Atrium features a raised stage along the windows facing Central Park that will feature jazz ensembles and enable café-style seating, the glass Engelberg Grand Staircase which provides connectivity between floors, and state-of-the-art technological amenities including a 26 ft. video wall with exceptional acoustical properties for high quality presentations.
In a video tribute to Mrs. Ertegun that ran on the newly installed video wall, JALC Managing and Artistic Director, Wynton Marsalis noted, “Mica’s dedicated work at Jazz at Lincoln Center ensures that this democratic art will be practiced and venerated for generations to come…we honor Mica for all that she has done to preserve, grow and celebrate Jazz at Lincoln Center.”
Mrs. Ertegun stated, “I redesigned the atrium because Ahmet and I wanted to create a beautiful space that would provide Jazz at Lincoln Center and its world-wide audience access to a place to enjoy and be inspired by America’s greatest art form, Jazz.”
The redesign of the public spaces in Frederick P. Rose Hall began in 2013. Mica Ertegun, one of the world’s pre-eminent designers, has worked closely with Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Frederick P. Rose Hall Executive Committee and Ennead Architects, led by partners Richard Olcott and Molly McGowan. Funding was provided by a lead gift by Mica Ertegun along with long-standing Jazz at Lincoln Center supporters the Ford Foundation, and the City of New York.
Jazz at Lincoln Center proudly acknowledges its major corporate partners: Amtrak, Bloomberg, Brooks Brothers, The Coca-Cola Company, Con Edison, Entergy, HSBC Premier, Sirius XM, Steinway, The Shops at Columbus Circle at Time Warner Center, and United Airlines.