Jazz at Lincoln Center put on their annual Big Band Holiday performance and opened their own public space on Dec. 17.
They held their performance at the Rose Theatre, the first performance for the theatre after recent renovations. Aretha Franklin made a surprise appearance and sang two songs at the show with the orchestra.
Bette Midler served as the night’s emcee to guests such as Robert J. Appel, Michael Bloomberg, Melissa Mark-Viverito Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, Christine Baranski, Lyor Cohen and Xin Li, Sigourney Weaver, Kid Rock and Emily Mortimer. The performance celebrated the return of the theatre as well as the opening of JALC‘s new public space.
Named the Mica and Ahmet Ertegun Atrium, the public space overlooks Central Park and features a stage for jazz ensembles to perform at the cafe like setting. The space is named after board member, philanthropist and designer Mica Ertegun.
Her lead donation and design contributions to the project made the creation of the space possible. Ertegun said in a statement, “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.”