Let Freedom Ring Foundation 2023 Fall Gala


Sat Nov 11 2023 at 05:00 pm to 10:00 pm


Williamsburg Lodge, Autograph Collection | Williamsburg, VA

Let Freedom Ring Foundation's annual gala to benefit the Historic First Baptist Church of Williamsburg
About this Event

The Let Freedom Ring Foundation cordially invites you to attend their 2023 gala to support the Historic First Baptist Church of Williamsburg, where we will continue to unfold our shared history to light our path forward.

This will be an evening of JAZZ, FUNK and SOUL featuring Jeff Lorber, Everette Harp, and Paul Jackson Jr. The founder and president of The HistoryMakers, Julieanna Richardson, will also make a special appearance. Mistress of Ceremonies for this special event will be Barbara Hamm Lee, award winning journalist, television/radio host, owner of Sharing Info, LLC, and executive producer and host of WHRO's Another View.

  • Cocktails at 5:00 PM
  • Dinner at 6:00 PM
  • Entertainment until 10:00 PM

Proceeds help the Let Freedom Ring Foundation continue its work with community partners to collect, identify, protect and preserve the historic artifacts and stories of the Historic First Baptist Church of Williamsburg.

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(Jeff Lorber, Everette Harp, and Paul Jackson Jr.)

Omne trium perfectum- everything that comes in threes is perfect. When it comes to the trio Jazz Funk Soul (JFS), this statement rings true. Saxophonist Everette Harp, keyboardist Jeff Lorber and guitarist Paul Jackson Jr. are the perfect union of balance and harmony, the right ebb and flow of laid back cool and gritty-driving intensity and the complete package of musical wonder. The towering giants of Contemporary Jazz, who have collaborated with icons like Quincy Jones, Aretha Franklin and B.B. King, are like cosmic rays, emitting unlimited musical possibilities. Each member is a dazzling virtuoso, accomplished bandleader, composer, and producer in their own right.

The original incarnation of Jazz Funk Soul commenced in 2014. Everette Harp, Jeff Lorber and Chuck Loeb formed the band with the mission of recreating on record the spontaneity and explosive chemistry of their live shows. In 2017, the Jazz world was shook by the untimely passing of Chuck Loeb. “Chuck was an important part of the start of JFS. He was certainly the JAZZ in Jazz Funk Soul," reflects Everette. "The spirit and joy he brought into his play was infectious. Each time we played together I felt like I had to bring it! There were no coasting nights. He’d smoke you if you didn’t bring it. He was incredible and set a wonderful precedent for us to continue." Lorber adds, "I feel very lucky to have had the chance to know and collaborate with Chuck. He was a really sweet guy who was fun to hang out with. As a musician, he had prodigious talent as a jazz guitarist, improviser, composer and producer. I think everyone who got to know Chuck really misses him. Jackson shares, “I was able to tour with Chuck in a guitar trio (along with Chieli Minucci). I used to love it when it was his turn to play one of his songs. The chance to “duel” with Chuck and learn from him was an experience that I will never forget. Chuck is a world-class musician, composer and producer and he’s even nicer than he is talented. I would not have joined JFS if I did not feel I could honor his legacy. I hope I am making him proud.” In a tasteful and fitting way Jazz Funk Soul pays homage to Chuck on Forecast with the memorable "CLS (for Chuck Samuel Loeb)."

Pianist, composer and producer Jeff Lorber has been a guiding light on the Contemporary Jazz scene for over four decades. Along with maestros Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Joe Sample and Bob James, Lorber is a groundbreaking Fender Rhodes pioneer. Having produced for everyone from Dave Koz to Kenny G, Lorber's long running acclaimed ensemble, Jeff Lorber Fusion, scored a Grammy for their album Protoype in 2015 for ‘Best Contemporary Instrumental’ album. Lorber who is a fan of science fiction and thrillers released his most recent solo effort Space-Time in 2021. A consummate musician, the Berklee College of Music alum states, "It's really important to challenge yourself to be better on all musical levels. You have to review what you’re doing and see what you can do to make it better. Good is not good enough, it has to be great."

"I love golf! I love golf! Oh, then there’s golf! Did I mention I love golf?!," declares Grammy nominated saxman Everette Harp. "I also like having a nice meal and watching a good movie with my wife. Relaxing on the patio and enjoying the golden years!" Harp seems to have discovered the fountain of youth despite having been one of the premiere architects of Contemporary Jazz since the early ‘90s. His soulful and trademark blend of Jazz, R&B, Funk and Pop have made him a favorite among fans, fellow musicians and critics alike. His impressive career that has allowed him to collaborate with everyone from Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Anita Baker, Luther Vandross and Patti Labelle to George Duke, Herbie Hancock, Billy Joel and Kenny Loggins. He has left an indelible imprint on the scene with his own unique, muscular and soulful approach. His work on TV has brought his saxophone into the homes of millions who have heard him playing the theme songs for such popular TV shows as Entertainment Tonight and Soul Train. He also holds the distinction of being a former member of the posse on the first Arsenio Hall Show. Harp also hosted the radio program Smooth Jazz Odyssey with Everette Harp for a stint on WLOQ in Orlando, FL, which was the #1 show in the market during its four year run. His most recent solo release is First Love (2009). Always striving to evolve Harp confides, "I’m am almost never happy with my playing. There are times I feel I’m close, but just didn’t quite get there. I find if I’m able to free myself from what I think I’m suppose to play and let the moments happen instead of forcing it, that’s when I feel I’m closest to being the musician I want to be."

Los Angeles native Paul Jackson, Jr. launched his solo career in the late 80s. Jackson’s distinctive musical style and technical prowess have made him a favorite among live audiences. First call for numerous musicians, the Grammy-winning guitarist has recorded with an impressive roster of musicians including Quincy Jones, Barbra Streisand, Whitney Houston, Patti LaBelle, Michael Jackson and Bob James, among many others. “Many people ask the question, how do I master my instrument. I inform them that there’s no such thing as a ‘master’. Because there is so much to learn stylistically and historically, you will never learn it all,” explains Jackson. “Plus, music is ever changing and growing. I tell them ‘the day you think you’ve mastered your instrument, you should quit. You have put a dam where God put a channel.’ Paul Jackson Jr. has lent his prolific guitar work to several film scores including Get On Up, Zootopia and The Color Purple. The guitarist is also featured on Daft Punk’s CD Random Access Memories, which scored five Grammys in 2014. A man of many talents, Jackson is a big fan of vintage cars and trains dogs, sometimes participating in protection (police dog) training. Paul Jackson Jr.’s latest solo CD is Stompin’ Willie Presents More Stories (2016), which pays homage to dear friend and music icon George Duke. Jackson has made mentorship a mission in his life. He leads a monthly Bible study group and participates in a mentorship program for boys ages eight to eighteen.

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JULIEANNA L. RICHARDSON Founder & President, The HistoryMakers, Chicago, IL

Julieanna L. Richardson, Founder and President of The HistoryMakers, has a unique and diverse background in theatre, television production, and the cable television industry created a unique path to founding and heading up the largest national collection effort of African American video oral histories on record since the WPA Slave Narratives. With a diverse background in law, television production and the cable television industries, she combined her various work experiences and her passion for American Studies and history to conceptualize, found and build The HistoryMakers. The HistoryMakers is a national, 501(c)(3) non-profit educational institution headquartered in Chicago with regional offices in Atlanta, Georgia and the Washington, D.C. area. The HistoryMakers organization is committed to preserving, developing and providing easy access to an internationally recognized, archival collection of thousands of African American video oral histories. A 1980 graduate of Harvard Law School, Richardson graduated from Brandeis University with a double-major in Theatre Arts and American Studies, where she did extensive oral history interviews on the Harlem Renaissance and Langston Hughes. She worked as a corporate lawyer at the Chicago law firm of Jenner & Block prior to serving in the early 1980s as the Cable Administrator for the City of Chicago Office of Cable Communications. Richardson currently sits on the Honors Council of Lawyers for the Creative Arts. She has been awarded Honorary Doctorates from Howard University (2012), Dominican University (2014) and Brandeis University (2016). She has also served as the commencement speaker for Dominican University as well as Brandeis University 65th commencement. In 2014, Black Enterprise magazine awarded Richardson its 2014 Legacy Award, its highest recognition of women’s achievement. That same year, Richardson was profiled in American Masters: The Boomer List, a PBS documentary and exhibition at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

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BARBARA HAMM LEE Mistress of Ceremonies
Award-winning journalist, television/radio host and the owner of Sharing Info, LLC

Barbara Hamm Lee is an award-winning journalist, television/radio host and the owner of Sharing Info, LLC., a media/communications consulting company that assists companies to strategically maximize media potential, market effectively, and protect their brand.  She is best known as the Executive Producer and Host of Another View, a weekly talk show that “discusses today’s issues from an African American perspective”. A local celebrity, Hamm Lee is called on regularly to emcee and facilitate programs as well as to deliver motivational speeches throughout Hampton Roads. In addition, Barbara created a series of town hall meetings entitled Race: Let’s Talk About It, in response to increasing tension surrounding race relations.

 Prior to her work in Norfolk, Barbara held management positions with: Communications Technologies; Prince Georges County, Maryland Police Department; and Hamm and Fox Communications. She was a consultant to the National Federation of Community Broadcasters’ African American Public Radio Stations Initiative, consulting with 26 African American public radio stations on compliance, governance, development, programming and community engagement. For eleven years, Barbara held a variety of leadership positions with WHRO Public Media.

Most of Barbara’s career has been spent in television news management, including as News Director for WTKR-TV, Norfolk. She has also served as an adjunct journalism professor for Norfolk State University and Old Dominion University.   Barbara is very involved in the community serving as a member of the Marketing/PR committee with the Let Freedom Ring Foundation and a board member of the Center for the Prevention of Community Violence. She is a former Chair of the Board of Directors for the YWCA, South Hampton Roads, and the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority Board of Commissioners.

In 2018, Barbara was inducted into the Silver Circle for the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Chesapeake Bay Chapter; a lifetime achievement award honoring individuals who have made significant contributions to the broadcast or cable industry either in a performing, creative, technical, or administrative role. She has received two Virginia Association of Broadcaster’s awards, as well as three Excel Awards given by the National Association of Black Journalists, the largest organization of journalists of color in the world.

Barbara is married to Maxie Lee, has two daughters and a granddaughter, and attends First Baptist Church, Berkley.


Where is it happening?

Williamsburg Lodge, Autograph Collection, 310 South England Street, Williamsburg, United States

Event Location & Nearby Stays:


USD 150.00

The Let Freedom Ring Foundation

Host or Publisher The Let Freedom Ring Foundation

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