Ledisi and Chelsey Green to Perform
at 18th Biennial Uncommon Height Awards Gala
-Event will feature a surprise guest tribute performance-
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) announced Ledisi and Dr. Chelsea Green will be the musical entertainment for the 18th Biennial Uncommon Height Awards Gala, on Dec. 8, at the Gaylord National Harbor Resort in Oxon Hill, Md. This event is the organization’s signature fundraising event, with proceeds raised being used to fund programs of critical concern known as the core four – health, education, economic justice, and social justice.
“We are honored to have two powerhouse performers grace us with stellar performances for the gala event,” said NCNW President and CEO Shavon Arline-Bradley. “Again, this is an opportunity for our partners, supporters, and members to look back at their success with motivation to keep pushing. These ladies will capture this for the evening, along with our surprise special invited guest performance.”
A 2021 Grammy winner, Ledisi is a twelve-time Grammy nominated powerhouse vocalist with a career spanning almost two decades. Since arriving on the scene in the late 1990’s, she garnered three Soul Train Music awards, an NAACP Theater Award and six NAACP Image Award nominations. Most recently, she received two LA Alliance Ovation Award nominations, one for Best Featured Actress in a Musical.
No stranger to the film and television world, Ledisi landed her first feature, singing in the George Clooney directed film “Leatherheads.” In 2015, she landed a role in the Oscar-nominated movie, Selma, portraying the gospel singer Mahalia Jackson and had a notable performance in Gabourney Sidibe’s Shatterbox Anthology film, “The Tale of Four.” The vocalist secured her first major television role playing the legendary Patti LaBelle on the hit BET series “American Soul.”
Ledisi has also been active in the theater, making her debut as a Radio and Washing Machine understudy on Broadway, appearing in Tony Kushner’s “Caroline or Change” directed by George C. Wolfe. She helped workshop the Tony Award winning musical, “The Color Purple,” and then began her recording career signing a deal with Verve/Universal Music Group. She returned to theatre in 2019 as The Ancestor, in the critically acclaimed off-Broadway musical “Witness Uganda,” by Griffith Matthews and Matt Gould, the role for which she received the LA Alliance Ovation Award nomination. Also in 2019, she co-wrote and co-produced her one woman show, “The Legend of Little Girl Blue.” The show premiered at the Wallis Theatre in Beverly Hills to rave reviews with 19-sold out shows.
She is extremely passionate about being an advocate for the arts, lobbying for young musicians and protecting the rights of creatives. Ledisi is an author, releasing her first book, “Better Than Alright: Finding Peace, Love and Power,” a collaboration with Essence Magazine. Her latest book, “Don’t Ever Lose Your Walk: How to Embrace Your Journey,” is released through her own publishing company, Chinwe’ya Publishing. In addition, Ledisi is the CEO of her record label, Listen Back Entertainment/BMG.
Dr. Chelsey Green, who performs as Chelsey Green, breaks down stereotypes of traditional violin and viola playing. A native of Houston, Dr. Green is a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, entrepreneur, and educator that combines classical and contemporary genres to make music uniquely her own.
Chelsey Green and The Green Project has released five studio projects that debuted on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart (Top 30), appeared in the Top 5 albums of iTunes Jazz chart, and performed live shows, jazz festivals and educational workshops around the world, including shows throughout the United States, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Japan, Haiti and more.
Dr. Green’s past performance highlights include: the Capital Jazz Festival; Seabreeze Jazz Festival; GRAMMY Awards with Lizzo; Songs In The Key Of Life Tour (D.C.) with Stevie Wonder; Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival with jazz violinist Regina Carter; NPR Tiny Desk with Maimouna “Mumu Fresh” Youssef, Black Thought, and Wu-Tang Clan; the Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival with Terri Lyne Carrington; ensemble debuts with the National Symphony Orchestra; The United States Air Force Band, and a nationally syndicated Walmart commercial produced by BET Networks appearing alongside Kirk Franklin and Estelle.
Committed to music education and arts advocacy, Dr. Green regularly performs educational concerts, community workshops, and artist residencies to audiences of all types. Her writing has been featured in the New York Times, and she has delivered keynote and commencement addresses at colleges, universities, and conferences in both the domestically and abroad.
Dr. Green completed her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in 2017 at the University of Maryland in College Park, Md. and was appointed associate professor at Berklee College of Music in Boston in August of that same year. Dr. Green also serves as the vice chair of the board of trustees for the Recording Academy (The GRAMMYs).
NCNW Board Chair, Dr. A. Lois Keith said, “As I stated before UnCommon Height Awards Galas were magical and had great star power. With the magic and the great star power, it allows us to raise funds to continue to the fight for social justice and civil rights, which is never ending and requires resources: human resources and financial resources.”
From the signature fundraiser, NCNW is hoping to raise $1M to bolster programs coming out of the new era that make a difference and touch lives, not only here in the US, but also abroad. Former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor and President of the Dorothy I. Height Education Foundation Alexis Herman and President and CEO of The Memorial Foundation and Chair of the NCNW Charles L. Franklin Associates Harry E. Johnson, Sr., Esq. are co-chairs of this year’s event. WUSA9 Anchor Lesli Foster and DJ QuickSilva will serve as host and emcee for the evening. Toyota Motor Company of North America will once again be the presenting sponsor.
The gala is named in honor of NCNW President Emerita, Dr. Dorothy Irene Height, who led the organization for over 50 years and achieved notoriety due to her immense contributions to economic justice, civil rights, and education. To further honor her, the Crystal Stair Award is awarded to an individual who demonstrates a lifetime devoted to the protection of freedom and pursuit of excellence in career and personal dedication to humanity as did Dr. Height.
NCNW is an “organization of organizations,” comprised of 330 campus and community-based sections and 33 national women’s organizations that enlighten, inspire, and connect more than 2,000,000 women and men. Its mission is to lead, advocate for, and empower women of African descent, their families, and communities. It was founded in 1935 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, an influential educator and activist.
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