The world-famous orchestra Jazz at Lincoln Center, part of Lincoln Center in New York City, will perform for the first time in Greece on Tuesday in an Athens concert to support a good cause.
The concert, titled “Songs We Love,” will be taking place at the ancient Odeon of Herodes Atticus—the main venue of the prestigious Athens and Epidaurus Festival, located on the slope under the Acropolis.
The jazz orchestra, consisting of three renowned performers and six musicians, is invited by Lifeline Hellas, the charity founded by Athens-born Crown Princess Katherine of Serbia.
Grammy nominee Catherine Russell, joined by Brianna Thomas and Shenel Johns, will perform famous jazz and blues songs covering the best moments in the history of jazz music from the 1920s to the 1960s.
Proceeds from the concert will be used for the acquisition of state-of-the-art incubators to be offered to the 2nd University Hospital of Athens.
“We come to this world to give, rather than to take; that’s what I learned from my Greek parents and grandparents,” Princess Katherine of Serbia told a press conference attended by Greek Reporter. “Once you learn this from a young age, it becomes part of you.”
Her grandson, Alexander, who was in the audience, had also been treated in an incubator when he was born, the Princess added on an emotional note.
“I hope that all children learn to give, too, because they will be the ones to continue what we do,” HRH concluded.
Helping preterm babies survive and develop
Professor Vana Papaevangelou, Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Athens School of Medicine, told journalists that the incubators to be acquired with the proceeds from the concert will help the “very small newborns” treated at the neonatal intensive care unit of the 2nd University Hospital, housed at Attikon Hospital in the outskirts of Athens.
It is a small unit but serves about 350 preterm newborns per year, she explained.
“The incubator is the continuation of the womb for children who are born way before their time, who are vulnerable, cannot stand the noise, cannot stand the cold environment outside the womb,” the Professor said. “These incubators that we will be able to supply are technologically very good and they help the homeostasis of these newborns so they can develop properly.”
She emphasized that it is not only a matter of these babies surviving but also the need for good neurodevelopment, which is greatly aided by the incubators.
Powerful jazz alliance in Athens
Jazz at Lincoln Center, the orchestra to perform in Athens on Tuesday for Lifeline Hellas, forms part of the largest organization for jazz music in the world. Its mission is to entertain, enrich, and expand a global community for jazz music.
Their September 13, 2022 concert at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus in Athens is co-organized by Lifeline Hellas in collaboration with IMG Artists and Visionary Culture.
Born to Robert and Anna Batis and educated in Athens and Lauzanne, Princess Katherine met HRH Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia in Washington DC, where she worked in business in 1984, and they were married in London a year later.
Her charitable activities have been numerous, especially since the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, bringing much-needed relief to children, the elderly, and all those in need regardless of religion or ethnic origin, according to her official biography.
Today, Princess Katherine is the patron of several humanitarian organizations internationally, including Lifeline Hellas.