(McLean, VA – May 23, 2008) – American Women in Radio and Television (AWRT) 2008 Gracie Award attendees will be treated to a special performance by four time Grammy winning jazz vocalist Dianne Reeves when the black- tie Awards Gala kicks-off on Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at New York’s Marriott Marquis hotel.
Dianne Reeves, the preeminent jazz vocalist the New York Times described as, “The only jazz singer with a voice big enough to rival Sarah Vaughan’s,” recently released a gorgeous album of songs celebrating the different stages of love in a woman’s life. When You Know, on Blue Note Records, showcases Reeves’ alternately honey velvet and soaring voice in her own interpretation of “new” standards from The Temptations to Minnie Ripperton to Shawn Colvin. The album concludes with Reeves’ sole original offering, honoring where love for her begins – her 83-year old mother, Vada. “Today Will Be a Good Day,” is a rollicking blues track, delivered with a heap of bounce and boogie. Despite her battle with breast cancer and emphysema, Vada is a sparkplug of life and, says Reeves, “My biggest inspiration. If you don’t call her by 8:30 a.m., you’re not going to catch her. She’s so independent yet so giving–a wonderful example of living in grace.” The only singer to win a Grammy in the vocal category for three consecutive recordings in any singing category, won a whole new legion of fans in recent years with her prominent onscreen role in the film “Good Night, And Good Luck,” for which she was chosen personally by George Clooney.
Reeves will appear on Fox5 TV’s “Good Day New York” on Tuesday, May 27 and has been spotlighted in the New York Times, People magazine, Entertainment Weekly and on NPR. She has been described by Vanity Fair as having “…terrific jazz stylings” and USA Today called her “The celebrated jazz diva…”, but perhaps Essence said it best: “Dianne Reeves proves she’s still a premier mistress of jazz…”
This year’s Gracies will honor its own with serious star power including Host Giuliana Rancic, E! News Anchor & Managing Editor, and 2008 AWRT/Dove Real Beauty Award Winner Lisa Ling, special correspondent for The Oprah Winfrey Show, National Geographic Channel and Oxygen. They will be joined by confirmed guests: Harpo Radio’s Dr. Maya Angelou and Gayle King; CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, Campbell Brown, Kiran Chetry, and AJ Hammer; truTV’s Ashleigh Banfield and Jack Ford; CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo and Suze Orman; Fox News Channel’s Jamie Colby; NBC News’ Ann Curry, Hoda Kotb, Matt Lauer, Al Roker and Brian Williams; CBS Television and Radio’s Nancy Giles; E! Chelsea Lately’s Chelsea Handler; E! Networks President Ted Harbert; Retirement Living TV’s Florence Henderson; Television Star Jill Hennessy; NBC Heroes’ Ali Larter; Best-selling Author and TV Personality, Bill Rancic; NBC Universal President/CEO Jeff Zucker, and many more.
The event is made possible through the generous support of the 2008 title sponsor Dove and The Campaign for Real Beauty and the following additional sponsors: Arbitron, Bloomberg, CBS News, Clear Channel Radio, CNBC, CNN, Ford Motor Company Fund, Harpo Radio, HBO, Hearst-Argyle Television, Jones Radio Networks, Katz Media Group, Lifetime Networks, MTV, National Association of Broadcasters, National Cable & Telecommunications Association, NBC News, NBC Universal, Nickelodeon, Retirement Living TV, WE TV and the William Morris Agency.
The Gracie Awards recognizes exemplary programming created for, by and about women in all facets of electronic media including radio, television, cable and web-based media. Tickets for the Gala are $395 for AWRT Members, $500 for Non-Members, and $525 (if available) at the door. For more information about the Gracie Awards, please visit http://awrt.org/awards/gracies.html.
About AWRT: The year 2008 marks the 57th Anniversary of American Women in Radio & Television (AWRT), the longest established professional association dedicated to advancing women in media and entertainment. AWRT carries forth its mission by educating, advocating and acting as a resource to its members and the industry at large. Founded in 1951, AWRT works to improve the quality of electronic media; promote the entry, development and advancement of women in the field; foster communication and idea exchange; and give back to the community we serve.
About The Foundation of AWRT: The Foundation of AWRT is the philanthropic arm of American Women in Radio and Television, supporting educational programs, charitable activities, public service campaigns and scholarships to benefit the public, the electronic media and allied fields. The Foundation of AWRT has created partnerships and joint-initiatives with the National Middle School Association, the Emma Bowen Foundation, the American Red Cross and other organizations that are philosophically aligned with the mission of the Foundation of AWRT.
The Foundation supports several public service campaigns including most recently AWRT Empowering America which pays tribute to many of America’s most pioneering and inspiring women. Through this initiative, the Foundation of AWRT has adopted needy urban middle schools around the country and provided educational donations derived from collateral based on the Empowering America program. The Foundation also produces nationally acclaimed recognition programs including the Gracie Allen AwardsÂ®, a live, New York-based gala that awards exemplary programming created for, by, and about women. Visit our web site at www.awrt.org.