Elton John, Jennifer Hudson and More Performing at Agassi’s Grand Slam for Children


Andre Agassi


From AceShowBiz.com:

The star-studded gala held at Las Vegas’ Wynn Hotel and Casino has raised more than $8 million with all proceed benefiting Andre Agassi’s charities.

Some big stars have been pictured taking the stage of Wynn Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas over the weekend. Elton John, Jennifer Hudson, Jason Mraz, Peter Cincotti, Canadian Tenors, Bill Cosby and Rob Thomas came to the event that night.

Wearing floor-length purple gown, Hudson shared stage with David Foster in one set and was joined by AJ Green in another. Their performances were part of Andre Agassi Foundation for Education’s 15th Grand Slam for Children benefit concert.

Held on Saturday night, October 9, the charity gig raised more than $8 million. Those who sat at the front rows during the gala event paid $8,500 each and behind them, there were people who paid from $1,000 to $4,000 for one seat. During his set, Rob Thomas jokingly addressed people at the front row as the “wealthy” and those sitting behind them as the “rich.”

A kiss from Steffi Graf was worth $25,000, someone paid $75,000 for a vacation in India including lunch with Freida Pinto of “Slumdog Millionaire”, $60,000 cheque was donated in return of swimming lessons from Michael Phelps, and many other donations. All proceeds went to Agassi’s charities which include a public charter school for at-risk youth in Los Angeles.

“I am both impressed and thankful for the tremendous support we have gotten for this milestone, the 15th Grand Slam,” Agassi said. “From the incredible group of artists who gave their time and talents, to the generosity of Genworth Financial and all of our supporters, this is a proud moment for us. The success of the event allows us to make a positive difference in students’ lives as we work to transform education.”

Andre Agassi Foundation Announces Line-Up For 2009 Grand Slam For Children


Andre Agassi


14th Annual Concert Benefits Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy and Supports Foundation’s Work to Transform Education.

Las Vegas, NV (PRWEB) August 31, 2009 — The Andre Agassi Foundation (AAF) today announced that Dane Cook, Daughtry, Tim McGraw and Brian McKnight will headline its 2009 Grand Slam for Children benefit concert, under the musical direction of David Foster. The annual event supports the Foundation’s efforts to transform education and benefits the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy, a K-12 public charter school in Las Vegas that strives to provide children with a first-class education. Hosted by tennis legend and philanthropist Andre Agassi and presented by Genworth Financial, the 2009 Grand Slam for Children will take place Saturday, Sept., 26 at Wynn Las Vegas.

“Each year, the stars align and donate their talents to celebrate our achievements and support our work in education,” said Agassi. “This year’s Grand Slam for Children promises to be an incredible night of entertainment that benefits Agassi Prep and allows us to create opportunities that change children’s lives.”

This year’s Grand Slam for Children will bring together top-name talent under the musical direction of Grammy award-winning producer, arranger and composer David Foster. Comedian Dane Cook, whose double platinum album Retaliation became the highest charting comedy album in 28 years; Grammy-nominated rock band Daughtry, fronted by former American Idol finalist Chris Daughtry, whose new album Leave This Town debuted No.1 on the Billboard Top 200; Grammy, Country Music Association and American Music Award-winning country music star Tim McGraw; and singer, songwriter and producer Brian McKnight will be joined by additional performers to be announced prior to the Sept. 26 benefit concert.

The 14th Annual Grand Slam for Children will take place Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009 at Wynn Las Vegas. The evening will include a cocktail reception, gourmet dinner, live auction and benefit concert. Sponsorships for the Grand Slam for Children are still available at the following levels: Gold $17,500, Platinum $40,000 and Diamond $85,000. Individual seats are also available in sets of two; at the Gold level for $3,500 and at the Platinum level for $8,000.

America’s Great Songwriters to Perform at 2nd Annual Concert to Benefit the Fulfillment Fund


David Foster


The Songs of Our Lives, Volume II concert to benefit the Fulfillment Fund will take place on Monday, June 1, 2009 at the Wadsworth Theatre. This one night only show will feature countless award-winning songs performed by their songwriters. It promises to be another great evening you won’t want to miss.

Los Angeles (PRWEB) May 12, 2009 — The Songs of Our Lives, Volume II concert to benefit the Fulfillment Fund will take place on Monday, June 1, 2009 at the Wadsworth Theatre. The artist lineup includes: Jeff Barry (“Chapel of Love”, “I Honestly Love You”), Bob Crewe (“Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You”, “Walk Like a Man”), David Foster (“After the Love Has Gone”, “Glory of Love”), Charles Fox (“Ready to Take a Chance Again”, “Killing Me Softly”), Kenny Loggins (“Footloose”, “Whenever I Call You Friend”), Carole Bayer Sager (“That’s What Friends Are For”, “Nobody Does It Better”), Richard Sherman (“Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”, “It’s a Small World (After All)”), Paul Williams (“We’ve Only Just Begun”, “Rainbow Connection”), with Special Guest Stars Jason Alexander and Ilene Graff.

More than 1,000 guests are expected to attend this star-studded event co-chaired by Marilyn Bergman (ASCAP), Del Bryant (BMI), Dan Foliart (SCL), Dave Johnson (Warner/Chappell Music), Quincy Jones, Jay Landers (Sony Music) and Milt Okun (Cherry Lane Music).

Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You This benefit concert is the brain-child of songwriter Charles Fox, who along with his wife Joan, is a Fulfillment Fund Board Member. Fox’s vision was to combine entertainment and philanthropy in a meaningful way to support the Fulfillment Fund’s important work in the community. According to Fox, “All these great songwriters will come together one night, on one stage, to perform their greatest and most famous songs for an appreciative audience who will be thrilled to hear some of their favorite songs sung by the artists who wrote them. At the same time, they will be helping to support the education of the young students who are at the most risk of not having opportunities to succeed.”

Performers will take center stage promptly at 7:30pm (Will Call opens at 6:30pm). Following the concert, there will be an intimate VIP reception for artists and event sponsors. Giving opportunities range from individual balcony seats starting at $150 to sponsor packages starting at $2,500. All tickets must be reserved in advance (limited number of seats available).

Foster will serve as Starry Night’s musical director


David Foster


From EarthTimes.org:

The GRAMMY Foundation® announced today that it will honor Sir George Martin, a GRAMMY® Trustees Award recipient, six-time GRAMMY Award winner and one of music’s most successful and influential producers, at its annual signature gala Starry Night — an intimate benefit concert and dinner — on July 12, 2008, at the University of Southern California. Martin will be the recipient of the Foundation’s Leadership Award, which salutes noteworthy humanitarians whose charitable work and contributions align with the mission of the Foundation. This prestigious award is being presented to Martin in recognition of a lifetime of commitment and dedication to social, cultural, economic and educational issues spanning the globe. The annual benefit raises funds for the GRAMMY Foundation, which helps preserve our nation’s musical heritage and provides programs that foster future generations of music professionals.

The star-studded event will feature performances by some of the most celebrated artists in the world. Multi-GRAMMY Award-winning producer and former GRAMMY Foundation Board member David Foster will serve as the evening’s musical director.

More info: The Earth Times

Interview: Working with Andre


David Foster and Andre Agassi



By Jerry Fink, Las Vegas Sun
Las Vegas Sun

Tennis superstar Andre Agassi retired a year ago, but his foundation and the charitable event that helps support it and other organizations are as busy as ever.

The Andre Agassi Grand Slam for Children returned to the MGM Grand Garden Arena with a cast that included Carlos Santana, Tony Bennett, Kelly Clarkson, Matchbox Twenty and comedians Jerry Seinfeld and George Wallace.

The Grand Slam, which began in 1995 and took 2000 off, has raised more than $60 million for charities. It’s a perfect marriage between Agassi and music impressario David Foster, who returned for the 12th time as the benefit’s musical director.

Foster, a winner of 14 Grammy Awards, is a brilliant musician and songwriter who has discovered and nurtured performers such as Josh Groban and Michael Buble. Along the way, he has raised millions of dollars for hundreds of charities, including his David Foster Foundation, which helps children who need organ transplants.

Drawing from his deep well of entertainment contacts, he puts together world-class shows for Agassi and organizations such as the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Research Center and the Carousel of Hope in Los Angeles. His charitable work includes combating cancer, diabetes , AIDS and famine.

When he isn’t helping the needy, he’s helping the talented, sometimes showcasing them at charitable events. His latest discovery is 24-year-old Peter Cincotti, jazz vocalist and pianist from New York City, who performed at last year’s Grand Slam.

Foster, founder of 143 Records (Warner Bros.), began making a name for himself in the early 1970s when he was with Skylark, whose song “Wildflower” was a hit in 1972.

He talked with the Sun about the Andre Agassi Grand Slam for Children.

Q: What’s your role in the fundraising event?

In the early years I helped bring in the talent and, to some extent, I still do. But it’s largely built on people’s love and respect for Andre … I’ve been able to showcase some of my new talent there. I’ve been able to help them with Celine (Dion) and Josh Groban and Michael Buble and Kenny G and (Michael) Bolton and people like that. When you get a call from Andre Agassi, everyone pays attention to that.

Have you been involved in all of the Grand Slams, since the first one in 1995?

I’ve been there from Day One. They took one year off (2000). I don’t want to say it was because of me, maybe it was just a coincidence, but there was just one year when I was overloaded with the typical stuff, and they didn’t do it that year . So I think I’m a lifer. But gladly. Andre is one of those rare humans, along with Perry (Rogers, president of Agassi Enterprises). They almost redefine generosity. The greatest thing about Andre and Perry is that they figured it out at such a young age. I had dinner with Perry the other day and he said, “Now that I’m 38…” So they were both like 25, 26, 27 when they started this thing. That’s pretty incredible. I can tell you honestly I didn’t care about anybody when I was 25 except myself.

How were you recruited to put together the entertainment?

I had just produced a Michael Bolton album and I was at a concert, and that’s how I met Andre. He was backstage at the concert. He was a big, huge tennis star, 24 years old probably. There was a piano backstage and Michael and I were goofing around, and I started playing some of my songs, and Andre started singing them. I thought, “How random is it that this young guy would know my songs?” I’ve been writing music since the ’70s. So that’s how we became friends. It was probably a year or two after that he got going on this thing. He’s so dedicated. It’s such an amazing thing. I think it’s a great platform that other people should copy. And he has an amazing board of directors that we all sit on ; and it’s a board of doers – not just a board of people sitting around doing nothing.

How do you decide who’s going to perform?

I have my own foundation in Canada, and I’m always amazed at the media. I brought in Paul Anka, Kenny G and Celine Dion and the press was still going, “Who’s the surprise guest?” It’s like, “God, are you kidding me?” I think with the Agassi event we started off so big and we’ve maintained that standard so long I think our objective every year is just to see if we can go that big every year … I think we’ve achieved that every year, almost impossibly. But Julie (Pippenger, the foundation’s executive director) reminds me this is Las Vegas, and Las Vegas expects a lot of talent. They can go next door and see anything they want, practically. I think we pride ourselves in that every year we give a show that you can’t see everywhere else. This year it’s Jerry Seinfeld onstage with Santana and the Goo Goo Dolls and Tony Bennett. You can’t see that show unless it’s on television somewhere.

Have there been any changes since Agassi’s retirement?

I see less of Andre since he retired than I did when he was playing. His fervor for the work is the same. I’m sure he probably is putting even more time in now. To build a school, going from grade 1 to grade 12, is pretty amazing. But no, I haven’t seen anything change. The benefit might look like the same every year to some people. It’s a beautiful thing. More than 1,500 people on the floor before the show. Tuxedoes. Huge stage and lighting. More than 10,000 more people come in for the concert, or whatever that number is. Julie spends enormous time, with Andre and Perry and myself, just trying to put a twist on it every year – different staging this year, an orchestra next year or no orchestra. This year three bands, last year no bands. Just mixing it up and again providing a show that you can’t see everywhere.

How does it compare with other such events?

It’s a special event. I’ve done probably, I’d safely say, 300 charities in the last 10 years, where I put the show together, and none of them is spectacular the way this one is, including the ones in Los Angeles. The Phoenix event (in honor of Ali) has become my second favorite in terms of being spectacular, and in Los Angeles the Carousel of Hope. But Las Vegas, it’s rare air they have created there. It’s an extraordinary event.

Source: LasVegasSun.com