Swingin’ at the California Hotel

In the spirit of the many music legends who once performed at the California Hotel, LifeLong Medical Care staff hosted a warm and rousing Sunday afternoon of jazz for the residents on May 5.

The seven piece band, including LifeLong CEO David B. Vliet on piano, regaled the audience with more than two hours of classic jazz standards that had residents cheering for more.

LifeLong Supportive Housing Program Services (SHP) Manager Dannette McCain and Case Managers Asha Enam and Jade Byers hosted the event that ended with a lovely meal. LifeLong provides case management, primary and mental health care, substance use recovery services, and more at the hotel.

Music was provided by the HELP Jazz Collective with special guest recording artist Melecio Magdaluyo on saxophone (HELP standing for Health, Equity, Love, and Peace. Aside from David on piano, HELP performers were Musical Director Rex Hesner on bass, Tim Hampton, guitar; Russ Hands, drums; Howard Gillis, trumpet; and Tina Smelser, flute. Guests also heard a spoken word reading by SHP Case Manager Makeda Ama, whose book is entitled, “The Sum of My Egg: Diary of a Poet.”

The California Hotel, home now to more than 130 low-income residents, is a historic landmark on the National Register of Historic Places. Originally a commercial hotel built in 1929, the hotel hosted numerous jazz and blues greats including Billie Holiday, James Brown, Mahalia Jackson, and Big Mama Thornton.

You can watch a bit of the concert here.