31 Dec Christmas Jazz Concert at Lincoln Center, NYC
The show is about to start. The house lights dim, you could hear a pin drop. The spotlight opens on the sign language interpretor, Lenore Pemberton Cilmi, who is introduced by Wynton Marsalis himself. He thanks her for her “bright and expressive sign language interpreting” and tells everyone that should they get tired of the band, they should feel free to enjoy Lenore as she is very entertaining. Everyone laughs as Lenore is signing his every word and expressing the essence of what is being said. That’s her job.
The Wynton Marsalis Jazz Orchestra is wonderful to hear, see, and feel! The musicians are so talented; they connect to each other and to the audience. Lenore loves their music and dances the rhythm and signs the vocals and signs the instruments by imitating each musician (air trumpet, saxophone, guitar, drums, trombone, etc.) appropriately as they are featured in the song. She seamlessly expresses the entire show, without missing a beat for an hour and a half, and is as vital to the performance as anyone on the stage.
In between the music performances, Wynton thanks individuals in the band for their solos, arrangements, and management of the entire show. He also thanks Lenore several times for her enthusiasm and joy. Her participation goes far beyond serving the deaf folks who are here. The band loves having her here, the audience gets an expanded experience of the show, and the difference she makes is heartfelt by everyone. I am so proud!!
A funny note is that I got the very last ticket available for this show when I went online. And my seat was in the orchestra, just 5 rows back from Lenore’s spot on stage.
Congrats Honey!!! You Rock!!!
And so, a very Merry Christmas and Happy holidays to all of you. You are all very dear to us.
Joe and Lenore