Arts & Culture

Mr. Hopewell is a Co-Founder of the 1st National Radio Negro Network (National Black Network Inc.) in the United States, and formulated the proposal that helped secure $500,000 in funding while interviewing candidates for nation-wide radio network.

Member: Democratice National Committees (DNC) Small Business Council – Executive Member

Franchised Agent: American Federation of Television and Radio Artists

Board of Directors: Vice – Chair: Jennifer Muller/ The Works Modern Dance Company

Life Member: NAACP

Member: National Urban League

The James Beard Foundation

The DeGustibus Society


PAST PRODUCTIONS

FOR YOU BLACK WOMAN

September 1977, Bijou Club, New York City

  1. Bruce Hopewell produced and hosted a Gala party honoring the first African-American woman TV host, Alice Travis of FOR YOU BLACK WOMAN, the first television series specifically produced for the Black Female audience. Alice Travis, formally of ABC TV’s Good Morning America, was the star hostess of the new program. The Gala party was attended by such historic Black feminine leaders such as Maya Angelou, Vinette Carroll (Broadway Producer), Joy Kennedy Manks (Writer), Alma John (Radio Host), Clamma Dale, (the first featured Met Opera Diva), Marsha Gillespie of Essence Magazine, Elvira Davis (Mother of Sammy Davis Jr.) and many other notables for this historic first.

Charles Mingus Memorial

May 1979, The Village Gate, New York City

Bruce Hopewell and Village Gate owner, Art d’Lugoff, memorialized the late Charlie Mingus and established a foundation in his name. Susan Mingus, the late musician’s widow says, “Charlie always wished that he had attended Juilliard, and always promised to use what funds he had to send serious students to study.” Some of the players revering Charlie Mingus were, Dizzy Gillespie and his band , Percy Heath, Clifford Jordan, Stan Getz. The marathon was hosted by the great Author, Norman Mailer and beat poet Allen Ginsberg. A fitting tribute for such a jazz legend!

Count Basie Birthday Bash

1978, Club Sanno, New York City

  1. Bruce Hopewell produced Count Basie’s Birthday Bash at Club Sanno in New York City, including The Great Buck Clayton (Trumpet), Buddy Tate (Sax), Robin Kenyatta (Trombone), Helen Humes (Vocalist), Sonny Payne (Drums) and other Count Basie alumni. This party honored Count Basie’s 70th birthday and included many of his current and former band members who joined this honorific celebration.

Production Credits

Fiscal administrator for “Summer on Wheels,” a multiple cultural and jazz program sponsored by the New York State Council on the Arts during the summers of 1968 and 1969. This program sent many musical and dance groups to play and perform concerts in cities and towns throughout NY State. Some of the groups in the Harlem Cultural Council included: Jazzmobile, Dancemobile, Afro-American Theatre and Pickwick Puppets. These successful concerts were performed to stave off inner city race riots after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy.

President and Founder of Festival on the River, Inc. a series of 30 jazz cruises held on the Staten Island Ferry in NYC during the summers of 1973 and 1974. A total of 60 various jazz orchestras and jazz groups participated and played before an audience of more than 38,000 persons from NY, visitors from the continental US and foreign visitors and jazz enthusiasts from over 30 countries. Some of the jazz groups that performed included: Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, Two Generations of Brubeck featuring Dave Brubeck, Earl “Fatha” Hines, Maxine Sullivan, Joe Newman Septet, Chico Hamilton Septet, Robin Kenyatta, Sy Oliver Orchestra, Dorothy Donegan, Charles Mc Pherson Quintet, Junior Mance, Machito Orchestra, Roy Haynes Hip Ensemble, Wild Bill Davis Trio and many others. This accomplishment remains the first event of its kind ever held in New York.

Producer, Jingle Bells & Jazz (1975) at Town Hall in NY, which featured Kenny Burrell, Sylvia Syms, Clark Terry, Hank Jones, Jerome Richards, Ray Nance, Larry Ridley and others.

Producer, The Legends of Jazz concert, featuring Ray Charles and his orchestra, the Raelettes and Milt Jackson and his quintet was a reprise of a famous recording they had done ten years earlier on Atlantic Records called Jazz Giants. Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, NY (1977).

Festival Director, The First Harlem Jazz Festival (1978), at the Cotton Club, Harlem Hospital, Harlem Performance Center, St. Mark’s Church, Small’s Paradise, and Vincent’s Place. His friend, the distinguished author James Baldwin, wrote the Foreword for the program.

The Wall Street Olympic Committee: An Evening at the New York Stock Exchange (1978) and the Wall Street Olympic Committee An Evening at the American Stock Exchange (1979) for the benefit of the US Olympic Team. They are noteworthy because they were the first and only time this has been done and were conducted on the floors of the NY and American Stock Exchanges. Hopewell was responsible for contracting Muhammad Ali as part of the fundraising event along with the Jazz All Stars that included: Ellis Larkins, Roy Haynes, Clifford Jordan, Howard McGhee, Tommy Flanagan, Connie Kay, Red Mitchell, Johnny Hartman, Earl May, Ram Ramirez, Harold Cromer, Machito and Orchestra, Ray Rivera, and Emme Kemp. $450K was raised and donated.

Co-founder, with Tony Yoshikuni, of Jazz in a Japanese Garden (1979, 1980). These weekly concerts wedded the culture of Japan, including Asian culinary dining and traditions, with the American Jazz art form. They proved to be highly successful and were rated by most critics as the most popular and unique jazz undertakings in New York City. The concerts attracted legions of local and visiting residents, who mingled with foreign visitors world wide, including Japanese tourists, which resulted in a musical melting pot not heretofore seen.