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{ NFLPA & PAF presented a $10,000 donation to the Terence Blanchard & Robin Burgess Endowment for Jazz Studies at NOCCA. }
Author: NFLPA Communications Posted: 2/2/2013

At the NFLPA Smocks & Jocks Jazz Brunch and Art Auction held February 2 at the Eiffel Society in New Orleans, active and former players and others connected to the world of sport had a world-class forum to showcase their talents off the field to partners and the local community.

The event, annually hosted by the NFLPA Former Players Department, has a strong tradition of supporting the arts community in the Super Bowl host community.

This year, the NFL Players Association and the Professional Athletes Foundation (PAF) presented a $10,000 donation to the Terence Blanchard & Robin Burgess Endowment for Jazz Studies at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. Representatives from NOCCA were on hand to receive the check. The Terence Blanchard & Robin Burgess Endowment for Jazz Studies at NOCCA will assist in furthering the jazz studies program so that the next generation of great artists can rise, be supported and further their music and creativity.

Art for auction was provided by:Baron Batch (Pittsburgh Steelers), Steve Christie (former placekicker), Andre Collins (former linebacker, NFLPA Director of Former Players), Chris Cooley (Washington Redskins), Philip Crosby (former fullback), Quinn Early (former wide receiver), Dhani Jones (former linebacker), Sydney Justin (former cornerback), Cedric Killings (former defensive tackle), Desmond Mason (former NBA player), Mike McGraw (former linebacker), George Nock (former running back), Steve Sabol (NFL Films, art for display only), Cory Schelsinger (former linebacker), Jeffery Stephenson (former linebacker), Lynde Washington (former player) andGaro Yepremian (former placekicker).

Collins and Mason attended the brunch along with others such as Cornelius Bennett and Nolan Harrison.

“This event has grown over the years … and an art auction is nothing without its artists,” said Collins before introducing Mason.

Mason, a first-round pick in the 2000 NBA Draft, majored in studio art Oklahoma State. After a successful 10-year professional career, he now focuses on his passion of creating art. He lauded the eighth annual Smocks & Jocks event, saying it was a unique was to showcase athletes’ off-the-field and court talents. He also said he hopes “that one day the NBA will hold a similar event, because it’s one with such an important message.”

Acknowledged at Smocks & Jocks was this year’s HearStrong Champion, Paul Szemborski, Jr. Event sponsor EarQ presented the award to Szemborski, who overcame hearing loss to become a successful high school football student-athlete. SleepPro Network and Watermark Medical were also proud sponsors of the event.

Then, the event was turned over to Terence Blanchard and his incredible band.

Blanchard, a talented musician best known as a celebrated jazz trumpeter,  performed for the jazz brunch attendees, The New Orleans native, has established himself as one of the most influential jazz musicians and film score leaders --a true jazz legend shaping modern jazz in today’s society and mentoring those in his path. To his credit, Blanchard is a five-time Grammy Award winner, Broadway and film composer and Golden Globe Award nominee who is currently at work on an opera, “Champion,” set to premiere in Summer 2013.

Grammy nominee Burgess is president of Burgess Management, a firm devoted to the careers of recording and performing artists.  Since its creation in 1989, it has represented multiple Grammy nominees and winners, Emmy nominees, Golden Globe nominees, and has collaborated with many of today’s prominent figures in the music, film, and television industries.  Burgess has served as music coordinator on more than 41 films and documentaries, including Spike Lee’s Emmy Award winning HBO documentary, “When the Levees Broke.”

Desmond Mason and his painting "Little Town on Red Dirt Road" at Smocks & Jocks.


Terence Blanchard performs.


A $10,000 donation was made to the Terence Blanchard & Robin Burgess Endowment for Jazz Studies at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts.


HearStrong Champion Paul Szemborski, Jr. receives his award.


"3 Wise Men" by Baron Batch


"The Swarm" by Quinn Early

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