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Comedian Kathy Buckley with Jamie Foxx

at House Ear Institute Event

Only in Hollywood can a Superstar like Jamie Foxx become a Supernumerary in accepting an award. Producer Michael Mann received the Sound Partners Lifetime Achievement Award from the House Ear Institute, but was unable to attend. The famed film maker was in South America working on the film version of Miami Vice, so Foxx (who is costarring in the flick with Colin Farrell) was on hand to receive the award on his behalf.

Not so bad folks, since when he arrived on stage, Foxx broke into an impromptu rendition of Ray Charles’ “Georgia” accompanied by the band to a standing ovation from the audience.

Unfortunately, another award recipient, recording artist, Phil Collins, was also unable to attend, and his award was accepted by Christ Montan, President of Walt Disney Music. Montan gave a heartfelt speech about how hearing loss has affected his own life, and praised the House Ear Institute for their renowned research. Collins did videotape his acceptance speech, and footage from his final concert tour.

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Ted Danson, Mary Steenburger

with Laura Dern at NOW Awards

One lady, very much in evidence, was Kathy Buckley, “America’s First Hearing Impaired Comedienne” who was honored by the American Comedy Awards. Kathy is more than a comedian; her humor has a higher purpose. “My comedy disarms people . I believe that the only disability is attitude”. Brava to this brave young woman.

And speaking of fabulous females, the National Organization for Women presented their Excellence in Media Awards in the chic Versailles Ballroom at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Among those honored were actress Laura Dern, Tracey Edmonds and HBO V.P. Keri Putnam. An impressive list of presenters included Mary Steenburgen, Ted Danson and Dennis Haysbert.

Seems that powerful women dig their musician mates, as evidenced by Dern’s hubby Ben Harper (Innocent Criminals); and, of course, Edmond’s partner, Kenny Babyface Edmonds. They were indeed proud of their winning wives.

KCBS-2 Los Angeles News co-anchor, Laura Diaz, emceed the event, which included a surprise presentation by Tyne Daly to California Now Executive Director Helen Grieco. It is her goal to make certain progressive women make it into the top levels of all media.

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Tracey Edmonds, Madelyn Hammond,

Janice Howroyd & Keri Putnam (NOW honorees)

“What a day it will be when we have a media that enhances our democracy, and where the diversity of women’s stories is told”.

Another event of interest was when renowned Chinese pianist Yundi Li made his L.A. debut to headline the American Youth Symphony’s Gala Benefit Concert. Over $362,000 was raised to support the orchestra. Featured was the world premiere of Dreams and Whispers of Poseidon by composer Lera Auerbach. This magnificent work was dedicated to the memory of Tsunami victims…one of which was a former American Youth Symphony outreach teacher. Li, one of the top pianists of the emerging generation, proves that classical music is alive and well on the Hollywood Beat.