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Kiki Ebsen And Clifford Bell Plan GIVING THANKS Fundraiser Brunch For Autism Works At Feinstein's At Vitello's

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Kiki Ebsen And Clifford Bell Plan GIVING THANKS Fundraiser Brunch For Autism Works At Feinstein's At Vitello's

Los Angeles musical producer Clifford Bell announced today that he and entertainer Kiki Ebsen were staging "Giving Thanks: A Benefit for Autism Works Now," a musical brunch at Feinstein's at Vitello's in Studio City set for Sun. Nov. 24, to benefit the Los Angeles nonprofit founded by autism movement therapist and researcher Joanne Lara.  Says Bell, "I produce a lot of Live Entertainment - maybe three or four shows every month and I have for many decades now."

Bell is excited to cohost this show with acclaimed singer/songwriter Kiki Ebsen, of whom he said, "I'm delighted that Kiki will have a chance to mix it up between Jazz, Pop, Great American Songbook and her original Singer/Songwriter creations."

"Once we decided to put this show together, our first choices were our mutual friends-and is inserted in the story nowTerry Wollman and his wife, Melanie Taylor. Kiki has had a long personal friendship and professional relationship with them and I've recently had the great pleasure of knowing them and having them in my shows. Terry is a celebrated producer, arranger and iconic guitarist."

Of Taylor, Bell said, "Melanie is a critically acclaimed recording artist that I was not familiar with until I happened into an evening of about 30 singers (celebrities included) trying to outdo each other, and I'm telling you that time stopped for me when Melanie sang. Not only one of the warmest and most pleasing voices I'd heard in quite a while, but she had an emotional clarity and authority of lyric that you only get with a truly great singer."

Bell describes his newest guest, Katrina Aguilar, as a genuine discovery: "While producing some shows in San Diego, I came across a young woman who had a very impressive voice and yet she had an unusual sort of haunting quality about her. Getting to know her better, I learned that at childhood, she was diagnosed as on the 'Spectrum' of Autism. Being very intrigued by her, we started discussing putting a show together and much to my surprise, she had a full story conceived that she wanted to tell about how the music of Disney films was the thing that brought her out of her isolation and made her able to develop a way to communicate with the exterior world. We named the show 'Part Of Your World' based on the song from 'The Little Mermaid,' which speaks of a young girl who yearns to be out of her enclosed situation and walk among others in the 'real' world. When the show debuted, Katrina played to a sold-out house and received two standing ovations."

Bell sought Kiki's suggestion as to her opinion of the best nonprofit in the world of Autism to her knowledge. Ebsen responded that she had "great respect for longtime friend, Joanne Lara, a tireless and highly respected nonprofit director, whose organization Autism Works Now, emphasizes autism movement therapy research in children." Additional results of the organization are evidenced in the training adults on the spectrum receive in job interviewing skills and opportunities for job matches in workplace opportunities where these adults will flourish are just a few of the outcomes of her work.

Bell noted, "With all of the performers in place, and the charity decided, I thought of the legendary Corky Hale, for whom one of her early jobs as Musical Director for Billie Holiday (while still a teen). Hale is married to Mike Stoller of "Lieber & Stoller," one of the most prolific hit songwriting teams in modern musical history."

All artists will be supported by a single band, led by noted producer/keyboardist Stephan Oberhoff with Paul Morin on bass, Tom Bowe on drums, and Julie Sax on sax and flute.

The "Giving Thanks" event is set at Feinstein's at Vitello's for brunchtime on Sunday, Nov. 24, to provide a gathering of friends and extended family to attend the fundraiser. Individual tickets start at $25 (with a two-item minimum purchase) and go up to $100 for VIP seating, furnished brunch, and parking. Doors open at 12 pm and the show begins at 1pm. Tickets are available here. Feinstein's at Vitello's is located at 4349 Tujunga Ave., Studio City, CA 91604.


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