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Sagewood hosts concert at Woody’s Place

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Woody’s Place was established by former Berklee College of Music president, Lee Berk, who retired at Sagewood. (File Photos/DigitalFreePress)
Woody’s Place played host to Sagewood community Phoenix jazz concert
Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

Sagewood recently hosted its 100th live concert at Woody’s Place, the community’s onsite concert venue.

Over 300 residents gathered for connection, socialization and to experience the world-renowned Emmet Cohen Trio, featuring Benny Benack III.

Woody’s Place was established by former Berklee College of Music president, Lee Berk, who retired at Sagewood, 4555 E. Mayo Blvd. in Phoenix, according to a press release.

Mr. Berk also formed a jazz appreciation group to support and nurture jazz in Arizona and served as an adviser to the Phoenix Conservatory of Music. He and his wife, Susan, made it their mission to bring their love of Jazz to Sagewood to educate music fans and bring people together through the arts, the release states.

“My husband Lee wanted everyone to experience the harmony that can only be found in listening to music,” said Susan Berk. “Woody’s will continue to be the place Sagewood residents can enjoy extraordinary musical performances for years to come. This is our tribute to him and the musical legacy he left us all.”

This special 100th performance, which honored the late Lee Berk, was underwritten by Lenny and Annette Frankel, both Sagewood residents and friends of Mr. Berk.

Over the years, Woody’s Place hosted world-renowned musicians playing music of all kinds. The special 100th concert featured swing, bebop, and modern jazz.

“For the last 10 years, Woody’s Place has delighted our residents with extraordinary jazz and other musical performances,” said Holly Weaver, director of Community Life Services. “Throughout these 100 performances we have seen residents bond and connect with one another, we have seen residents light-up with youthlike energy, and we have seen residents dance, laugh and celebrate life.”

Live music has been proven to enhance memory and cognitive skills in seniors as well as reduce stress and anxiety, improve blood pressure, boost mood, and encourage movement. Woody’s Place revitalizes hundreds of residents with each concert by stimulating the brain and providing socialization. It is one of the most beloved resident activities and it provides many benefits for older adults.

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