May 6, 2017 will mark our 24th annual event, which includes an extended cocktail hour, delicious dinner, awards, fireworks and much more. For best seating purchase tickets early!
For 2017 we are thrilled to present Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. The ultimate Motown Diva, Martha’s hits include Heat Wave, Dancing In The Street, Jimmy Mack, and Nowhere To Run.
Reeves is the recipient of the Dinah Washington Award, a Rhythm n’ Blues Foundation Pioneer Award, a Black Woman in Publishing Legends Award, and has been inducted in the Alabama, Soul, Rock and Roll, and Vocal Group halls of fame. “Dancing in the Street” has been entered into the Library of Congress Registry of Historical Recordings and the Grammy Hall of Fame. Martha Reeves and the Vandellas are listed among Rolling Stone magazine’s “100 Immortal Artists” and Martha herself was named one of the “30 Top Lead Singers of all Time.” For more about Martha Reeves, click here
One of the desert’s most enjoyable and beloved fundraising events, Evening Under the Stars will continue its traditional ‘Dance Party’ theme with dancing immediately after the show with DJ Jerry Bonham on the main stage.
Tickets are now available! General Seating - $395 and Preferred Seating - $500.
For tables and other ticket levels, please click here or contact us at (760) 325-8481
In the past years, 'Evening Under the Stars' has featured the talents of Nell Carter, Tyne Daly, Melissa Manchester, Jane Oliver, Lorna Luft, Suzanne Somers, Bea Arthur and our 10th anniversary spectacular highlighted Barry Manilow and his orchestra. Ms. Nancy Wilson headlined our 2004 gala with the Las Vegas Rat Pack & the Dry Martini Orchestra as our opening. 2005 showcased the legendary talents of Ms. Lily Tomlin, 2006 saw a return of Barry Manilow with his new Las Vegas Review, 2007 and 2009 showcased the legendary talents of Mary Wilson of the Supremes, and 2008 presented Pink Martini. Our 2010 event featured the music of ABBA performed by ARRIVAL (direct from Sweden) and featured some of ABBA's original musicians. Our 2011 event featured the B-52's, and the house rocked in 2012 with The Go-Go's! For 2013, the remarkable Cyndi Lauper helped us celebrate the 20th Evening Under the Stars. In 2014 we made history with The First Ladies of Disco: Alfa Anderson, Linda Clifford, Norma Jean, France Joli, Evelyn “Champagne” King, Luci Martin, Charlene Moore, Maxine Nightingale, Pamala Stanley, Jeanie Tracy, Anita Ward, and Martha Wash, while our 2015 event presented the phenomenal Darlene Love! The 2016 event featured the world-famous Village People.
About Martha Reeves & the Vandellas
Hits: Heat Wave, Dancing In The Street, Jimmy Mack, and Nowhere To Run
Martha Reeves is The Ultimate Motown Diva
It’s been more than 50 years since Martha Reeves first boarded that rented bus along with the likes of The Miracles, Stevie Wonder, the Supremes, and Marvin Gaye on the first Motown Review. She and her backup group, the Vandellas, sang behind Marvin and soon hit the charts with their own trifecta: “Come and Get These Memories,” “Love is Like a Heat Wave,” and “Quicksand.” Over the next decade, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas would be a constant presence on the music charts, as well as on television and top venues across the US and abroad.
With the unmistakable voice that helped define “the sound of young America,” Reeves reigns today as one of music’s most beloved and acclaimed female singers. On stage, she is a live wire: dancing, strutting, keeping the beat with her trusty tambourine and keeping audiences on their feet as they dance down Memory Lane. Whether performing solo or with the Vandellas, Martha Reeves continues to heat up clubs, concert stages and music festivals, thrilling audiences across the globe, and always leaving them dancing. In 2012, she returned to the Billboard charts with her Top 25 hit, “I’m Not Leaving,” recorded with techno DJ duo The Crystal Method, and returned to the Howard Theatre – site of the very first Motown Revue show – for its grand re-opening. She capped 2013 with a 13-city sold-out solo tour of the UK. Her 2014 “Calling Out Around the World Tour,” commemorated the 50th anniversary of the release of “Dancing in the Street.” In 2017, she celebrates 50 years of calling for “Jimmy Mack” to come back.
Reeves’ hits are the thing of legend: In addition to the aforementioned, they include the gospel-tinged “Nowhere to Run,” the classic soul favorite “My Baby Loves Me,” the pop anthem “Jimmy Mack,” and her signature, “Dancing In The Street.” While best known for up-tempo, hard driving tunes, Reeves’ shows are often highlighted by jazzy renderings of Billie Holiday’s “God Bless The Child,” her driving original blues “Watch Your Back” (both included in her self-produced CD “Home to You”), and the perennial showstopper, “Love Makes Me Do Foolish Things.”
Martha’s story is a familiar one to legions of fans. Soon after graduating from high school, she performed in clubs as “Martha Lavaille.” One night, Motown A&R director Mickey Stevenson heard her and invited her to audition for the then-fledgling label. The highly-motivated Reeves arrived the next morning. Upon learning that auditions had to be scheduled, she made herself valuable by answering phones and taking messages. When people say she started at Motown as a secretary, Reeves corrects them, laughing, “I was never a secretary. I was a singer who could type.”
Reeves soon become an invaluable administrator, interacting with musicians and performers, scheduling sessions, and making sure that business was taken care of. And she waited her turn to sing. One day, when Mary Wells missed a session, Martha stepped up to the mic and got noticed and a contract. She left the A/R department to become one of Motown’s most enduring and beloved stars.
As classics never fade, new and diverse audiences are constantly being introduced to the Martha Reeves songbook.
She has counted talents as diverse as James Brown and Beverly Sills among her singing partners. Robin Williams spun “Nowhere to Run” in Good Morning, Vietnam. Her version of the Van Morrison rocker, “Wild Night” was featured on the Thelma and Louise movie soundtrack. The boys in The Boys In The Band and Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act 2 partied to “Heat Wave.” Everyone from Mick Jagger and David Bowie, the Mamas and the Papas, Dusty Springfield and the Grateful Dead have gone “Dancing In The Street.” Singers such as Adele, Amy Winehouse, Florence Welch, and Jennifer Hudson sing her praises. A few years ago, Will Smith and the producers of the movie Hitch mined Martha’s vault of unreleased recordings to find her sublime “It’s Easy (To Fall In Love With a Guy Like You).” Melanie Fiona sampled “Jimmy Mack” in her hit, “Please Don’t Go (Cry Baby).”
Moving beyond the confines of the concert stage, Reeves starred in a US tour of the Tony-winning “Ain’t Misbehavin,’” and has performed in road shows of “The Jackie Wilson Story” and “Good Black Don’t Crack.” She co-starred for three seasons in the UK stage review “Dancing In The Street,” alongside Motown peers like the late Edwin Starr, Mary Wilson, and Freda Payne. Following Starr’s death in 2003, Reeves held the spotlight alone. That same year, she made her opera debut singing with the Motor City Lyric Opera.
Reeves is the recipient of the Dinah Washington Award, a Rhythm n’ Blues Foundation Pioneer Award, a Black Woman in Publishing Legends Award, and has been inducted in the Alabama, Soul, Rock and Roll, and Vocal Group halls of fame. “Dancing in the Street” has been entered into the Library of Congress Registry of Historical Recordings and the Grammy Hall of Fame. Martha Reeves and the Vandellas are listed among Rolling Stone magazine’s “100 Immortal Artists” and Martha herself was named one of the “30 Top Lead Singers of all Time.”
From 2005-2009, Martha served on the Detroit City Council, as an advocate for the city’s seniors and fighting for the Motor City’s educational and economic future. She continues to be an international ambassador for Detroit, making sure that you “can’t forget the Motor City.”
With a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Miami, Dr. Terri Ketover's varied professional career has included a 9 year term as the Executive Director of the Coconut Grove Arts Festival, and a long association with the City of Miami as a Special Consultant to the Chief of Police and City Manager, as well as a research appointment at the University of Miami’s Mailman Center for Child Development. She has been officially recognized by the Florida House of Representatives and the White House for founding the "Do the Right Thing" Program, a nonprofit organization with chapters in 53 cities throughout the United States as well as Germany and England. She currently serves on the board of Desert AIDS Project and chaired their 100 Women annual giving program, the Palm Springs International Film Festival, the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center, is Vice-Chair of the Palm Springs Art Museum Annenberg Theater Council, and is Co-Chair of Michael Childers’ annual “One Night Only.”
The Gloria Greene Inspiration Award celebrates Greene’s insight, commitment and passion, illustrating the difference that just one person can make in their community. Prior recipients include Barry Manilow, Bob Hoven, Barbara and Jerry Keller, Dr. John Stansell and Gloria Greer.
Cathy MacNaughton has served as the Vice President of Administration and Regulatory Compliance for Managed Health Network, a managed behavioral healthcare company. She is active in various professional and charitable organizations and has served on the boards of the San Francisco Opera Guild, San Francisco Performing Arts Library and Museum, Diablo Regional Arts Association, Bay Area Arthritis Auxiliary, and Bay Area Community Resources. She has chaired numerous events and has been a long-time supporter of the AIDS Assistance Program and its Evening Under the Stars event.
The Herb Lazenby Community Service Award was created to recognize an individual’s outstanding commitment to service within their community. The award carries the name of its inaugural recipient, Dr. Herb Lazenby, whose name became synonymous with Community Service here in the Coachella Valley. Previous recipients include Lily Tomlin, Michael Childers, Brian Wanzek (aka Bella da Ball), Rabbi Sally Olins, Joyce Shampeny, John Williams and Richard DeSantis.
A forceful advocate for families, children, consumers, the environment and the State of California, Barbara Boxer became a United States Senator in January 1993 after 10 years of service in the House of Representatives and six years on the Marin County Board of Supervisors. In November 2010, she was reelected to her fourth term in the Senate. A national leader on environmental protection, Senator Boxer is the ranking member on the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Environment and Public Works and is the ranking member of the Senate Select Committee on Ethics. She is a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where she chairs the first subcommittee ever to focus on global women’s issues and is a member of the Democratic leadership in the Senate, serving as the Chief Deputy Whip since 2005.
The Jeannette Rockefeller Humanitarian Award honors Jeannette Rockefeller, the founding president of AIDS Assistance Program. The award was established in 1997 to honor the humanitarian efforts of outstanding community members and recognizes individuals who have lent their energy, commitment, and influence to raise awareness and funding for important issues including HIV/AIDS. Previous recipients include R. D. & Joan Dale Hubbard, Tim Hanlon, Helene Galen, James Houston, Harold Matzner, and Betty Francis.
Walgreens is one of the largest drugstore chains in the U.S., with more than 8,000 stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The company’s vision is to be America’s most-loved pharmacy-led health, well-being and beauty retailer while championing everyone’s right to be happy and healthy. It has been a long-term supporter of the AIDS Assistance Program through its annual Christmas stocking stuffer program.
The Corporate Angel Award was inaugurated in 2016 to recognize outstanding corporate partners that have supported AIDS Assistance Program consistently and with an abundance of heart.
Jane Wagner, a distinguished American playwright, has won numerous awards, including two Peabody's, four Emmy's, a Writer's Guild Award for her work in television, and the seldom-given NY Drama Critics' Circle Special Award for her Broadway success, The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe. Wagner made her writing debut with the acclaimed CBS teleplay entitled J.T. and her book of the same title. In 1971, Wagner began working with Lily Tomlin on an Edith Ann album entitled Edith Ann: And That’s the Truth, which began an award-winning, creative alliance that has lasted for more than 45 years. She went on to write and produce two more Grammy-nominated albums, Modern Scream (1975) and On Stage (1977). Together, Wagner and Tomlin also produced six television specials as well as three animated specials that Wagner wrote starring the precocious Edith Ann. In 1977, Wagner wrote and directed Appearing Nitely, a one-woman show in which Tomlin made her Broadway debut. Wagner subsequently wrote the screenplay for the film The Incredible Shrinking Woman. More recently, Wagner has written and produced an HBO documentary entitled An Apology to Elephants.
The Joanna Jakway Community Hero Award was created in 2011 to recognize and honor the critical contributions of AAP co-founder and Palm Springs resident and community activist Joanna Jakway. At the 2011 Evening Under the Stars, in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the founding of AIDS Assistance Program, the inaugural Joanna Jakway Community Hero Award was given to Jackie Lee and Jim Houston in honor of the countless lives they have touched. Additional honorees include John Federbusch, Gary Frey and Steve Kaufer.
Our Gala Program is a beautifully designed full-color glossy magazine-style keepsake and offers those supporters and dedicated members of our community a chance to shine in a very public way. The program is distributed at our event to approximately 1,500 people. In addition to business promotion, it is also customary to purchase 'tribute' ads in recognition of the event's honorees.