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Love Wins Concert At Danbury's WestConn Will Benefit Ana Grace Project

Ana Grace Márquez-Greene, 6, was killed in the Dec. 14, 2002 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Ana Grace Márquez-Greene, 6, was killed in the Dec. 14, 2002 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Photo Credit: Contributed

DANBURY, Conn. — French chef Jacques Pepin will join well-known musicians Oct. 3 at Western Connecticut State University's Westside campus for an evening of food and music in honor of Ana Grace Marquez-Greene, one of the 26 victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings.

The program, called Love Wins! A Celebration of Food and Music, will benefit the Ana Grace Project and the university's Ana Grace Marquez-Greene Scholarship Fund.

General admission tickets are $35 each, and are available through Eventbrite .

Joining Pepin will be Grammy Award-winning vocalist Kurt Elling; 2010 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master pianist Kenny Barron; bassist John Patitucci; drummer Lewis Nash and Western Connecticut Coordinator of Jazz Studies Jimmy Greene (Ana Grace's father) on saxophone.

Hosted by the Western Connecticut State University Department of Music, the event starts at 7 p.m. with a reception in the lobby of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the school's Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Ext. During the reception, Pepin will answer questions from the audience.

At 8 p.m., Elling, Barron, Patitucci, Nash and Greene will perform in the Veronica Hagman Concert Hall.

Immediately following the concert, Pepin will sign his book titled “Jacques Pepin Heart & Soul in the Kitchen;” wine expert and author Claudine Pepin will sign her book titled “Kids Cook AnaFrench;” and Greene will sign copies of his CD titled “Beautiful Life.”

The Ana Grace Project was created after the Dec. 14, 2012, shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. The organization’s mission is to promote love, community and connection for every child and family.

Ana Grace was the daughter of Jimmy Greene and Nelba Márquez-Greene, and younger sister of Isaiah. The scholarship fund was also created after the tragedy to fund four-year scholarships at Western for music students. Ana “loved her God, loved to read the Bible and loved to sing and dance as acts of worship,” according to her father.

“I’m humbled by the caring and generosity of the Pepins, the WCSU community and these amazing musicians in donating their time and talents for this event,” Greene said.

For more details about the Ana Grace Project, visit http://anagraceproject.org/ . For more information about the Ana Grace Márquez-Greene Scholarship Fund, go to www.wcsu.edu/ia/greene-scholarship.asp .

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