Grammy® Award-winning music legend Peter Frampton will headline the Ed Asner Family Center’s first annual A NIGHT OF DREAMS Gala along with performances by Naia Izumi, NPR’s 2018 Tiny Desk Contest Winner, among others. The Gala will also honor Emmy®-winning actor Ed Asner, world renowned celebrity chef Art Smith and Emmy-winner Elaine Frontain Bryant, Executive Vice President and Head of Programming for A&E Network, for their dedication to the special needs communities. Hosting the evening will be Emmy Winning comedian Wanda Sykes. The Gala will take place on November 15, 2018 at Exchange LA Downtown.
“Our talent is second to none and we are thrilled to spotlight the legendary Peter Frampton in an epic concert. Naia Izumi’s incredible talent will move the audience and the fabulous Wanda Sykes will bring her humor and love to the evening. We are so proud to honor Ed Asner, Art Smith and Elaine Frontain-Bryant, who personify our organization’s mission through their love of helping children. Autism and special needs including Down Syndrome, developmental delays, Cerebral Palsy and others touches all of us personally,” said Matthew Asner, President of The Ed Asner Family Center.
PETER FRAMPTON is an award-winning British rock musician, singer, guitarist, songwriter, and producer. He was previously associated with the bands Humble Pie and The Herd. His solo release Frampton Comes Alive! sold more than 8 million copies in the United States and launched his solo career. Frampton is best known for such hits as “Breaking All the Rules,” “Show Me the Way,” “Baby, I Love Your Way,” “Do You Feel Like We Do,” and “I’m in You,” which remain staples on classic rock radio. He has also appeared as himself in television shows such as The Simpsons and Family Guy.
Also taking the stage will be artist NAIA IZUMI, who is recognized for winning NPR’s 2018 Tiny Desk Contest. Naia Izumi is a 34-year-old musician from Columbus, Ga. who now lives in Los Angeles and busks on that city’s streets. With a plethora of self-released music on Bandcamp and a skilled, soulful Tiny Desk Contest submission, he won over 5,000 entries showcasing both his undeniable talent and charismatic personality. Izumi was assigned male at birth and — though he currently identifies as male — identified as a woman for about seven years (and originally titled the track “Soft Spoken Woman”). The song of his winning entry was written in order to try to address dealing with prejudices both social and artistic.
WANDA SYKES has been called “one of the funniest stand-up comics” by her peers and ranks among Entertainment Weekly’s 25 Funniest People in America. Her smart-witted stand up has sent her career in many different areas. She is a celebrated actress, comedian, producer and writer who currently be seen on ABC’s Black-ish, which she was nominated for a 2017 and 2018 Primetime Emmy Award and across the country on her latest comedy tour Oh Well. Her first HBO comedy special Wanda Sykes; Sick and Tired debuted in October 2006 and was nominated for a 2007 Primetime Emmy for ‘Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special.’ She returned to HBO for her second stand up special I’ma Be Me. The special was nominated for two 2010 Primetime Emmy awards: ‘Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special’ and ‘Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Special.’ Her first special Wanda Sykes: Tongue Untied premiered on Comedy Central in 2003. In Fall 2016 was seen in her third stand up special called special What Happened…. Ms Sykes. Other TV and film credits include Snatched, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Monster -in- Law.
The Ed Asner Family Center is dedicated to promoting self-confidence in differently “abled” individuals, bringing balance and wellness to them and their families. The Center not only caters to the needs of the special child but aims to engage the whole family in order to help them face their unique challenges. Tickets, sponsorship opportunities and additional information are available at www.edasnerfamilycenter.org
The evening will kick off with Chef Art Smith preparing his famous fried chicken and hummingbird cake dinner family style for the main floor guests. Joan’s on 3rd will be providing platters for the mezzanine seating. The program will also offer a “Fund-A-Mission” auction where guests will have the opportunity to support special Ed Asner Family Center initiatives including summer camp for kids with autism and other programs for the community.