“Toyota Music: A Quintessential Night” Was Hosted By Bevy Smith With Performances From Victory Boyd and Ledisi
Toyota helped kick off Grammy weekend in New York City with an intimate dinner and performances celebrating music and the arts.
Hosted by TV personality Bevy Smith, “Toyota Music: A Quintessential Night” put the spotlight on both emerging and established artists with acoustic sets from the Grammy-nominated Ledisi as well as Roc Nation’s new chanteuse, Victory Boyd.
The car brand also announced it will donate $10,000 to the Harlem School of the Arts to support students, programs and services there.
“Anything that has to do with music and helping it grow for the future, we all should always be there to stand up for it,” Ledisi told BOSSIP. “I’m just glad that everyone involved gets it, and I’m proud to be part of it.”
Activist Angela Rye, actor Titus Burgess and #MeToo activist Tarana Burk were spotted in the glamorous crowd Friday night at the event, which was held in a private home in New York’s Soho neighborhood.
The evening was a multi-sensory experience, with synchronized swimmers performing in the space’s inground pool and violinists from the Harlem School of the Arts putting their own spins on popular hip-hop songs. Visual artist Max Sansing created a one-of-a-kind piece for the evening, and “hip-hop” chef Danielle Saunders curated a menu with delicious items like seafood gumbo and a surf and turf of crab cakes and braised short ribs.
The guests first heard from Roc Nation’s Victory Boyd, a jazz/folk singer and musician who was discovered singing in Central Park. The 21-year-old sang Stevie Wonder’s “Ribbon in the Sky,” as well as one of her own originals.
Later, Ledisi performed a beautiful rendition of Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come,” followed by her hit, “I Blame You,” and her Grammy nominated song, “All The Way.”
Mia Phillips, Toyota’s national manager of brand marketing strategy for Toyota, said the carmaker was initially focused on supporting STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) but over the last ten years, has become especially passionate about music and people who are pursuing the creative arts.
“We took a look at what the company’s passions were,” Phillips said, “and we were passionate about the arts and innovation and the exuberance that the arts bring to the environment.”
Hit the flip to check out more from the soiree: