Listen to Diana Krall’s new album, Quiet Nights, and you may think you’ve been transported to a hot steamy night in Brazil. And we do mean hot. “This album brings new excitement into what I’m doing,” Krall says. The chanteuse recently had a chance to debut a track from her 12th album, which hit stores in March, at a gala fundraiser in February, where she performed with her husband, Elvis Costello, as well as friends James Taylor, Elton John, and Sarah McLachlan.
It was Krall’s seventh performance for the invitation-only, black-tie charity evening to raise money for Vancouver General Hospital in British Columbia. This year, the event brought in more than $2 million for the Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program to help patients with multiple myeloma, leukemia, and other blood-related cancers.
Singer/songwriter Stewart Francke is no stranger to receiving awards for the soulful hard rock he's been playing since he was 19, but this month he's being honored for his musical efforts to aid people with leukemia. A survivor of the disease, Francke is receiving the Civic Leadership Award from the Michigan-based Twilight Benefit Foundation.
"This is a large world of caring people," Francke says, "and I'm really honored to be part of this group."
Not that it's been an easy role. "I went through...
Krall began the fundraisers when her mother, Adella, received a bone marrow transplant in 1996 after being diagnosed with multiple myeloma. This incurable form of cancer that affects the immune system strikes almost 20,000 people per year in the United States. “After my mom’s transplant, she had six years of a very extraordinary life,” Krall says. Sadly, Adella succumbed to the disease in 2002, which devastated Krall. “My whole world got the rug pulled out from under it.” She says she had a hard time thinking about continuing the charity event, which had put her mother front and center previously. “It was like, how am I going to do this?”
Her friend and fellow musician Elton John persuaded her to keep going. “He encouraged me to use my artistry to help do other things, which means a lot to me.” Good thing he did. This last event pushed the charity benefit’s total to more than $6 million. Krall firmly believes in the power of good works: “It’s really important, even in this tough time, that we continue doing the work that we’re doing.”