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Detroit-based jazz singer Kimmie Horne donates proceeds of summer concert series to Ronald McDonald House of Detroit

People who attended the Kimmie Horne Jazz Festival 2017 in Lathrup Village heard some great music from the smooth and silky singer, her jazz quintet and other gifted performers. The concert garnered donations and sponsorships that enabled Kimmie to donate a percentage of the proceeds to the Ronald McDonald House of Detroit.

The funds will be used to purchase headsets for the entertainment area of the new Family Room that is being constructed at Children’s Hospital of Michigan. The room will be a place for families to relax and get special attention from the Ronald McDonald House of Detroit. The House itself is located one mile north of the hospital at 4707 St. Antoine in Detroit’s Midtown neighborhood. The room will open in the late fall.

Kimmie was introduced to the House and its executive director, Jennifer Litomisky, by the late Deborah Virgiles, a successful McDonalds franchise owner who served on the board of the House for many years. “I met Jen and saw all the things that the House was doing to help families. I asked them to be a recipient of the concert,” Kimmie said.

The House provides a room and meals in a supportive environment for families with a child who is undergoing extensive medical care at a nearby facility. The House becomes a home for these families thanks to the compassion, fellowship and kindness shown by staff and volunteers during their stay. It has a five-star rating by Charity Navigator.

Kimmie launched the eponymous jazz festival in 2016.  She sings in festivals…from Japan to Jamaica, and everywhere in between. It brings her a sense of cultural awareness with a unique ambience at each venue.

Kimmie and her band create original melodies with the standards and do intriguing remixes. One in particular is “I will survive,” Gloria Gaynor’s song that Kimmie swings for a jazzy feel. That type of improvisation “is a gateway to writing my original songs,” she notes.

Her festival’s quintet consisted of Al McKenzie on the keyboards, Darrell (Peanut) Smith on bass, Kali Douglas on keyboards and Jeff Canady on the drums, coupled with background singers Athena Johnson, Jill Hamilton and her older brother Tony Horne on percussions and vocals.

“We continue to sound the horn,” is a phrase that Kimmie likes to use to underscore the family connection. Her late great aunt was singer Lena Horne and her late Uncle Cleveland Horne was a member of the singing group, The Fantastic Four.