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Leo Hopewell

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Leo Hopewell Obituary
Leo Bruce Hopewell

Leo Bruce Hopewell was born in Easton, PA. He was a leader and had an extensive knowledge of musical history especially in Jazz, was an enthusiastic fan and supporter of Track and Field, universal traveler, and life of any party. He distinguished himself as a producer of world class jazz musicians and tax consultant. He attended CUNY, Baruch with a degree in Accounting and completed an Advanced Study at NYU Institute on Federal Taxation.
Bruce remained a unique figure in New York's cultural life from the time he moved from PA to Brooklyn during the euphoria of post-World War II America. His neighborhood friends have been celebrated as NEA Jazz Masters. He remained a friend to a whole generation of musicians and artists who helped change American music. He co-founded the National Black Network, NYS Delegate and appointee by Jimmy Carter to the National Advisory Council of Senate Committee on Small Business, Executive Member of DNC Small Business Council, AFTRA, Founding Sponsor of the MLK, Jr., Memorial and as a gourmet cook Bruce enjoyed his friendships with Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Danny Meyer.
A few of Bruce's jazz accomplishments include: Producer of the Ray Charles concert, Festival Director of The First Harlem Jazz Festival, President and Founder of Festival on the River, Staten Island Ferry, NYC, which included 60 various jazz orchestras and jazz groups that performed for over 38,000 from NYC and U.S. and visitors from over 30 countries. The Voice of America recorded these sailings worldwide.
He served as Treasurer of St. Peter's Lutheran Church, NY. Bruce is the only person to present jazz concerts on the floors of NYSE and AMEX hosted by The Wall Street Olympic Committee and awards presentation included Muhammad Ali, Frank Gifford, Wilma Rudolph and Bruce Jenner,
He was the founder and publisher of a weekly jazz paper, Jazzbill relating jazz events in and around NYC and nationally. An ardent jazzophile and intimate friend of many musicians, he accumulated an impressive record collection reflecting the many changing styles and periods of jazz over the past 60+ years.
A few of Bruce's contributions when he and his wife relocated to Napa, CA in 2007 include NVOH Board Trustee, and a Founder of NV Jazz Society. After being invited by the head of UNESCO, to Beijing in 2006, Bruce obtained interpreters for the U.S. Olympic Officials for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Bruce is survived by the love of his life, wife Mary Hopewell, sister-in-law, Marilyn Hopewell, grandson Ethan, nephews Marc McDowell and Kris Hopewell, cousin Raymond Johnston Sr. Spring/Summer Celebrations of Life information to be held in NYC and Napa can be found on Bruce's website www.brucehopewell.com as they become available. Contributions to honor Leo Bruce Hopewell, Sr. can be made to Napa Valley Jazz Society, SF Jazz, Palo Alto Jazz Alliance or CA Jazz Foundation.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Aug. 26, 2018
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