Roberta Flack honoured by the Jazz Foundation of America

The legendary singer has spoken frankly about using music to help her recover from a stroke

Roberta Flack has been honoured by the Jazz Foundation of America charity. The legendary singer whose hits include ‘Killing Me Softly’ and ‘Feel Like Makin’ Love’ was given a lifetime achievement award in New York last week with star attendees and performers including Valerie Simpson, Cassandra Wilson, Randy Brecker, Joe Lovano and Macy Gray.

The Foundation raises money and awareness of jazz musicians who are in financial peril, or who require medical assistance. At the same event, a number of Puerto Rican musicians performed who were helped after the devastation of Hurricane Maria. The foundation’s other projects also include creating employment, running outreach programmes in schools and hospitals and organising pop-up concerts in public spaces.

Roberta, who is 81, says despite suffering a stroke recently, she still uses music every day to help her recovery process. In an intimate video interview, she credits her musical director who helps her “go over the same songs over and over again to try and make them perfect”. Speaking about the Foundation, she said: “It seems like we got a lot of musicians who don’t need help, who do it themselves or do it on their own – but that’s not true, they need a lot of help. I’m happy to help”.

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