Berklee College of Music President Creates Concert Series to Bring Health Benefits to Seniors

Sagewood, a Life Plan Community featuring a resort-style setting in Phoenix, recently hosted their 100th live concert at the Oasis performance center, the community’s onsite concert venue. Woody’s Place Presents, a resident led production team, hosted over 300 residents for connection, socialization and to experience the world-renowned, Emmet Cohen Trio, featuring Benny Benack III. 

Woody’s Place Presents was established by former Berklee College of Music president and namesake, Lee Berk, his wife Susan, and Sagewood jazz aficionado, Martin O’Sullivan. Lee Berk also formed a jazz appreciation group to support and nurture jazz in Arizona and served as an adviser to the Phoenix Conservatory of Music. Lee, Susan, and Martin made it their mission to bring their love of jazz to Sagewood to educate music fans and bring people together through the arts.

“My husband Lee wanted everyone to experience the harmony that can only be found by listening to music,” said Susan Berk. “Woody’s will continue to be the place Sagewood residents can enjoy extraordinary musical performances for years to come. This is our tribute to him and the musical legacy he left us all.”

This special 100th performance, which honored the late Lee Berk, was underwritten by Lenny and Annette Frankel, both Sagewood residents and friends of Berk. Over the years, Woody’s Place Presents hosted world-renowned musicians playing music of all kinds. The special 100th concert featured swing, bebop, and modern jazz. 

Live music has been proven to enhance memory and cognitive skills in seniors as well as reduce stress and anxiety, improve blood pressure, boost mood, and encourage movement. Woody’s Place Presents revitalizes hundreds of residents with each concert by stimulating the brain and providing socialization. It is one of the most beloved resident activities and it provides many benefits for older adults.

“Music is an integral part of health” says Martin O’Sullivan. “When we listen to music at Woody’s, we are able to relax, forget our worries and are brought back to our youth. When the music stops, residents leave with an afterglow. We are so proud to be able to bring the benefits of music to our community.”

Whether jazz, classical or the upcoming barbershop quartet performance, Sagewood will continue to offer concerts and other enriching activites to help Arizona seniors live long, healthy and happy lives. Woody’s Place Presents is just one of the many ways Sagewood ensures residents are living life to the fullest.

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