The evening began with a dessert reception and included the unveiling of a stunning donor wall with a custom design by local glass artist Andrew Pollack.
Cantor Azi Schwartz is known for adapting traditional songs and prayers to the tune of well-known hits, such as “You’ll Be Back” from the acclaimed Broadway hit, Hamilton. He has performed in the UN General Assembly Hall, the US Capitol Rotunda, the Knesset, and in Citi Field stadium, as well as Carnegie Hall, the Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv accompanied by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Rykestrasse Synagogue in Berlin accompanied by the RIAS Kammerchor. In October 2015, Azi represented the Jewish people at the multireligious gathering at the National September 11 Memorial Museum during the pope's visit to New York.
During the event he was accompanied on piano by the Park Avenue Synagogue’s music director, Colin Fowler; by musicians from the Louisiana Philharmonic, cellist Daniel Lelchuk, percussionist Jacob Powers, and bassist Paul Macres; as well as Ben Schenk, who plays clarinet for Panorama Jazz Band. Additionally, Cantor Schwartz was joined in song by Cantor Joel Colman of Temple Sinai in New Orleans and Cantorial Soloist Tori Cohen May of Congregation Gates of Prayer in Metairie for a beautiful and moving performance of Avinu Malkeinu.