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Taylor performs at benefit

Musician James Taylor has kicked off his first U.S. tour in several years by performing a benefit concert at his wife’s upstate New York high school alma mater.

Taylor played a private concert Saturday night at the Albany Academy for Girls to benefit the school’s 200th anniversary. Taylor’s wife, Kim Hessberg Taylor, is a 1971 graduate of the private school. Proceeds from the concert will go toward improving one of the buildings on the school’s 50-acre Albany campus.

Kim Taylor joined her husband on stage and sang with him during the concert, the first of more than three dozen on his 2014 tour schedule.

Taylor’s 2014 tour starts May 30 in Portland, Oregon.

Bill Clinton to get Monk award

Former President Bill Clinton will get a chance to play his saxophone when the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz honors him with its Founder’s Award.

The Monk Institute announced Monday that Clinton will receive the award at a Nov. 9 concert at Los Angeles’ Dolby Theater featuring Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Dianne Reeves, Dee Dee Bridgewater and others.

The proceeds will support the institute’s free jazz education programs worldwide.

Hancock, the institute’s chairman, says Clinton honed “his creativity on the tenor saxophone” in public school music programs and has been “a jazz advocate for decades.”

JLo bitten by the writing bug

Jennifer Lopez’s latest project is a story of “True Love.”

The entertainer has an agreement with Penguin Group (USA) for a book, her first, about her “cathartic” 2012 world tour. The publisher announced Monday that the book will be called “True Love.”

It will come out in English and Spanish and will be released through Penguin’s Celebra imprint on Oct. 29.

According to Celebra, the book will be a “diary” in which Lopez confides her greatest fears and how she overcomes them.

Biden says it with flowers

Vice President Joe Biden turned down a Connecticut teenager’s invitation to her high school prom – but sent along a corsage, nevertheless.

“I am flattered, but my schedule will not permit me to be in Connecticut on Friday evening,” Biden said in a handwritten note on vice presidential stationery that accompanied a wrist corsage. “But I hope you will accept this corsage and enjoy your prom as much as I did mine.”

In the handwritten note she penned to Biden several months ago, Talia Maselli jokingly warned that she might ask Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, to the Newington High School prom if Biden turned her down.

“And we can’t have that now can we,” she wrote.

As it turned out, Maselli didn’t attend her prom at all. But Biden included an invitation to tour the White House in his note, and Maselli told the Hartford Courant she’s excited about going with her family to the White House and meeting Biden, hopefully in July.

— From News wire services