Concert to Feed the Hungry Raises Funds Awareness And The Roof!

On June 17, the Middle Collegiate Church will host a musical fundraising event that’s become an annual tradition. In its sixth year, the concert is dedicated to combating the

pandemics of chronic hunger and malnutrition through fundraising and awareness. Purchase of a ticket will go to feed the hungry globally – in places ranging from Bangladesh and Cambodia to the US. Proceeds will also help farmers with food production and young women with education opportunities.

“It’s a grassroots effort that brings musicians together with the community that is awakening to compassionate action on an on-the-ground level,” says Dan Blake, who produces the concert with Buddhist Global Relief. “We’re not corporate-funded - we’re working with the kindness and generosity of the performers and volunteers.”

Though the concerts started out as jazz-based, the sound has evolved to fit the theme and it is truly an inclusive and eclectic collection of World Music stalwarts: Arturo O' Farrill, Grammy winner and founder/director of the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance; Dave Liebman (“a mentor of mine,” notes Blake), renowned saxophonist and recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Lifetime Achievement Award; Innov Gnawa, a musical collective that performs the trance music of Morocco; Slavic Soul Party, a nine-member American/Balkan Jazz Band based in Brooklyn; and prodigy Arta Jekabsone, winner of last year’s Montreaux Jazz Vocal competition.

“I wanted to incorporate a student performer,” explains Blake. “And she’s one of the finest at the New School for Jazz, where I teach. They’re right in the neighborhood so we’re also kind of partnering with the New School this year.”