A Weston-based nonprofit group believes music can not only entertain but can also have the power to heal and unify.
With that in mind, the West Virginia Jazz Society (WVJS) is planning a series of benefit concerts to provide financial support for an international medical charity now active in Ukraine. The booking of venues and bands is proceeding as artists from multiple genres have volunteered their time and talent to raise money for an important cause.
The title and theme of the shows is “WV Music Without Borders” inspired by Doctors Without Borders (DWB), the group slated to receive all proceeds from productions scheduled over the next few months, according to a West Virginia Jazz Society release.
“Our board supports Doctors Without Borders because it is a long-established medical relief agency which has had a presence in Ukraine for many years,” said Bob Workman, WVJS Treasurer. “They have been on the frontlines providing treatment to injured civilians since the outbreak of the war.”
The first performance is set for Friday, May 6, with the Latin Jazz Messengers (LJM) from Richmond, Virginia, appearing in Brickside Bar & Grille, the emerging music hall just off I-79 between Bridgeport and Clarksburg.
The Latin Jazz Messengers are a 7-member high-energy, rhythm driven ensemble led by Dr. Mike Davison, a trumpeter, educator and filmmaker who as visited Cuba over 20 times to study the Latin music culture. Their performances typically reflect the Latin tradition of festivals with dancing and singing.
In addition to the May 6 performance, “Music Without Borders” volunteers are planning additional benefit shows in Weston, Morgantown, and Bridgeport that will feature a variety of music genres and styles.
Artists throughout the region have volunteered to perform and to organize the performances. Artists from music scenes outside West Virginia are also stepping forward.
“We’ve heard from Atlanta and Pittsburgh and Washington, DC.,” said Eric Spelsberg, WVJS President. “Among those volunteering is bassist and Ukrainian native, Victor Dvoskin, who now lives in the United States.”
Information with dates and venues for future concerts and events will be published on the WVJS website at WVJazzSociety.com as it is developed.
Reserved seating for the May 6 show at Brickside is available for a $15 donation through the venue’s online presence at bricksidebargrille.com or by phone to (304) 848-2094. The venue’s locationis 101 Lodgeville Rd, Bridgeport, WV If any tickets are left at showtime, they will be available at the door for $10. To volunteer to participate in a “WV Music Without Borders” benefit show, contact Eric Spelsberg at 304-517-9813 or via email to: WVJazzSocietyNOW@gmail.com
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