Jazz benefits and fight song for Haiti

The jazz world’s response the Haitian earthquake isn’t overwhelming, but every bit helps. The Groove Collective benefit is tomorrow, Tues, Jan 19, at (le) poisson rouge in Manhattan; a Seattle community jazz fest is at multiple venues Wed., Jan 20, and St. Louis jazz musicians for Haiti gather at Sheldon Concert Hall on Tuesday, Feb 9. Last Sunday (Jan 17) St. James Episcopal Church in Jamaica Plain, Boston, added a “meditative jazz improvisation component” by pianist Ben Schwendener to its regular Night Song presentation of late Renaissance motets and chants, donating proceeds to “the people of Haiti” — and in Asheville, North Carolina guitarist Mark Guest is planning a benefit concert (details TBA). Then there’s Charles Mingus.

  • At (le) poisson rouge, trumpeter Roy Hargrove, pianist Vijay Iyer, turntablist DJ Logic, organist Dr. Lonnie Smith and funkateer keyboard master Bernie Worrell are featured. 
  • In Seatle, local ensembles are performing at The Lucid Jazz Lounge (whose owner David Pierre-Louis flew to Haiti to find his mother unharmed), The Rat and Raven, The Galway Arms, Fournos, Finn MacCools, Taste of Chicago and A Pizza Mart. Cash, checks and emergency supplies for Haitian relief are being accepted —  a Bank of America account has been established to which direct deposits can be made (#43883644).
  • Doctors Without Borders will receive moneys raised by St. Louisians including singers Brian Owens,Christian Brewer, Kim Massie and Mardra Thomas with her husband pianist Reggie Thomas; folk group Mayor Taylor; the Bottoms Up Blues Gang, and pianists Peter Martin and Peter Henderson.
  • Guitarist Guest, whose benefit proceeds will also go to Doctors Without Borders, further “suggest(s) to those who are finding January gigs scare that a benefit is a good way to do a little community building, both in Haiti and at home.” Good thought. 
Haitian music bears kinship, if only slight resemblance to jazz. Rara Lent processional troupes are something like New Orleans marching bands; compas is a light, flowing merengue dance style comparable to some varieties swing, and mini-jazz is the label Haitian bands took for fusion efforts resulting in the nation’s early successful pop songs. Plus: I append bassist Mingus’ classic “Haitian Fight Song,” in its version “II B.S.” I append here (dig Erick Dolphy’s alto solo) —

Mingus, Dolphy and company manifest the indominable spirit necessary for Haiti to rise from its rubble. What else can we do? 

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  1. says

    Thanks for bringing attention to these great benefits, Howard. I hope that people will attend, and that those who can’t will find a way to donate anyway. The people of Haiti need our help!

  2. says

    Hi all you jazz lovers
    A Big Thank You To All The Entertainment All Who Made Those Kind & Loving Donations
    Sunday’s Concert to benefit the victims of the earthquake in Haiti.
    Mother J Productions assisted by Kevin Batliner, Pure Aveda, Creative Business Design ,Cathy Hoechst & Mayor Mel DeMarco city of Mount Dora raised over $5.000 for Help Haiti
    There were Representatives from the AMERICAN RED CROSS collecting donations. They were personable and efficient
    ( Please except my invitation to visit my web site below )
    God Bless Our World Community and Bring Us Together Through Love
    Mickey Carroll
    Mother J Productions
    HM: Cursory research shows Mickey presents himself as a singer-songwriter, out of Mount Dora, Florida

  3. says

    Denver Jazz Jam for Haiti: Jazz89 KUVO/KVJZ, The Gift of Jazz, and Dazzle Restaurant and Lounge will be collecting donations to benefit the International Relief Fund of the American Red Cross through a musical jam session on Sunday, January 24, 2010 to support the Red Cross in responding to the earthquake in Haiti.
    The JAZZ Jam Session will be held at Dazzle Restaurant and Lounge (930 Lincoln, Denver) on Sunday, January 24th from 6:00 pm-9:00pm (minimum donation of $10 adults $5 kids 12 and younger); on-line reservations to enjoy this event is available via reservation@dazzlejazz.com. Musicians wanting to participate please contact steve@dazzlejazz.com and state a preferred time during the night you wish to participate. Steve will confirm with you or just show up that evening and share the stage…
    THE GIFT of JAZZ is a Colorado 501(c)(3) Non-Profit organization formed in 1995 to support the past, present, and the future of Jazz. It was established with three main goals in mind….
    • to create and preserve the art of jazz and jazz history in the Rocky Mountain region
    • to promote and support the development of stellar jazz in the community
    • to collaborate and partner with other charitable organizations to implement educational initiatives to enhance jazz in our community
    The Gift of Jazz, P. O. Box 9683, Denver, CO 80209.