On Friday, April 25, 2014 at 7:00 p.m., Esperanza Spalding and Kenny Werner, two world-renowned jazz artists, will headline at Buddhist Global Relief's annual "Concert To Feed The Hungry." The concert raises much-needed awareness and funds to support the global fight to end hunger and malnutrition.
In addition to their prolific output as recording and performing artists, Spalding and Werner are firmly committed to making their music a force for positive change in the world, and they will be joined by some of New York's leading musicians at the Interchurch Center for a double bill.
The concert is produced by jazz saxophonist Dan Blake (who will also play in Kenny Werner's quartet) along with a team of dedicated volunteers from Buddhist Global Relief.
Grammy-winning bassist and vocalist Esperanza Spalding has given performances throughout the world to such audiences as President Barack Obama, The View, and David Letterman, where she was proclaimed "the coolest" guest in the three-decade history of the program. She is a versatile and prolific songwriter, having released Radio Music Society to great acclaim, garnering two Grammy awards, adding to her remarkable win of the 2011 "Best New Artist" award. She is no stranger to activism in her work, having teamed up with UNESCO and Herbie Hancock for International Jazz Day. She also recently produced and performed in a music video that advocates for the closing of the Guantanamo Bay prison, enlisting the support of music legends like Stevie Wonder and Harry Belafonte. Ms. Spalding will be joined by pianist, composer and long-time collaborator Leonardo Genovese.
Kenny Werner is a world-class pianist and composer. His prolific output of compositions, recordings and publications continue to impact audiences around the world. Kenny was recently awarded the 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship Award for his seminal work, No Beginning No End, a musical journey exploring tragedy and loss, death and transition, and the path from one lifetime to the next.
His groundbreaking work Effortless Mastery is one of the most widely read books on music and improvisation, helping thousands of musicians around the world unlock their talent and potential. Mr. Werner will be joined by percussionist Richie Barshay, Johannes Weidenmueller, and saxophonist Dan Blake.
Funds raised from the concert will go to support BGR's projects which give vital food aid to poor communities around the world and promote greater food productivity at the grass-roots level, both locally and globally. One of these organizations is Harlem Seeds (www.harlemseeds.org), an organization that helps young people to grow food in a sustainable environment, giving them the education and resources to develop a nutritious diet from seed to table.