“Sign uP” a benefit concert for Genocide Survivors Support Network w/ performances by Emily Cavanagh, Nick Myers, Deb Oh, and Lionel Loueke!

1 Dec

Who: Emily Cavanagh, Juicebox (featuring Nick Myers), Deb Oh, Lionel Loueke, and MANY MORE!!!

What: “Sign uP” Benefit concert for the Genocide Survivors Support Network

Where: 154 Ludlow St New York (212) 533-7237 (take the F train to 2nd Ave or Delancy, JMZ to Essex St, BD to Grand)

When: Saturday, December 4th, 2011, at 7:00pm

Why: Great music for a great cause!  Need we say more?  Tickets are $15.  Afterward, meet up just a few blocks away with the musicians and friends for some delicious Austrian food at Cafe Katja‎79 Orchard Street NY, NY 10002!

Interview:

Cultural Karma: Can you explain to us what exactly this fundraiser is for and why this issue may be of particular significance?

Emily Cavanagh: This fundraiser, “Sing uP” is a night of music in honor of The Genocide Survivors Support Network, a non-profit that offers support to survivors of genocide trying to rebuild their lives, through advocacy and education. The night will consist of performances by four different performers, a silent auction, and much more. For more information on GSSN, check out: http://www.genocidesurvivorssupportnetwork.org/.

Cultural Karma: What message(s), if any, do you hope to spread with your music?

Emily Cavanagh: I hope this event will raise awareness of the impact genocide has had on so many people living abroad and locally, as well as highlight the important work the agency, GSSN is doing to assist people in rebuilding their lives after the genocide. I think in music, we have a unique opportunity to bring people together and also have a forum to express the things we sometimes struggle to talk about. For me, this night is about remembering what has been lost, but also about gaining insight to prevent anything like this from happening in the future. As an artist, I hope to write music that is hopeful. And with an event like this, I hope the message too is one of hope.

Cultural Karma: There is a rather musically diverse group of musicians performing at this benefit. How did you bring them all together for one event?

Emily Cavanagh:
When I’m not working as a musician, I work as a social worker and counselor with homeless New Yorkers living with HIV and AIDS. A client of mine who herself is a survivor of the Genocide in Rwanda, brought this agency to my attention for the amazing work they are doing. When I first learned about it, I really believed in its mission of the agency so my good friend, Courtney Parker and I teamed up with the founder of the GSSN and everything just grew from there. We thought a night of music could be a powerful way to bring people together, and the venue(The Living Room) supports causes like this and is one of my very favorite spaces in the city, . We were thrilled when Lionel Loueke ( world renowned jazz guitarist) agreed to be part of the night. The musicians on this bill are so diverse, but each brings great musicianship and something very relevant to this night, so I am grateful to them for lending their talent to such a great cause.

Cultural Karma:
Beyond having a great time at the show, do you hope that your audience takes any message home with them and if so what would that message be?

Emily Cavanagh: We hope that people take away the understanding that for survivors to live meaningful lives after enduring tragedy they need the support of their community, and the access to services that range from psychosocial to medical, including counseling, medical care, housing, and education. With good health, a secure place to live, and an education, survivors have a chance to rebuild their lives. Most of us are fortunate to have these things without having to think too much about them, but we hope this night gives a new perspective to how we can help others find this for themselves.

 

(from and interview with Nicholas Myers the “creative mastermind” behind Juicebox!)

Cultural Karma: Tell us a little about your band Juicebox and what the concept of the band is. As an improviser to you ever find yourself at odds with anything in the current musical climate?

Nicholas Myers: JuiceBox is all about having a good time. We channel positive vibes so that everyone in the room wants to either get up and dance or simply feel good in the sound of our music. We use organ which is such an uplifting sound to me, it has a joyful energy. I write all the songs on organ so even though I play saxophone in the band, the feeling and type of sound comes from the organ. I simply don’t like negative music right now and so this is my contribution to the positive side (hopefully) and there is plenty of room to improvise within that idea.

Cultural Karma: What message(s), if any, do you hope to spread with your music?

Nicholas Myers: The message that I hope to spread is that music is not depressing! I used to play so many depressing gigs and I don’t want to feel like that or have my audience feel like that. I want them to feel energized and to take away a part of the spirit.

Cultural Karma: What roadblocks have you found living as an artist in New York City, and where do you find inspiration and support?

Nicholas Myers: If you are asking about roadblocks then I’d say living as an artist is like driving down the BQE during rush hour….It would be faster to get out of your car and walk or swim in the east river and I suggest that’s what you do.

Cultural Karma: There is a rather musically diverse group of musicians performing at this benefit. How did you bring them all together for one event?

Nicholas Myers: Emily has brought them all together. I met her when we played the same date at Hiro Ballroom a few months ago. As far as I can tell she has brought them all together based on the fact that she likes our energy and our music regardless of style.

Cultural Karma: Beyond having a great time at the show, do you hope that your audience takes any message home with them and if so what would that message be?

Nicholas Myers The message is that whatever you were thinking about before you came to the gig is not important. I hope you leave with LESS messages then when you came in. Someone the other day told me that they were having a bad day and then they saw the gig. They couldn’t remember what caused the bad day but what they did remember was the good day that happened afterwards. I don’t know what message is better than that.

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