2017 Concert to Feed the Hungry
By Daniel Blake
This year’s Concert to Feed The Hungry was held on June 17, 2017 at the Middle Collegiate Church in lower Manhattan. Each year, a group of world renowned musicians come together to celebrate and raise funds on behalf of the important work BGR is doing. The concert also celebrates the diversity and remarkable inclusiveness of New York’s music scene, which has been a magnet for the world’s best creative minds for well over a century. This year’s lineup was particularly diverse, featuring the Grammy winning Latin jazz artist Arturo O’Farrill, the legendary saxophonist David Liebman (an NEA Jazz Master), the veteran New York-based Balkan brass band Slavic Soul Party!, the traditional Moroccan ensemble Innov Gnawa, and the emerging jazz vocalist Arta Jekabsone. Saxophonist Dan Blake, the concert’s producer and a BGR board member, also performed with Mr. Liebman.
With an ever-widening artistic vision incorporating music and artists from around the world, the Concert to Feed The Hungry is distinct from many benefit concerts one might encounter in New York City. Whereas typical benefit events tend to be directed toward an exclusively wealthy audience with ticket prices often costing many hundreds or thousands of dollars, BGR offers sliding scale tickets as low as $15 for students out of a desire to remain inclusive to people of all income levels. In conceiving of an event that is inclusive, the concert promotes its dual purpose of fundraising, but also of recruiting a younger generation of compassionate individuals who might join BGR’s effort to alleviate chronic hunger and malnutrition in the world’s most vulnerable communities. As we continue this work, we look forward to enjoying the inspiring and uplifting music of our compassionate artists for many years to come!