Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Music Festival Raises Money For Clean Water

Music is powerful, especially when it supports an important cause, like providing clean drinking water to people in impoverished countries! That was the purpose behind the Clean Water Music Fest at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall: local bands bringing people together to raise money to help bring fresh water to people in nations where most do not have the luxury we take for granted of turning on a faucet or reaching into the fridge and grabbing a bottle of spring water. Put together and organized by Jacksonville musicians Jordyn Jackson and Shawn Fisher (members of the duo Flagship Romance), the event was sponsored by Venus, who paid for all the venue and marketing costs. As a result, all the proceeds went entirely to charity: water, a non-profit organization that builds wells in villages around the world that don't have access to clean drinking water and teaches those communities in hygiene and sanitation.
The festival kicked off with a performance by the band Dudes On A Rug, followed by JacksonVegas, a folk-rock band lead by singer-songwriter Grant Nielsen (aka Dr. Concussion of Fusebox Funk). Nielsen also donated the design/ branding for the festival. Next up: Don't Sigh Daisy. They played a few favorites including "The Body Electric", "Hammers and Engines" and "Baby Blue", as well as a cover of David Guetta's "Titanium" and a very energetic number with a lot of crazy percussion that had the audience hooting and hollering when they were finished! The Chico Lobos Band took the stage next. CLB flew out to Jacksonville all the way from Los Angeles! Chico had written a couple of songs last year with Fisher and Jackson and had also performed with the pair at the Florida Theatre. Arguably one of the best guitarists around, he showed the crowd his versatility on instrumental numbers like "Gotta Believe" and "I Wish You Were Here". Flagship Romance went on following Chico Lobos, they were fantastic! Like The Civil Wars or The Swell Season, this dynamic duo never ceases to captivate their listeners, with such passionate, emotionally-charged songs as "Hit The Ground" and "Tell Love To Leave Me Alone". Once they were done, singer-songwriter Lucio Rubino (of the Christian rock band, StorySide:B) hit the stage, engaging the crowd with his own unique blend of modern folk and acoustic rock on tunes like the up-tempo "Fallin' From The Start" and the serenade "Moonlight Ride", which he sang with his wife Savannah. The festival concluded with a performance by local band rock/pop band, Son of a Bad Man. Their energetic stage presence is well known on the Jacksonville scene, and in my opinion is among the best this town has to offer and I've seen quite a few! Lead singer Shawn Fisher writes songs that are catchy and relate-able. Playing everything from foot-stomping jams like "Shrug It Off" and "Can't Have You" to more mellow and intimate songs like "Miracle Jet" and "Die Alone", these guys put on a hell of a good show whenever they play, and this night was no exception! Overall, the festival was an enormous success! Fisher and Jackson and friend Chico Lobos had come up with the idea to create a festival that would not only showcase local talent, but also have a larger impact on the world. Their initial goal was to raise enough cash to build at least one well of fresh water, costing an average of $5,000, however, in the end they had managed to raise over twice that amount! According to the figures, that's enough money to provide about 500 people with clean drinking water for 20 years! "We're completely overwhelmed by the response and support the Clean Water Music Fest has received! We're already planning the next one," says Jackson. We can't wait to see how many more people we can give clean water to! It's so wonderful to use our talents to help those less fortunate." ~ Rich Chappell

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