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Godfrey Daniels concert in First Friday series supports anti-bigotry program in local schools
BETHLEHEM, Pa. (March 4, 2019) — Paul Simon’s bassist, the Lehigh Valley’s “Queen of the Blues” and the folksinging founder of Bethlehem’s legendary Godfrey Daniels listening room will COME TOGETHER as part of an all-star lineup of musicians in April to help kids fight racism and bigotry.
The 7 p.m. event on April 5 at Godfrey Daniels will be the third annual “Come Together” concert to benefit No Place for Hate, a 20-year-old program of the Anti-Defamation League. The suggested donation for admission is $10, but school-age children are free.
“What the world needs now are more programs like No Place for Hate in our schools,” said Ramona LaBarre, Godfrey Daniels’ managing director. “Godfrey Daniels is honored to support this annual fundraising event, part of our long-standing commitment to bring knowledge through art to our vibrant community at large.”
This year’s lineup of performers includes Bakithi Kumalo, of the Paul Simon Band; Dave Fry, an influential folksinger and founder of Godfrey Daniels; blues singer Bev “BC” Conklin, of the BC Combo; Alyssa Allen, an apprentice and teaching artist at Touchstone Theatre; John Huie, a teacher and director of the World Percussion Ensemble at Bethlehem’s Northeast Middle School; and Michael Duck, the show’s organizer, who performs as a singer-songwriter under the name “Not For Coltrane.” “The format of the show itself really is the message,” said Duck, whose “Not For Coltrane” moniker was inspired by his dog’s name. “All six of us will be onstage at the same time, jumping in on each other’s songs. It’s all about making connections, and forgetting all the different kinds of boxes we sometimes sort ourselves into.”
More than 1,600 schools nationwide use the No Place for Hate program, which aims to reduce bullying, increase respect among students and help them challenge anti-Semitism, racism and bigotry in all its forms. All proceeds from the April 5 concert will go to the Anti-Defamation League’s
Philadelphia office to support the No Place for Hate program in roughly 35 Pennsylvania school districts, plus districts in New Jersey and Delaware. Dr. Jack Silva, Bethlehem Area School District’s assistant superintendent and chief academic officer, will speak at the event about how Bethlehem schools carry out the No Place for Hate program, which has been in the district for about a decade.
Lisa Friedlander, the education director for No Place for Hate at the ADL’s Philadelphia office, said she’s grateful to see such support for the program in the Bethlehem community. “We are thrilled to know that passionate, committed community members come together for an event like this to take a public stand against the bigotry and bias that seem to be more and more pervasive in our communities these days,” Friedlander said. “The ‘Come Together’ concert is a living example of the No Place for Hate message — that all people should be included and respected, and that diversity is strength.”
The April 5 show is also part of the First Friday concert series, which is presented by the SouthSide Arts District and Underground Music Collective. The series features musical performances on the first Friday of each month at shops and venues throughout South Bethlehem, including Godfrey Daniels. “Students today face so many more challenges, and we want to do everything we can to support No Place for Hate,” said Missy Hartney, downtown manager for the SouthSide Arts District. “All children throughout the BASD and beyond deserve a place where they feel safe and can be confident in who they are. We are committed to seeing Come Together 2019 be a success and are proud to partner with Godfrey Daniels for this tremendous cause.”
The Rev. Joy Wyler, of Unity of Lehigh Valley, will offer a welcome message to open the show. The event is also supported by community sponsors including Molly’s Irish Grille & Sports Pub, Freestone Productions, DustinSchoof.com and Webfoot Digital.
Each of this year’s performers represents different musical styles and backgrounds. Kumalo, a native of South Africa who now lives in Bethlehem, was featured on Simon’s 1985 “Graceland” album, including the iconic bass solo in “You Can Call Me Al.” He has since performed with artists ranging
from Gloria Estefan to Derrick Trucks and Susan Tedeschi.
Fry is a highly regarded folksinger and radio personality on 88.1 WDIY who also frequently presents his music in elementary schools across the region. Conklin is widely known for her blues singing with her band The BC Combo, and formerly with BC and the Blues Crew. She’s also the founder and producer of the annual Lehigh River Blues Jam.
Allen, formerly a singer with the award-winning band Soul Folks, performs with Touchstone’s house band, Jakopa’s Punch, as well as a variety of other local musical groups. Huie, a multi-instrumentalist, is known for his performances with the band Soul Kitchen, as well as the inventive world music arrangements he writes for the World Percussion Ensemble. Duck, a veteran of the Lehigh Valley’s open mic scene, hosts a weekly webcast through his “Not For Coltrane” Facebook page that features
a “Stump-the-Band” game and songwriting challenges.Kumalo was recognized Sunday with a Special Recognition Award at the 20th annual Lehigh ValleyMusic Awards, where he also performed. In addition, Allen performed at the event with Jakopa’s Punch, Conklin was a presenter, and Fry received awards for “Child Audience Music Performer” and “College/Community Radio Personality.”
The April 5 show has the potential to bring its “Come Together” message well beyond the Lehigh Valley, Duck added. Supporters who contribute to the show’s crowdfunding campaign at https://gofundme.com/cometogether2019 will receive information about how to watch the benefit
concert online from anywhere in the country.
To learn more or to reserve seats at the show, please visit http://godfreydaniels.org/event/come-together-for-no-place-for-hate/
BAKITHI KUMALO creates a singular electric fretless bass sound infused with the South African grooves of his homeland. His playing has taken him around the world, from his breakout work on Paul Simon’s landmark “Graceland” album in 1985 to performances with the likes of Gloria Estefan, Derrick Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, Angelique Kidjo, and Jon Secada.
DAVE FRY, of Bethlehem, is a master performer who captivates audiences of all ages across the Lehigh Valley and beyond. Dave recently fronted a stellar lineup of local musicians in a concert celebrating his latest album, “Troubadour,” and he’s performed at every “Come Together” show to
date. Bringing together traditional and contemporary folk music, Dave builds a sense of community everywhere he performs.
BEV “BC” CONKLIN has earned her reputation as Lehigh Valley’s Queen of the Blues through years as the award-winning frontwoman of BC & The Blues Crew and The BC Combo. Bev also founded and produces the annual Lehigh River Blues Jam, and she and her band have helped raise money
and awareness for countless local causes.
ALYSSA ALLEN, of Easton, is an apprentice and teaching artist at Bethlehem’s influential Touchstone Theatre. Formerly of the band Soul Folks, she now lends her drop-you-in-your-tracks vocals to Touchstone’s house band, Jakopa’s Punch, as well as the band Rio Bossa and other musical projects.
OHN HUIE is a musician, teacher, and director of the World Percussion Ensemble at Northeast Middle School. From playing funk with his band Soul Kitchen to modern praise and worship music at his church, from jazz to Latin to world music, John is all about finding those soulful grooves.
NOT FOR COLTRANE (Michael Duck), of Bethlehem, brings together folky acoustic rock with evocative storytelling and humor. (Coltrane was his dog, who thought he could sing but wasn’t part of the act.)
GODFREY DANIELS is your original live music listening room, providing South Bethlehem and the Lehigh Valley with top-quality entertainment since 1976. Supported by hundreds of members and volunteers, Godfrey’s has earned a reputation as one of the finest folk music venues in the country. The venue is at 7 E. Fourth St., Bethlehem, PA.