Hungry for Music is a nonprofit that collects and donates musical instruments to children and is embarking on a national tour to establish chapters in several U.S. cities. The chapter set-up journey, which began June 25 at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, takes its next step with a Blues concert in Chicago.
Presented by internationally known Bluesman, educator and songwriter Fernando Jones, the event will take place Saturday, July 30, from 7 to 11 p.m., at Knotty Luxe Bistro in Markham, Illinois. Hungry for Music, based in Chicago from July 23-Aug. 3, will hold an instrument drive at the show. Fernando Jones and My Band!, featuring Grammy-nominated Blues/Jazz bassist Felton Crews and drummer, producer and DJ Patrick McFowler, will perform. Special guests will include the Blues Kids of America and a parents ensemble known as the Blues Mamas and Daddies Band.
Founded by Jones, Blues Kids of America is an internationally recognized multicultural, interdisciplinary artist-in-residence music program. It is designed to help improve literacy through music with a focus on the Blues, the root of American music. Blues Kids Foundation was established to preserve, perform and promote the Blues among America’s youth, parents and educators under the tutelage of highly-qualified instructors. Its focus includes social and emotional learning, music literacy, career readiness and Music as a Second Language.
Knotty Luxe Bistro, a Chicago-style Jazz and Blues music and dining venue, is owned and operated by its founder, Pamela Mack. She also directs the Knotty Luxe Arts Foundation, which was created to give children in Chicago’s Southland access to the performing arts through drama, dance and music, providing free performing arts-in-education programs for youth aged 12 to 18.
Since becoming a nonprofit in 1994, Hungry for Music has brought the healing quality of music to more than 16,000 children in 50 states and 32 countries, mostly through school and community youth programs but also by supporting social workers via music therapy.
“We want to increase our outreach of supporting students in school and after-school programs with musical instruments, giving them an opportunity that they would not otherwise have,” said Hungry for Music founder and director Jeff Campbell. “Chapters are the next logical step in our outreach. Our three-year plan is to set up 60 chapters, starting with the many cities where we already have a good presence.”
Chapters will help him reach more children while keeping musical instruments in the area where they were donated, Campbell added. A chapter would replicate the team of volunteers and paid staff that Hungry for Music has built in its home base of Washington, D.C. and Shenandoah Valley, Va.
After Chicago, this summer and fall, Campbell will be visiting Louisville, Pittsburgh and Indianapolis. Early next year, the chapter set-up tour moves to cities in Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Louisiana.
Updates and other details will be posted on the Hungry for Music website. For more info and details on how to donate, visit HungryforMusic.org.