Sinai Chicago Physician Organizes Free Virtual Concert for Colon Cancer Awareness


Featuring Rock Musicians Rufus Wainwright, Lisa Loeb, Tim Reynolds and More

The American College of Gastroenterology Invites All to “Tune It Up: A Concert To Raise Awareness” on March 31

Sinai Chicago’s Dr. Benjamin Levy is once again merging music and medicine in an effort to raise awareness of the importance of colon cancer screening. Dr. Levy is working on behalf of the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) to organize ‘Tune It Up: A Concert to Raise Colon Cancer Awareness.” The virtual concert will stream for free live on on Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at 7 pm CDT/8 p.m. EDT via Vimeo on the ACG website:

The virtual concert will feature a variety of musical performers and special guests, including former CBS News anchor Katie Couric and Fred Child, host of “Live from Lincoln Center” and American Public Media’s “Performance Today.” More than 30 musical performers will also be featured, including Rufus Wainwright, Lisa Loeb and Maddie Pope, winner of “American Idol Season 16.” Jazz aficionados will enjoy Kermit Ruffins, John D’earth and Pete Spaar. Other featured performers will be Broadway singer Kerry Ellis; D-Composed; hip-hop artists K.F. Jacques, Thee Phantom and the Illharmonic Orchestra; Grammy winning folk singer Aoife O’Donovan with celleist Eric Jacobsen and violinist Colin Jacobsen; performances from the Cincinnati Pops and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; and many more.

“I wanted to empower the public to get screened for colon cancer and loved the idea of organizing an entertaining concert with powerful PSAs. The musicians realized the tremendous impact they could make by educating Americans about the new guidelines to begin screening at age 45,” said Levy, who serves as the Division Head of Gastroenterology at Sinai Chicago.

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month in the US. The concert is meant to highlight the critical importance of getting screened for cancer, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. The American Cancer Society now recommends beginning colon cancer screenings at age 45. In the United States, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer, yet it is one of the most preventable types of cancer. It is highly treatable and is often curable when caught early. Even during COVID-19, colorectal cancer screening is essential and should not be delayed. Screening colonoscopy can find growths in the colon called polyps so they can be removed before they turn into colorectal cancer. During the pandemic, patients are urged to not put off needed health care, especially preventive tests. The most common symptom of early colon and rectal cancers is NO symptom, so it is important to get screened. No matter what your age, never ignore new or worrying bowel symptoms. ACG’s message for March Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month: You can prevent colorectal cancer. Don’t let COVID-19 stop you! Learn more at

“Getting screened early makes a big difference in preventing and treating colon cancer and other issues,” said Levy. “It’s more important than ever for people to take care of their health, and I believe profoundly that music can play a role in motivating and empowering patients to get through the health crises they may face, whether from cancer or COVID-19.”

Dr. Levy is a frequent participant in efforts that utilize music to promote health, such as the “Music Inspires Health” concert tour he organized during medical school at Emory University. Last year, he put together a weekly virtual concert series “Cocktails and Concerts” in which he collaborated musicians with doctors and nurses on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Levy is a board-certified gastroenterologist who serves as the Division Head of Gastroenterology at Mount Sinai Hospital, Holy Cross Hospital and Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital in Chicago. He is the head of GI education for residents and medical students, and also started a Sinai GI clinic for refugees resettling in Chicago. An accomplished researcher, his research and clinical projects focus on health care disparities, Hepatitis C and colon cancer screening efforts. Dr. Levy serves on the American College of Gastroenterology’s FDA-Related Matters Committee. He is also co-chair of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s “Soundpost” series.

For more information on “Tune It Up” please visit ACG’s website at

A complete listing of the line up of concert performers:

Rufus Wainwright – GRAMMY® Award Nominated Singer/Songwriter

• Lisa Loeb – GRAMMY® Award Winning Singer/Songwriter and founder of the Camp Lisa Foundation, which sends underserved youth to summer camp

Tim Reynolds – Solo Acoustic Guitar

Kermit Ruffins – New Orleans Jazz Trumpeter

Hilary Hahn – Three-Time GRAMMY® Award Winning Violinist

Ari Hest – GRAMMY® Award Nominated Singer/Songwriter known for his duets album with Judy Collins

Maddie Poppe – Singer/Songwriter who won “American Idol” Season #16

Aoife O’Donovan – GRAMMY® Award Winning Folk Singer will perform with Cellist Eric Jacobsen and Violinist Colin Jacobsen(both from The Knights and Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble)

Cincinnati Pops – with GRAMMY® Award Nominated Conductor John Morris Russell and Jazz Pianist Aaron Diehl performing Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue”

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Kerry Ellis – Broadway Singer who appeared as the first British Elphaba in London’s West End “Wicked,” original cast of Queen’s “We Will Rock You,” “Miss Saigon,” and as Fantine in “Les Misérables”

Toby Lightman – Singer/Songwriter whose single “My Sweet Song” was featured in the movie P.S., I Love You

Rachael Sage – Singer/Songwriter and Record Producer who founded the Indie label MPress Records

Ariel Quartet – Faculty Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music

Oran Etkin – Voted #1 Rising Star Clarinetist in DownBeat Magazine’s 2016 Critics Poll whose music was included in a GRAMMY® Award Winning anti-bullying compilation album

K.F. Jacques – Hip-Hop Artist, Singer and Songwriter who combines hip-hop with opera

D-Composed – Chicago-based string quartet that honors Black creativity and culture

Thee Phantom & The Illharmonic Orchestra – Combines the raw energy and passion of Hip-Hop with live orchestration

John D’earth – Jazz Trumpeter and Director of Jazz Performance at the University of Virginia and Bassist Pete Spaar of the University of Virginia Jazz Faculty

Joachim Horsley – Pianist/Composer/Arranger who orchestrated Ben Folds’ Piano Concerto and recently orchestrated ABC’s Live Version of The Little Mermaid featuring Queen Latifah

Shanice Aaron, Classical Pianist and Isaiah Day, Modern Dance Student at Juilliard

The Gold Souls – Bringing the driving grooves of funk, the rich textures of soul, and the compelling storytelling of the blues

Ruby Velle & the Soulphonics – Her first single, “Fighter” appeared on HBO and the trailer for “On the Basis of Sex” about Ruth Bader Ginsburg taking up a case of sex-based discrimination. Her song “Go Get It” debuted on Showtime’s “Shameless”

Hamish Anderson – Guitarist/Singer/Songwriter who recently opened on international tours with Gary Clark, Jr., and George Thorogood. “You Give Me Something” is featured on Spotify’s Modern Blues Rock Playlist

Jennifer Kosharsky – Mezzo-Soprano in Chicago

Weiwen Ma – Classical Pianist in Chicago who won a Bronze Medal at the First Chinese International Piano Competition

Elizabeth Wendel – Urology Resident at Emory University and Rock Singer

The Beacons – Band of ACG Gastroenterologists Daniel J. Pambianco, MD, FACG; Samir A. Shah, MD, FACG; Costas H. Kefalas, MD, MMM, FACG; Patrick E. Young, MD, FACG and John R. Saltzman, MD, FACG, performing John Lennon’s “Imagine”

About Sinai Chicago

Sinai Chicago is a Chicago-based private, not-for-profit organization comprised of seven member organizations: Mount Sinai Hospital, Holy Cross Hospital, Sinai Children’s Hospital, Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital, Sinai Medical Group, Sinai Community Institute and Sinai Urban Health Institute. The system has over 800 physicians on its hospital medical staffs, 654 licensed beds, 100,000+ annual emergency department patient visits and eight physician residency training programs. For more information, visit

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