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September 4th 2013

Rockin' Tenderloin: The Essence of Music for Good

Party Corps’ August Music for Good party featured an incredible lineup of talented musicians and a nonprofit – Bay Area Women’s and Children’s Center (BAWCC) – that is working tirelessly to support women, children, and families in the San Francisco Tenderloin. What spoke to me about BAWCC is their ability to deliver opportunities for children to channel and actualize their creative expression. From arts and crafts after-school programs to dance classes, BAWCC offers children in a low-income, multi-ethnic, and inner-city neighborhood, a chance to discover and demonstrate their creativity. The musicians who performed found that BAWCC’s artistic programs for children aligned with their core values and motivated them to participate in our “Shine a Light on the Loin” party. Courage, a twosome that got their start playing the BART station circuit, told me they loved what Party Corps was all about and they were interested in a night that connects the Tenderloin community to music. As Courage thought about their roots as musicians, they said, “It’s a way to bring music to the people, for the people.” I love this. It’s one of the reasons Party Corps’ mission speaks to my heart; we are bringing music and grassroots nonprofits together to excite people, to inspire people to connect, to drive the public’s curiosity in the vast and talented efforts of our musicians and good cause partners

Chelsea Kirby, from Tzigane Society, conversed with me about her motives for participating in Party Corps’ Music for Good. Chelsea discussed her background and how early exposure to music influenced her path, “I was blessed to start music classes at an early age and the training has helped me get to where I am today.” BAWCC reaches children who might otherwise not receive such opportunities, and provides early training in arts, technology, and sports; it’s inspiring to think how this introduction might be a catalyst for Tenderloin students to actualize their passions and become musicians, engineers, painters, ice-skaters, tennis players, and humanitarians.  

Our headlining artist, Jonah Matranga, is a gifted performer and well-humored enough to sing a rap cover song at my request (Thanks, Jonah!). He started off his performance by singing an a cappella song that captivated the audience with high reaching vocal fluctuations, and then smoothly transitioned to high energy acoustic rock melodies that inspired front row dancing later in the night. Throughout his performance he engaged the audience and cultivated energy of inclusivity for a group of diverse attendees. The set was awesome! Jonah embodies the essence of Music for Good. He’s active in socially-conscious community undertakings, including singing with Glide Choir, a group that is “spreading the spirit of empowerment in an infections message of diversity, acceptance and love.” Glide has been serving the Tenderloin community for 50 years. When I asked why he’s involved with Glide, he said, “I want to be active in the community and I believe that through music, when connected to social issues that are tangible, we can have a direct effect on the world.”

I couldn't agree more.

Posted by Alexis Shoemate
       

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