Hurricane Katrina victims remain on the minds of those in the music community, who from coast to coast are seemingly announcing benefit concerts by the hour.
In Los Angeles, Tenacious D are hosting a fundraiser for the American Red Cross on September 22 at the Wiltern LG. The D will perform along with Fiona Apple, Dave Grohl, Josh Homme with Jesse Hughes, David Cross, Sarah Silverman and others.
Across the country, Dave Matthews, John Mayer Trio and Joss Stone are among those who have signed on for a September 20 fundraiser at Radio City Music Hall. Trey Anastasio, Ray LaMontagne, Tom Waits, the Meters and Galactic with the Mardi Gras Indians are also on that bill, a sister concert to a benefit happening the same night at Madison Square Garden called From the Big Apple to the Big Easy.
Simon & Garfunkel and Elvis Costello have just been added to that lineup, which features Lenny Kravitz, Elton John, Jimmy Buffett, Stevie Nicks, John Fogerty, Ry Cooder, Bette Midler and New Orleans’ own Fats Domino. Proceeds from both shows will go to the Bush Clinton Katrina Fund, Habitat for Humanity, the MusiCares Hurricane Relief Fund and the Children’s Health Fund.
The night before, Dead Prez are hosting a hip-hop benefit show at B.B. King’s Blues Club in New York. Mississippi’s David Banner, who is hosting his own event in Atlanta on Saturday (see “David Banner Says He Has No Choice But To Heal The Hood” ), will perform, along with Dave Chappelle, Q-Tip, Talib Kweli, Remy Martin, Memphis Bleek, Styles P, the Last Poets, the X-ecutioners, the Beatnuts and Bazaar Royale. Proceeds will go to Banner’s Heal the Hood Foundation and to the Jackson, Mississippi, chapter of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement.
“As artists we have a responsibility to organize and ensure that funds we raise for this cause are disseminated in a timely, fair and orderly fashion,” Dead Prez’s M1 said in a statement. “Katrina survivors in Mississippi will receive direct aid and immediate assistance without an ounce of red tape or a shred of bureaucracy.”
Also in New York, Laurence Fishburne will host Paul Simon, Costello, Midler, Wynton Marsalis, Bill Cosby and Robert De Niro for a Jazz at the Lincoln Center benefit on Saturday, which will air live on PBS. And on September 24, The New Yorker is staging Parting the Waters, a fundraiser with music and readings inspired by the Bayou featuring Costello, Lou Reed, Woody Allen, Kevin Kline and Toni Morrison.
Pearl Jam will play a hurricane-relief show on October 5 at the Chicago of House of Blues, with all net proceeds going to Habitat for Humanity, the American Red Cross and Jazz Foundation of America, a New York-based non-profit that assists musicians in need and is working with the New Orleans Musician’s Clinic. Tickets for the show are $1,000 each (yes, that’s $1,000).
In Philadelphia, the Roots, Jill Scott and TV on the Radio will perform Friday at a benefit with the TBC Brass Band, a New Orleans group whose members have been living in shelters in Dallas, Atlanta, Sacramento and Houston.
Funds from that concert, at the Kimmel Center, will go to MoveOn.org’s HurricaneHousing.org, which has housed more than 30,000 Katrina evacuees so far and has offered more than 250,000 free beds, as well as the Red Cross and Philadelphia’s Project Brotherly Love.
“We want to be sure that the other victims have an opportunity to get out of these shelters and into real homes,” Roots drummer ?uestlove said in a statement.
Other entertainers raising money include Kevin Smith, who is holding an auction on his ViewAskew.com Web site that includes a role in his upcoming movie “Clerks 2: The Passion of the Clerks,” and Steve Harvey, who is hosting a September 26 benefit at the Forum in Los Angeles called Saving Lives With Laughter and featuring Wanda Sykes, Mo’Nique and Mike Epps.
“We have to get out there and touch the people and let them know that you are thinking about them and to try and lift their spirits and get awareness out there to the rest of the country,” Sykes said.
Dashboard Confessional are hosting their own benefit shows September 18, 19 and 20 in Toronto, Chicago and Sayreville, New Jersey.
“I’ve lived in Florida for quite awhile, so we go through hurricanes all the time,” singer Chris Carrabba said. “But they were just storms, not catastrophes. … [These] people don’t have anywhere to go. They can’t just go down the street and there’s power. They didn’t just simply lose a couple of comforts. They lost it all. And it’s terrifying.”
To find out what you can do to help provide relief to victims of Katrina, head to think MTV’s hurricane relief page.