The inaugural concert of Music Works For Peace (MWP) rocks this Saturday, May 31, at 7:30 pm at Montclair’s Union Congregational Church. The benefit concert raises funds for MWP, an educational not-for-profit, while they raise diversity awareness and celebrate cultural differences by bringing world music programs to at-risk schools in Newark. MWFP is the brainstorm of two Montclair music-loving dads, Bill Bloom and Alan Stepansky. Cellist Stepansky was moved and motivated after playing a Darfur benefit concert at Carnegie Hall, and with Bloom, former performing artist and musician, conceived the project. “The vision of world peace is broad,” says Bloom, “so we brought it to a local level, helping Newark schools.”
The concert features Brazilian percussionist Cyro Baptista and his quartet, Banquet of the Spirits, as well as Stepansky, music professor and former New York Philharmonic cellist.
Baptista ‚Äì a jazz giant who performs with artists Herbie Hancock, Yo-Yo Ma, Laurie Anderson, Paul Simon, Medeski Martin and Wood ‚Äì joins Banquet of the Spirits, a quartet that embodies the philosophy of Anthropofagia, a Brazilian cultural movement from the 1920’s.
Alan Stepansky joins a world-class string ensemble to debut The Grateful Inventions – a classical reinvention of the music of The Grateful Dead orchestrated for string and percussion. The eclectic program includes selections by Mendelssohn, Couperin, and more.
Tickets — $37 for adults, $25 for children 12 and under ‚Äì are available here. Union Congregational Church, 176 Cooper Avenue, Montclair.