Come on down to Great American Music Hall on Thursday, July 6th and enjoy “Benefit For Freedom House”, an uplifting, talent packed songwriter’s showcase in honor of the Bay Area’s only safe house for survivors of human-trafficking. Join us for a lively and empowering night of original blues, vintage R&B, and roots music featuring award winning recording artists Karen Lovely, Lisa Mann, The Lucky Losers, and Ben Rice. Together, we can raise funds for Freedom House, show support for our community leaders, and contribute to the fight against modern day slavery.
Freedom House is a San Francisco Bay Area based non-profit organization, dedicated to restoring the lives of human-trafficking survivors. They provide shelter, long-term after care, and a range of support services for adults and minors. Freedom House creates bright futures for victims of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor.
“Benefit for Freedom House” will present a live auction, which will feature exciting prizes generously donated by many incredible local businesses. Prize donors include handmade guitars, wine, dinner / show tickets, and more. All profits from the auction and a percentage of our ticket sales will go directly to Freedom House. Representatives from the organization will be at the show to share stories, educate our guests about volunteer opportunities, and accept additional donations.
Karen Lovely (songwriter/vocalist)
Karen is one of the most sought after artists in blues today. Her music is a heady mix of contemporary blues, R&B, and pure Memphis soul. Her powerful, rich, evocative voice is reminiscent of the great Etta James. Karen shot onto the blues scene out of the Pacific Northwest placing 2nd at the 2010 International Blues Challenge, and she has been on a winning streak ever since. In 2011 she was nominated for three Blues Music Awards: "Best Contemporary Blues Female Artist," "Best Contemporary Blues Album," and "Best Song"--"Still the Rain." In 2015 she released the critically acclaimed “Ten Miles of Bad Road,” which won her a Blues411 Jimi Award. And in 2016 she was nominated for a prestigious Blues Music Award for “Best Contemporary Blues Female Artist.” Her soon to be released album “Fish Outta Water,” is running on a PledgeMusic campaign, and 10% of the proceeds will go to RAINN, the national organization dedicated to ending domestic violence and sexual assault.
The songs I write, perform, and record, are bridges that connect me with my audience. As an independent blues singer/songwriter, I use the gifts of my voice and my words to bring about positive change in our world. With my newest release, “Fish Outta Water,” I'm continuing the advocacy and outreach I started with my previous albums by writing, recording, and performing songs that raise awareness about important social issues like domestic violence, sexual assault, homelessness, suicide, mental health and addiction. Karen Lovely, 2016
Lisa Mann (songwriter/vocalist/bassist)
Lisa has been awarded the prestigious 2016 Blues Music Award for her mighty skills on the bass guitar, an award which she also took home in 2015. She is also the winner of the coveted “Sean Costello Rising Star Award” from Blues Blast. In 2016 she took home no less than three Muddy Waters Awards from the Cascade Blues Association for “Contemporary Blues Act of the Year,” “Bass Player of the Year,” and “Northwest Recording of the Year.” Her latest release, “Hard Times, Bad Decisions” debuted on the Living Blues radio chart at #7. Her influences run the gamut from honey sweet Bonnie Raitt to fierce R&B belters like Little Milton. She writes the majority of her recorded material, and her songs paint pictures of a gritty (and sometimes humorous) personal experience in life, love, and the road.
Youtube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3WMgCyGEdU
“Lisa Mann, the 2015 Blues Music Award winner for bass, is a fine bass player and an even better singer…. She has a warm and expressive voice, which she controls admirably…. Mann’s personality shines through her vocals, with many of these songs taken from her own experiences. Mann is best when she’s doing her own songs.” Michael Kinsman, Blues Music Magazine, 2016
The Lucky Losers - Cathy Lemons & Phil Berkowitz (songwriters/vocalists/ harmonica)
Out of San Francisco, veteran blues singer Cathy Lemons and soulful vocalist/harmonica player, Phil Berkowitz deliver an inventive, hypnotic spin on blues & roots music. Their first album, “A Winning Hand” was nominated for a Blues411 Jimi Award in 2015. Their second album “In Any Town,” charted to #6 on Living Blues, peaked at #2 on "Top 50 Albums/ CA/All Genres,” and #3 on "Top Blues Rock Albums” on The Roots Music Report. Making a Scene placed it at #10 in their “Top Independent Blues Albums of 2016,” and it made many critic’s “Top 10” picks. It was nominated twice for a Blues 411 Jimi Award -- "Best Contemporary Album" and "Best Harmonica Player." Cathy and Phil breathe new life into American songwriting tradition and the vanishing art of duet singing. Bill Wilson of Reflections in Blue declares “Not since the pairing of Johnny Cash and June Carter has the music world seen a duet that is this well suited for one another.”
“ A throwback to the hybrid of soul, blues, rock, gospel, and country that emerged in the late 1960’s … impassioned vocals …electrifying interplay… powerful harmonica… dramatic, heavy blues rock…. such a compelling listen… haunting soulful….Roots music listeners who take a chance on the Lucky losers will surely hit the jackpot.” Robert H. Cataliotti, Living Blues, Issue 245, 2016
Ben Rice: (songwriter/vocalist/guitarist)
Out of Portland Oregon, young Ben Rice has made quite an impression on the blues world at large with his original music that blends soul, delta-blues, rockabilly, jazz, and funk into a roots stew. He has been nominated for "2016 Best Live Recording" by The Independent Blues Awards and also for "2016 Best Contemporary Blues Artist." Ben has consecutively won the 2014, 2015 and 2016 "Contemporary Act of The Year" awards from The Cascade Blues Association. He was a close finalist in the International Blues Challenge in 2014 and 2015--and won the IBC award in 2015 for "Best Guitar."
“The first thing you’ll notice about this young man is that he plays slide guitar incredibly well….Ben has great energy, writes great songs and is a master of every style of blues.” Yakima Herald, 2011
Freedom House is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission to bring hope, restoration, and a new life to survivors of human-trafficking by providing a safe home and long-term aftercare. The agency oversees two safe houses: The Nest for adolescent girls, located in Santa Clara County, and The Monarch for women, based in San Mateo County
Hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens have been estimated to be at risk of commercial sexual exploitation.
More than a quarter are under 18. An estimated 26% of modern day slaves are children, and 22% of modern slaves are in the Sex Industry.
Human trafficking is a $32 Billion a year industry.
• Great American Music Hall is an ALL-AGES (6+) venue.
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