Portsmouth Music Hall to hold benefit concert in Ukraine
Denise J. Wheeler
PORTSMOUTH – Shortly after Russia began attacking Ukraine in late February, musicians around the world began performing to raise funds to help stem the humanitarian crisis the war has unleashed and to show solidarity with Ukraine. Seacoast musicians are teaming up with The Music Hall to do the same, performing Bands Band Together: A Concert for Ukraine on Thursday, April 21 at 7:30 p.m.
The concert will feature three artists, all heavyweights of the local music scene: Kate Redgate and her band, Diaspora Radio with Stuart Dias, and singer-songwriter Tristan Omand.
Redgate, the driving force behind the local show, says music may not have the power to stop Russia’s war in Ukraine, but it does have the power to bring people together to get something done meaningful for those who desperately need it.
“See the images of women with their children, packing and walking. That was it,” she said. “It was brutal. Seeing them moving, under fire, not knowing where they were going and leaving behind male family members to fight on – it made me ask, ‘What can we do?’ »
She reached out to local venues to see if any would donate their space.
“The Music Hall folks were the first to respond, and they did it within 24 hours, offering full support — staff, venue, ticketing, everything,” Redgate said.
The musicians she tapped reacted with the same fervor.
“Tristan Omand is one of the kindest humans and greatest songwriters I know,” Redgate said. “Artistic integrity emanates from him. He said yes!’ right now.”
Redgate was considering which band to ask to headline when she found herself sharing the stage at a gig with Stu Dias, whose latest project, Diaspora Radio, brings together some of the region’s finest musicians to pay homage to legendary albums.
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“Stu said, ‘I’m in,’ before I even finished giving him the details,” Redgate said.
Diaspora Radio will perform “Let It Be”, the Beatles’ latest studio album.
“‘Let It Be’ invokes a spirit of connection,” Redgate said. “It’s a perfect balm for this time.”
Redgate, a singer-songwriter who is equally at home in the American folk world as she is in alt-country-rock and roll circles, said she will be debuting music from a new album on which she and her band have been collaborating for the past two years.
She will play the Ukrainian performance with stars of the Seacoast music scene Jon Nolan, Richard Habib and Greg Glasson.
“I don’t have any money to give away, but I have the ability to bring talented people together. And I can sing,” Redgate said. “We can, as a group, make a difference. At the level of spiritual awareness, coming together and knowing that we are collectively helping is powerful.
About Band Together groups
The local benefit is one of many musical efforts underway to help victims of the Russian war in Ukraine. Redgate first learned about the Bands Band Together movement through fellow musicians posting on social media the heartbreaking work of Ukrainian and native musician Hypnotunz member Gera Luidze.
Luidze has been involved in relief efforts since the start of the invasion. Bands Band Together was born when Luidze’s musician friends around the world began to “band together” to support his spirit and efforts during this crucial time.
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Redgate and the Seacoast musicians she has rallied are joining others like The Ghost Wolves of Austin, Texas to raise and send money to Ukraine while bringing people together to ‘rock and roll , not war.
“I hope this is an opportunity for people to come out and lift their spirits with an incredible evening of music – music that will uplift their souls and help the people of Ukraine,” Redgate said. “Come on whether you know anyone on the bill or not. Trying your luck. I guarantee no one will leave this show saying, “It wasn’t worth it.”
What: Band Together groups: a concert for Ukraine
When: 7:30 p.m., Thursday, April 21
Or: The Music Hall, 28 Chestnut Street, Portsmouth
Admission: Tickets are $25 and are available at themusichall.org/events/ukraine-fundraiser/
More information: Visit themusichall.org/events/ukraine-fundraiser