VERO BEACH — An audience of 400-plus enjoyed an incomparable musical treat Wednesday night at the Vero Beach High School Performing Arts Center, as nine celebrated musicians presented Musicians United for Haiti, a benefit concert to raise funds for the Vero Beach based non-profits Haiti Partners and Haiti Clinic. All volunteered their time and extraordinary flair for this unique fundraiser.
The multi-talented musicians, one a vocal coach, have been instructing students enrolled in the Mike Block String Camp taking place this week. Individually each has attained rock-star standing in the music world – together the performance was pure magic.
Led by cellist Mike Block, a performer with Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, the concert showcased a variety of styles and techniques, played by Grammy-nominated jazz and folk violinist Darol Anger, Scottish fiddler and U.S. National Champion Hanneke Cassel, musical “madman” Joe Craven, bluegrass fiddler Brittany Haas and her sister Celtic cellist Natalie Haas, jazz pianist and violinist Victor Lin, Appalachian fiddler Lauren Rioux and vocal coach Emy Phelps.
The musicians took the audience on a whirlwind musical journey, which highlighted each performer’s special abilities. Crowd favorites were Joe Craven, virtually a musical instrument unto himself, and jazz pianist Victor Lin, who blew the audience away with a Cole Porter piece. The group closed out the evening playing and singing the melodic Haitian song Fèy Yo, in honor of the occasion.
Vero Beach resident Kathryn Johnston, a volunteer with Haiti Clinic and the Mike Block String Camp, was joined by a host of individuals to help pull the event together, including Haiti Partners supporters Suzanne and Adam Bolinger, and Crystal Corrigan, director of the Performing Arts Center.
This was the first time that Haiti Partners and Haiti Clinic combined for a fundraising event, but organizers felt it was the perfect pairing. Haiti Partners seeks to empower Haitians through education, and Haiti Clinic runs a free primary care clinic in Cité Soleil, one of the world’s most impoverished areas.
For more information, visit www.mikeblockstringcamp.com, www.haitipartners.org, or www.haiticlinic.org.