Super Typhoon Haiyan may have unleashed its deadly winds and surging tides some 8,000-plus miles away last month. But as the Valley’s own Jennifer Matias explains, the devastation the tropical cyclone literally rained down on the people of Southeast Asia a month ago had very local repercussions as well.
“”My father was in the Philippines when the typhoon struck, and I wasn’t able to reach him for days,” says Matias, who is assembling an impressive array of talent at First Churches on Main Street, Northampton on Thursday, Dec. 12 to raise funds for recovery efforts. “My father—as well as my family that still lives there—happens to be okay, but many are not, obviously.”
While best known for her fretwork in Fanny, which many name as the first-ever all-female rock band to be signed by a major record label, Goshen’s June Millington says she plans on embracing her Filipina heritage/childhood homeland when she takes to the First Church stage this Thursday.
“It’s going to be a mix of both traditional songs like ‘Ma’gtanim Hindi Biro’ [‘Planting Rice Is Never Fun’] to the title cut of my latest album, ‘Play Like A Girl,’ which references swimming in the China Sea as kids,” Millington reveals.
Jazz/blues siren Samirah Evans has no direct bloodline to the Philippines. But what she lacks in geographical connection to the recent disaster, the Brattleboro resident says, she more than makes up for in a situational sense.
“I moved up here after living through Hurricane Katrina in my beloved city of New Orleans,” she explains. “So I personally know the trauma all too well… stories of young children being swept away by the water and mothers screaming ‘Please take care of the baby’ as they let go of their husbands’ hands. The world came out to support us in New Orleans, so I feel it’s my duty to help my fellow brothers, sisters and children in the Philippines any way I can.”
In addition to Millington and Evans, the concert to benefit victims of Typhoon Haiyan will feature performances by Evelyn Harris (best known for her 18-year tenure with the internationally acclaimed black women’s a capella group Sweet Honey In The Rock), jazz notables Paul Arslanian, Claire Arenius and Dave Picchi, gospel/R&B singer Marcia Gomes and all-girl rockers Bell Amie. Suggested admission for the evening is a donation of $15-$50 or more. For more information, visit wmaphilippinesrelieffund.org.
Also inhabiting the hallowed halls of the Northampton church circuit this week is singer/pianist Karrin Allyson (karrin.com). The four-time Grammy nominee is slated to stop at the Unitarian Church on Main Street on Saturday, Dec. 14, with her freshly pressed Yuletide Hideaway CD in tow. The 13-tune offering ping-pongs between original holiday works and Christmas standards. The concert begins at 7 p.m.
Odds and Ends: Last up, the melodic rockers of Odds of Eden also celebrate the release of their self-titled debut disc at Noho’s The Elevens this Saturday, Dec. 14.
According to singer Jason Tarrant, it took the fledgling band all of four months playing together to realize it was time to record.
“We played a few live shows that were amazing, and we have such a unique sound [that] it really was a no-brainer when it came time to get this stuff on a disc so people can listen to it whenever they want,” Tarrant declares. “Add in the fact that we got to work with Emmy award-winner producer Jim Fogerty at Zing, and we knew the planets truly had aligned. We couldn’t be prouder of the finished product, and we can’t wait for everyone to hear it.”•
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