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Music's Helping Hands

More than 14 musicians unite at concert to raise funds for Indonesian tsunami victims



What: Helping Hands concert

When: Friday, Aug. 11, 7 p.m.

Where: MY Millennium Place

Tickets: $50

Some reach out to the world through words, others through song and perhaps even more through buying tickets to a benefit concert for Indonesian tsunami/earthquake victims Friday, Aug. 11 at 7 p.m. at MY Millennium Place.

Whistler business owner Jay Wahono, who hails from Java Island, wanted to help his fellow countrymen. He’s doing that by hosting the Helping Hands: West Coast Artists for UNICEF concert, bringing together more than 14 musicians for the cause. The lineup includes Lee Aaron, Jim Byrnes, Marcus Mosely, Shari Ulrich, Norman Foote, Edith Wallace, Jasmine Bharucha, Nathen Aswell, Glenda Rae, Rae Armour, Beverley Elliott, Joani Bye, Monique Creber and the Michael Creber Band.

"How could I not?" said Ulrich of joining the Helping Hands cause. "Being able to do what I do, it’s a wonderful way to contribute to causes. There is a lot of help that needs to be garnered out there in the world. It’s a great way to make a contribution and I love catching up with everyone that is involved."

The artist collective album Helping Hands was recorded after a tsunami devastated Indonesia on Dec. 26, 2004. Proceeds from the album contributed to UNICEF’s efforts to help victims.

Now, with another earthquake devastating the region again only weeks ago, artists gather once again to perform the inaugural live show based on the album, raising much-needed funds once again. If the show sells out, more than $12,500 will be sent overseas to tsunami-stricken families via UNICEF.

Ulrich contributed her I Will Be There song to the fundraising album, a song about a parent’s unconditional love for her child and the sentiment that parents always want to be there for their children no matter what – something not all parents can do in the wake of a tsunami that reeks death and destruction.

"I wrote about my daughter leaving home," Ulrich said. "She was only six then. I was imagining the future. The last verse is written about a friend who when his mom died, his granddaughter gave a talk at the memorial about how everyone should look around and see all the seeds scattered from her grandmother. The whole circle of life thing."

She hopes to share one of her new songs, Life Goes On, at the concert as well.

The Juno-award winner has had multiple careers as a singer, songwriter, television host, theme composer, theatre actor and scriptwriter. She first stepped up to the mic as the founder of the Pied Pumkin String Ensemble with Rick Scott and Joe Mock. She later toured with Valdy as part of the Hometown Band, playing everything from flute to sax and violin. Signed to A&M, the Hometown band recorded two albums, winning a Juno for Best New Group. She moved onto a solo career after the group split, leading to a Juno nomination for her album Long Nights and later a Juno for Most Promising Female artist. She signed an international deal with MCA and released the highly acclaimed Talk Around Town. In between recordings, she also co-hosted Futurescan on CBC television with David Suzuki as well as BCTV’s Inside Trax. She composed and produced several Sesame Street segments as well as theme music for shows on the CBC, Life and Knowledge networks. She later produced three albums: Every Road, The Best of Shari Ulrich and The View from Here .

She is currently picking up with Pied Pumkin, touring B.C. with more shows set for the fall and New Year. A new children’s album is in the works for the spring.

"Party survival," she says of her broad-reaching credits. "It’s also because if you do something creative, it tends to spill out into other things. The process of getting music out can involve a lot of other things, as with this project. A lot of people are coming together to help to get the word out, to raise funds. We get to use our talent to do something good out there in the world. It tends to involve a lot of things. It makes life really interesting."

Fundraiser tickets are now on sale for $50. The concert will also be followed by an intimate dinner with the performers at the Bearfoot Bistro. Dinner and concert are $110.

For tickets, call MY Millennium Place at 604-935-8410.

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