NJ man’s live virtual concert aims to benefit healthcare workers, restaurants
SOMERVILLE — Live Saturday night on Facebook — a man with his guitar, attempting to raise money to feed hospital staff and first responders, and help local restaurants in the process, during the current public health emergency.
Professional musician David Dedrick, 55, hopes his virtual fundraising concert to benefit FLAG (Front Line Appreciation Group) of Somerville will spur other artists to make similar efforts in their hometowns.
"A lot of us are very, very fortunate to be home during this situation, but a lot of us also feel very helpless in not knowing exactly what to do to contribute," Dedrick said.
While viewing the "Sing for Their Supper" program, Dedrick said, residents can contribute to the group's Paypal account if they like what they're hearing or want to make a special request.
FLAG of Somerville will use every dime, he said, to purchase meals from county restaurants that will be delivered to workers at Robert Wood Johnson University-Hospital Somerset and first responders.
"This is a great way for us to come together as a community, to share our time, talents and resources, to help restaurants that are struggling during this time and the people on the front line," said Shawn Temple, who helped launched the Somerville chapter of FLAG.
The FLAG concept was launched in Chatham in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. There are already dozens of chapters across several states.
Dedrick, who typically plays at wineries as part of a guitar-based duo, said his performance will consist of only cover songs — tunes people know and love from the '60s through today. He's already hearing requests for songs by artists ranging from Billy Joel to Billie Eilish.
"As long as I can play it and make it sound halfway decent, I'm going for it," he said.
A number of New Jersey's biggest entertainment stars are coming together — from their homes — for a fundraising event on April 22 to benefit the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund. Jersey 4 Jersey, featuring appearances by Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Chris Rock and Danny DeVito, among many others, will be broadcast on local radio and television stations, along with SiriusXM, Apple Music and AppleTV.
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