JAZZ singer Richard Merk and his wife Roni are known for their generosity to local musicians who need help. In fact, Richard was always organizing fundraising gigs at his now defunct Merk’s Bar Bistro for artists who had been stricken ill.
His most recent effort was spearheading a couple of shows to help defray the medical expenses of Rico Puno, who underwent heart surgery a few months ago.
The couple’s musician friends are now the ones getting together to mount a series of benefit gigs for Richard and Roni who have both been hospitalized —Richard due to a leg injury he suffered from a vehicular accident, which could lead to amputation due to diabetes; and Roni who is still confined after undergoing colon surgery.
There are four scheduled gigs:
- “Jazz For You,” today, April 24, 5 p.m. onwards at Monk’s Dream in Galeria Lagman, 6053 Palma St., Makati, featuring Anna Maria Flechero, Carina Quiogue Dignos, Colby de la Calzada, Dada Shiveshananda, Eileen Sison, Henry Katindig, Jay Cummings, Jay Maclean, Jeannie Tiongco, Joey Casal, Johnny Gaerlan, Jong Cuenco, Jun Viray, Mara Viola, Margaux Salcedo, Megan Herrera, Rey Infante, Richie Quirino, Rosanna Gaerlan, Sandra Lim-Viray and Stella Ignacio.
Guests are invited to watch the telecast of the Philippine presidential debate at 5 p.m. and stay on for the gig at 8 p.m.
For more details, call tel. no. 0915-4979909
- “One for the Merks,” April 28, 7 p.m., at Primos Cuisine & Lounge, Unit 1-3 Mayflower St., The Hub, Greenfield District, Pasig City (behind Edsa Central near Shaw Boulevard), with the following performers: Jacqui Magno, Hajji Alejandro, Ricky Davao, Eugene Villaluz, Megan Herrera, May Bayot, Skarlet Brown, Joey’s Mailbox, Mar Dizon, Jeun A. Nackorda, FORTEnors, Ivy Violan, and Lynn Sherman.
Tel. no. 5842908
- May 2, 7 p.m. at Musica Bar, G-Strip, Greenhills Shopping Center, San Juan, featuring Jacqui Magno, Rico J. Puno, Patricia Santos Castillo, Ali Sotto, Ivy Violan, Judith Banal, Jeannie Tiongco, Romy Posadas, Colby de la Calzada, Boyet Pigao, Riki Gonzales, Uly Avante, Ding Faustino, Tek Faustino, Richie Ramos, Rudy Lozano and Emcy Corteza Faustino.
Tel. nos. 584-0051, 705-1481
- May 16 at 19 East, Km. 19, East Service Road, Sucat, Muntinlupa, featuring Pat Castillo, Emcy Corteza Faustino, Sandra Lim-Viray, Inner Voices, and Progeny.
Tel. nos. 837-6903, 0949-4984405
After 12 long years since Andrea Bocelli’s first concert in Manila, the Italian classical singer returns to perform live on April 26 at the SM Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena.
The show, which is part of his “Cinema of the World” tour, will feature renditions of classic film soundtracks and scores from his current album, “Cinema,” including “Maria” (“West Side Story”), “La chanson de Lara” (“Doctor Zhivago”), (“Moon River” (“Breakfast at Tiffany’s”), and “The Music of the Night” (“Phantom of the Opera”).
The unexpected death of innovative singer-songwriter Prince on April 22 at age 57 has caused an outpouring of grief and messages from fellow musicians, including Mick Jagger who said, “I am so saddened. Prince was a revolutionary artist, a wonderful musician and composer. He was an original lyricist and a startling guitar player. His talent was limitless. He was one of the most unique and exciting artists of the last 30 years.”
His discography of 39 studio albums is staggering and never a bore in its scope of styles that explored funk, R&B, soul, hip hop, rock, practically the whole gamut of contemporary popular music.
But perhaps the most vivid evidence of Prince’s rare talent was seen during his guest stint at the 2004 Rock Hall of Fame induction ceremony, in which he joined Tom Petty, Steve Winwood, Jeff Lynne and George Harrison’s son Dhani in an inspired performance of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”
Prince’s guitar solo sounded spontaneous and marvelous. Surprisingly, he said he had not heard of the Beatles classic until a copy was sent to him for rehearsal.
Andy Greene of Rolling Stone magazine wrote that “it could be the single greatest musical moment at any Rock Hall induction ceremony in its history.”
Watch it on YouTube and you’ll agree.