A fundraising concert on Sept. 21 will benefit Harmony4kidz, a charity that enriches the lives of children via the power of music. Founded by acoustic guitarist/folk singer Irena Hart (Fairfield), combines Hart's two passions: a love of music and the desire to help at-risk children.
"Harmony4kids presents opportunities for at-risk youths to enjoy – and thrive – in the world of music," explains Hart. "To date, we have provided under-served children with musical instruments, music classes, songwriting workshops, vocal lessons and the chance to produce their own music in a recording studio."
The "Harmony4kidz Benefit Peace Concert," takes place at Fairfield Theatre Company at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The events coincide with the United Nations' International Day of Peace, which recognizes the efforts of those who have worked hard to end conflict and promote peace. This is the seventh year that Harmony4kidz has observed Peace Day with a fundraising concert.
A portion of the funds raised on September 21 is earmarked for the Greater Bridgeport Area Prevention Program (GBAPP). Harmony4kidz will support two of GBAPP's efforts: Mi Casa, which provides a transitional home and support service for referred pregnant and parenting teens, and Housing for Success, which prepares youth for adult living settings.
"GBAPP does outstanding work, but their programs are not assisted by funding for the music and arts," explains Hart. "We want to help some of these kids find their inner talents and express themselves."
She adds, "There is a real interest on behalf of these kids, who are enthusiastic about our plans to bring music into their lives. By supplying these teenagers with musical instruments, we will help them to build strong characters and become positive members of our society."
The partnership with Harmony4kidz partnership is win-win, notes Rudy Feudo, executive director of GBAPP. "We work with some really talented kids, who don't have the resources to purchase their own instruments or have their music recorded professionally," he says. "Irena is offering her time and expertise to work with these youths. She is committed to raising money that will impact their lives. I see this as a great marriage."
The concert promises a showcase of talent. In addition to Hart, youngsters who are involved with GBAPP will perform. "This is an exciting opportunity for the kids to get exposure and perform on stage," says Feudo. "These kids will be thrilled at a chance to have their songs recorded."
Among those slated to hit the stage are Def Groove, a brother-and-sister hip-hop duo comprised of 12-year-old Baby D' and 10-year-old Lil' Dave G (Bridgeport), as well as Justin Anderson, 13, (Bridgeport) – who loves acting, dancing, telling jokes and writing music – and Anatasha Machuc, 16, (Shelton), who has been performing as a singer, actress and dancer since the age of 7.
Folk guitarist/vocalist Buddy Valiante (Westport), will play a solo set as well as perform duets with Hart.
"I am really excited about this," Hart says. "This program helps kids to light up with hope. The kids at GBAPP have sung for me and they recited their poetry for me. They are so thrilled at the prospect of getting musical instruments and vocal lessons. I want to do everything I can to gain the funding that will make their dreams possible."
To purchase tickets to the concert, visit www.fairfieldtheatre.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the box office at 203- 259-1036 . General admission tickets are $20 per person.
If you'd like more details on Harmony4Kidz (www.harmonyforkidz.org) or this concert, please call Irena Hart at 203-209-2779 or visit www.irenahart.com
About Irena Hart
Combine Jewel, Emmylou Harris and Lucinda Williams, add a quirky personality, sprinkle a European perspective mixed with American sense of humor and you get Irena Hart. The acoustic guitarist, singer-songwriter, poet delivers a powerful, folk-infused organic sound that captivates her audiences.
Several of Hart's original songs have been featured in the USA Show, Burn Notice and CW's Fly Girls. Irena has collaborated with a Grammy Award-winning producer, Mike Mangini to re-release, Signs, to help raise money for Harmony4kidz.
"Signs" is available on iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/signs-single/id657652755
Harmony4kidz, founded in 2006 by Irena, became a 501c3 nonprofit organization in 2009. Based in Fairfield, Conn., the organization is dedicated to transforming and enriching the lives of our local at risk youths and creating doors of opportunity for them through music and the arts. A platform of creative expression guide these young people to look beyond their circumstances and envision a beautiful horizon of another life for themselves.
Harmony4kidz and GBAPP have partnered together to bring after-school music and art programs to at-risk youths in the Greater Bridgeport Area.
"Hart is an amazing talent and she has proven herself worthy of praise with this latest string of songs. There's nothing more dangerous than a Ukrainian born musical talent armed with a great visual, voice and a one way ticket to your heart. Need I say more?" Rock N' Roll View Derrick Hennessey (UK).
"Irena Hart music "will suck you in like a drug. It's strength - the impressive songwriting, modern-day marketability and infectious vocal presence by Hart herself. Make no bones about it, she is a marquee talent and one would be wise to keep a watchful eye on her over the next several years. " Biz Talk with Cyrus Rhodes