by Jaz Bowens
The Trocadero Theater will be the place to be this Sat. Nov. 30 at 8 p.m., as it will host The Last Waltz- A benefit for Philadelphia school children that will celebrate the music of The Band’s farewell show which was held on Thanksgiving in 1976.
“The Last Waltz” was the name of The Band’s farewell concert which included many special guest like Bob Dylan, Muddy Waters, and Eric Clapton. The concert was filmed by Martin Scorsese and hailed as one of the best concert films ever. This farewell show left a lasting impression on everyone who witnessed it, participated, and admired The Band.
This Saturday’s tribute to The Band will bring the spirit of the original farewell concert by featuring a core band and over a dozen special guest. The event will feature Jim Boggia, Adam Flicker, Nate Graham, Andrew Lipke, Pete Donnelly, Kevin Hanson, Matt Muir and a host of Philly’s finest musicians. Special guests also include Ali Wadsworth, Toy Soldiers, Slo Mo, Chris Malcarney and the Ukulele-Theremin Band, and Kevin Bentley.
Tickets are $25.VIP tickets are $100 and are going fast. VIP ticket holders get an early 7 pm entrance, a pre-show acoustic set, a meet and greet with the Last Waltz tribute band and a one hour open bar. Tickets can be purchased online.
Producers of Philadelphia’s Last Waltz are well known Philadelphians. Fergus Carey (owner of Fergie’s, Monk’s Cafe, Belgian Cafe and Grace Tavern), Bryan Dilworth (of Bonfire Booking), Andrew Lipke (singer, songwriter, music producer and member of Get The Led Out), and Kevin Hanson (recording artist and record producer, who has performed with The Fractals, Jay-Z, The Roots, and Huffamoose).
All four wanted to be involved in the event that would be for such a great cause- enriching and helping the lives of hundreds of students in the Philadelphia School District. Proceeds will be divided between four Philadelphia educational programs; Parents United for Public Education, Passyunk Civic Association Education Committee, Friends of Horatio B. Hackett School, and School District of Philadelphia’s Music Education Instrument Repair Program.
One producer who was more than excited about how well the benefit has come together after months of planning was Fergus Carey. “I have been trying, dreaming of recreating the concert for years and years and just this year I had the opportunity to help do so,” Carey says. “After a couple meetings, things got underway. It’s such a group effort and I really want to stress that. I’m glad to be a part of it.”
In recent months, the School District of Philadelphia has been plagued with many hardships and disappointments that have come to a head after years of problems- school shutdowns, curriculum changes, and budget cuts. Everyone involved with Philadelphia’s Last Waltz tribute concert hope they can make a difference. “We are going to bring awareness and money into the school district so hopefully it will bring action,” Carey says. “ The children deserve it.”