The Blind Boys of Alabama Care About Kids

Remember your summer email inbox? If you're like me, those informs went mostly unread. But maybe you noticed one e-mail, titled "Movin' Mountains with The Blind Boys of Alabama." Then again, maybe you were too rapt in your state of summer bliss that you didn't bat an eye. But you should take note: the Blind Boys of Alabama will perform on Saturday, October 1st at Bridges Auditorium in what's sure to be a fantastic benefit concert. The event--which includes a concert, a dinner, and a silent auction--will be hosted by KidCare International, a humanitarian organization that currently supports global aid projects in both Southern California and international locales like Russia, Tanzania, Sri Lanka and South Africa.

KidCare International has joined hands with the "living legends of gospel music," the Blind Boys of Alabama, to bring hypnotic harmonies and layers of steel guitar and fiddle-infused soul to the Inland Empire. Rolling Stone describes their music to be "a fusion of the Deep South gospel with New Orleans funk, R&B and jazz [that] creates a superweapon of roots-music uplift, which will raise goose bumps even on the tatted-up arms of resolutely futuristic hipsters."

The Blind Boys have been inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and have 5 Grammys to their name. They've even performed for two Presidents at the White House. Despite these achievements, the Boys have stated that their "biggest honor of all is to play for a group of dedicated students that enjoy spreading good deeds." The Blind Boys are proud to be a part of this fundraiser as "they are pleased to help any organization that is trying to bring new life and hope to thousands of children around the globe." They are also associated with the initiatives of the American Diabetes Organization and perform in 'Playing for Change', a multimedia movement created to inspire, connect and bring peace throughout the world through music.

Perhaps what is most amazing about the group is that the three main vocalists and the drummer/percussionist are all blind. The group was founded at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind in Talladega, Alabama in 1939 and has been picking up steam--and a following of listeners--ever since.  Hence the name Blind Boys of Alabama.  You may have heard this group's music on Lost or The Fighting Temptations, or maybe you caught them on The Tonight Show or David Letterman. If not, you'll have your chance soon enough.

KidCare International started in Russia following the fall of Communism in 1991. The founder of the organization, Larry Kipchinsky, encouraged individuals to hand-deliver necessities to orphans living in the Perm region, as they were struggling for life without food, water or clothing. Some of Kidcare's projects to-date include the establishment of a summer camp for homeless children in Russia, a food program in Tanzania for orphans and children affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and the donation of a 40-square-foot food container to an orphanage in Mysore, India.

For its annual fundraiser, KidCare International is bringing the Blind Boys of Alabama to Claremont, hosting the group at Pomona College's Bridges Auditorium. You can still buy tickets to this great event but get them while they're hot. Listening to Grammy award-winning music while simultaneously saving the world? What could be better?!

Listen to the Blind Boys of Alabama here.

Want more from Arjun? Read his Ode to Professor Marc Massoud, article on the Student Investment Fund or article on Ath Tea.