Chris Smither, Samirah Evans, Peter Mulvey, John Medeski  and many more will take part in a streaming benefit concert Berkshire Sounds: A Bash to Bring Back Music to Western Massachusetts and the Hudson Valley.Hosted by Signature Sounds, the show will feature an eclectic mix of musicians from across western Massachusetts and New York’s Hudson Valley.

All proceeds will go to the New England Musicians Relief Fund (NEMRF), an organization that provides grants to working musicians facing financial difficulties. Berkshire Sounds will stream Sunday, April 18 at 7:00 PM EST.  Anyone can watch the show at  signaturesounds.com/homesessions as well as the YouTube and Facebook pages of the New England Musicians Relief Fund. There is no cost to view the stream, but donations are encouraged.

Artists performing as part of Berkshire Sounds include Aston Magna, Boston University Tanglewood Institute, Boston Symphony Orchestra musicians Rebecca Gitter and Julianne Lee, Chris Smither, Felipe Salles, Izy Coffey, Izzy Heltai, John Medeski, Pamela Means, Peter Mulvey, Robin O’Herin, Ruby Mack, Samirah Evans, Todd Reynolds, Adam Rothberg and more. The show will also feature special messages from Arlo Guthrie and Tanglewood Festival Chorus conductor James Burton.

“From bluegrass, to jazz, folk, and of course classical, the Berkshires are such an incredible home for talent,” said Gabe Langfur, Co-Founder and President of New England Musicians Relief Fund. “We hope Berkshire Sounds will not only introduce our audience to the wide range of musicians in the region, but remind everyone why it is so important to support the arts and those who make it.”

The global pandemic has created an acute crisis for the more than 2000 freelance professional musicians who make their living playing live music across New England. Many freelance musicians do not fit neatly into either the traditional economy or the gig economy.  Founded one year ago, the New England Musicians Relief Fund has distributed nearly $400,000 to professional musicians whose incomes have been drastically reduced. 

“It’s been a really tough time for professional musicians across New England. It’s hard to imagine that one year later, many venues are closed, musicians are still out of work and that we have no clear idea when live music might return,” added co-founder and board member Dennis Alves.  “It may be a long time before we return to the vibrant music scenes that existed before COVID. The NEMRF plans to be here throughout the recovery and for years to come, but we will need the continued support of music lovers across New England.” 

Berkshire Sounds is made possible through the support of Toole Insurance in Lee, MA, Guido’s Fresh Marketplace in Pittsfield and Great Barrington, MA,  Dave Jamrog Audio Video, and Adam Rothberg Graphic Design Art Direction. 

Berkshire Sounds will stream live on Sunday, April 18 at 7:00 PM EST  at  www.signaturesounds.com/homesessions as well as the Youtube and Facebook pages of the New England Musicians Relief Fund. There is no cost to view the stream, but donations are encouraged.

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