Birdsong Foundation's 1st Live Concert a Huge Success!
By Glenda Fordham
As the song says… oh, what a night! I’m so pleased for my friend and colleague, Margaret Konopacki, who presented a fabulous showcase of singer/songwriters who live with mental health issues and/or substance use disorders for whom she created the nation-wide music charity, BIRDSONG FOUNDATION. Visit the website to see what it’s all about: www.birdsongnewmusicfoundation.com. Last night, June 9th, at The Duke tavern and club, several of her artists performed original songs with the backing of The Long Black Cadillacs band, and the nearly-full house enjoyed a night filled with blues, pop, hip-hop, folk and rock songs. I spoke briefly with Margaret just before the concert started…
Yes, her anticipation and excitement was palpable. Due to the sad loss of her talented singer/songwriter son, David Martin, four-and-a-half years ago, she founded this supportive charity that records, publishes and promotes songs written by artists who struggle on a daily basis with mental health challenges. The show started off with Thomas Messenger, then Jordan Gow (see below)Tommy Messenger had a blast on stage with Earl Johnson and his band, the Long Black Cadillacs…as you can tell here.
The delightfully spunky Ashley Bell (pictured left) had fun with her song, “Best Advice”…
Singer/songwriter PK shared his “Just Breathe” with the crowd (pictured below, right) accompanied by musician/music producer Bryant Didier who also sat in with the band….…and Jhmal King brought his unique hip-hop/blues song, “Never Settle”, to the stage and even got a couple of dancers up on the floor
Margaret was extremely touched when long-time friend and Nicolas Cage’s movie stand-in (wow, what a gig!) Marco Kyris showed up – he flew in all the way from London, UK, just for the concert. Big thank you to radio personality and podcaster Aaron Badgley who helped MC the night, shown here with Maggie on stage…At the end of the concert, Margaret was very moved when Jordan Gow sang the song her son, David, wrote for her shortly before he passed away….visit the Birdsong website to read the story behind the song and behind the Birdsong mission. Jordan was very emotional, too.Jordan’s mum and dad were there to support their talented son and we were grateful to them for running the door and taking the cover charges.Lots of kind and generous people showed up, including Andrew Cann who drove in from hundreds of miles away with a cheque for $500 he raised for Birdsong (bravo, sir) and we’d like to send out a big THANK YOU to venue manager Donna Riddell and her amazing staff who hosted the concert for Birdsong. https://theduketoronto.com/ Thanks also to Kerry Doole of FYI Music News for the great blurb – it’s great to receive media support.