It was in this month of hearts that the Philippines felt the love from countries beyond its own shores, as represented by some of today’s finest international music acts who performed in a 2-leg benefit concert held for support of the ABS-CBN Sagip Kapamilya campaign and Gawad Kalinga.
The 2-leg event was aptly entitled “Heal Our Land”, and was composed of the “ABS-CBN Jazz Gala Night” and “California Smooth Jazz”. It featured favorites from the jazz scene such as pianist David Benoit and singers David Pack and Kevyn Lettau, with keyboardist Brian Simpson, American saxophonist and singer Jessy J, percussionist Richie “Gajate” Garcia, and guitarist-singers Ray Parker, Jr. and Jonathan Butler.
Also featured in “Heal Our Land” were Filipino-American saxophonist Michael Paulo, pianist-singer-songwriter Spencer Day, pianist Gregg Karukas—and Freddie Schreuders, Eric Valentine, and Nate Phillips of the LA All-Star Band.
Some of today’s local talents also took the stage, including Jaya, Sitti, Side A, Southborder, Freestyle, Mulatto, Zoo, True Faith, Chad Borja, and recent “voice of the Philippines” contender Thor Dulay. The concert was directed by the Philippines’ own Bert de Leon.
All the participating artists in “Heal Our Land” chose to generously waive their fees for this concert, directing proceeds to the relief efforts of ABS-CBN’s Sagip Kapamilya and Gawad Kalinga projects.
The concert also proved to be a chance for some of the international artists to reconnect with the Filipino people in their recovery. Kevyn Lettau was among those who felt a strong bond with the country from her first visit years ago, saying that she instantly fell in love with the country and its people. “I feel like an adopted daughter of the Philippines, which has virtually become my second home,” said Kevyn Lettau. She even took her love a step further in performing a rendition of “Sana Maulit Muli”.
Peter White is also another artist who has been to the Philippines before, and chose to return eighteen years after his last visit—especially in this time. He brought with him in his performance the full ensemble of Gregg Karukas, Spencer Day, Michael Paulo on sax, and Eric Valentine on drums to create a full-blown performance to bring the best of California Smooth Jazz to our own shores.
“Heal Our Land” was produced by All That Jazz Promotions, Inc., with the support of ABS-CBN, Lifestyle Network, and other partners.