WHAT: Selwyn Birchwood benefit concert
WHEN: Thursday, July 23, 8 and 10:30 p.m.
WHERE: Tressa’s Downtown Jazz and Blues, 28 Broadway
WHY: “I have always been passionate about music of deep and true expression that aspires to be free,” says Marcel Anton, Western North Carolina resident and event organizer.
Accordingly, Anton’s forthcoming benefit concert series — which features American blues guitarist and vocalist Selwyn Birchwood in its first iteration — aims to “rebuild and restore the presence of blues music in Asheville” while raising funds for Brother Wolf Animal Rescue.
“Blues began in the fields worked by slaves,” he says, adding that many historic blues artists like Etta Baker had ties to the Asheville area. However, the migration of former slaves over time, Anton adds, created a significant cultural loss for Western North Carolina.
“Of all the music that is here, authentic blues music — one of our unique and most beautiful American art forms — seems to be the least supported,” Anton laments.
Brother Wolf needs a similar boost at this time of year, according to Anton, who calls the organization’s local efforts “amazingly compassionate work.” All proceeds from the benefit concert will go directly to the nonprofit.
The one-night event includes two performances, beginning at both 8 and 10:30 p.m. At $50 per person, VIP tickets include table seating and complimentary Champagne, while general admission tickets are $30 per person. Both options include food catered by Strada Italiano and an “intimate and exclusive” evening with the visiting musician, Anton adds.
“Selwyn is a young African-American who is a truly authentic talent,” Anton says, calling the Tampa-based electric and lap steel guitarist a rising star in the musical sphere. “He represents the future and continuity of the blues.”
Visit tressas.com for more information or to purchase tickets.