Adam Ezra Group: The Social Connection
He may not have a setlist, but Adam Ezra has a plan. The plan involves community, and starts in the bars and clubs where the music gets played. The song list is fluid and on any given night varies with the artist’s mood, the energy in the room, and audience requests. The performance of individual songs may also change from show to show. The one constant is Adam’s commitment to making a difference in his community through music.
For a recent Connecticut gig, the Adam Ezra Group asked ticketholders to bring nonperishable food items to the show. These were gathered in large baskets and donated to the House of Bread Soup Kitchen, serving hungry families in the north Hartford area. Now on national tour, the band has asked fans to submit the names of local charitable organizations, and plans to make similar contributions in cities along the way.
On April 17, the band will host “The Ramble”. What is The Ramble? It’s a concert but it’s also a tailgate party with the band. Last year the Group held a special concert to raise money for Haiti relief efforts. This year the event will benefit Feeding America, a charity that serves hungry Americans in all 50 states through a network of food banks. In 2010 The Ramble attracted 500 concertgoers. This year the band hopes to fill the 1000 capacity Showcase Live venue in Foxborough, MA. To help enthusiastic fans get to and from the show, the Group has made a unique offer. If you live anywhere in New England and have 20 people who’d like to attend, the band will send a bus to get you. That’s right; it’s a party with a free ride! Learn more about The Ramble here: http://www.getrambled.com/2011.html
Adam and the band do more than raise money. This Group is actively involved in their local community. Aware that music is an important part of students’ lives, but a less important part of their formal education, last spring Adam proposed a pilot program for the public schools. The band teaches middle schoolers how to write a song.
Adam tells the children that writing lyrics and music is a form of self expression. Together the students and the band brainstorm ideas and write a story. Then the melody is added. The students learn the contribution of each instrument as layers are added to the song. Later in the week, the new songwriters join the band to play the music for an assembly of their fellow students. Featured in both print and online editions of The Boston Globe (http://bo.st/g9F1Xq) last May, the pilot program was a big hit with the students. Their excitement is clear in the following video:
Adam feels a special connection to the students, confessing that he tends to think in pictures rather than in words, and is a terrible speller. He believes that innovative programs in the arts can refocus students who show limited interest in standard classrooms. While his claim to be an “underachiever” is not believable, it’s clear that this singer/songwriter relates easily to people both young and old.
The Adam Ezra Group started a non-profit this year; the band’s goal is to devote 25% of future tours to charity events. This is a band with a strong social conscience and a refreshing commitment to action. Oh, by the way, they also make good music.
For more on the Adam Ezra Group, including music and tour dates: http://www.adamezra.com/index.php?page=homepage
The FedEx Underground Music Series offers the possibility of a recording contract to 3 top vote getting bands. To vote for Adam Ezra Group, scroll down the page and click on “+” below the band’s name: http://fedexmusic.com/bands/