Within days of the election last November, singer-songwriter, Pam Ortiz, and her husband, Bob, sat down to make a list of organizations they could support that would protect the people and rights they feared were now vulnerable. “As I thought about the very modest checks we might be able to write,” said Ortiz, “it occurred to me that, as musicians, there was much more we could do.” Like many musicians, the Ortiz’ have performed over the years to raise money for numerous causes. “Why not host a series of concerts, each of which would support a different important right or vulnerable group of people? We pitched the idea to our like-minded bandmates, the members of the Pam Ortiz Band – Ford Schumann, Nevin Dawson, and Philip Dutton – who were immediately on board.”
The band performed the first in their Songs for Our Future Series in January to a standing room only crowd. Concert attendees donated $3,400 at that event to support the right to vote, with proceeds going to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
The band’s second concert raised $2,775 for the National Immigration Law Center, to support the immigrant community.
Each concert in the series features the Pam Ortiz Band, with different special guests. In January, members of Sombarkin, an a capella gospel trio, performed along with poet Robert Earl Price. Fredy Granillo, a Salvadoran guitarist and songwriter was the featured guest in February.
The concerts are held in Bob Ortiz’ furniture studio in the band’s home base, Chestertown, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The local Eastern Shore community has responded enthusiastically, selling out each performance. To accommodate the crowds, the band has added a second show for the next event in the series. The group’s Concert to Highlight Climate Change and Clean Energy on March 3rd and 5th will raise funds for 350.org, a grassroots environmental organization. The March concerts will include special guests, Celtic harpist and poet, Meredith Davis Hadaway, outdoor educator and storyteller, Andrew McCown, and poet Robert Earl Price.
Future events in the series will include concerts to protect the LGBTQ Community, to protect the Muslim community, to support women’s reproductive health, and will culminate with a final concert at an alternate location, the Mainstay in Rock Hall, to support the right to free speech.
For additional information about The Pam Ortiz Band and to hear Ortiz’ music: Visit https://www.pamortizband.com/.
For photos: Visit https://www.pamortizmusic.com/press-kit/
March – June Concerts – Robert Ortiz Studios, 207C S. Cross Street, Chestertown, MD 21620.
July Concert – The Mainstay, 5753 N Main St, Rock Hall, MD 21661
To reserve tickets for these concerts: Visit www.pamortizband.com.