Multi-genre benefit show for US Virgin Islands

Melba Moore will perform at the concert, along with Christopher Jasper of The Isley Brothers, and Rhonda Ross, singer and daughter of Rhonda Ross.
Associated Press / Peter Kramer

A concert for the U.S. Virgin Islands is going to feature award-winning singers and Caribbean artists at Lehman College on Nov. 12. “A Benefit Concert For The Caribbean” is hoping to raise awareness for the hurricane-hit tri-island territory because it is being ignored, said the concert organizer.

“After the hurricanes happened, all I saw in the media was nothing about the Virgin Islands. It was mostly about Puerto Rico, but we got hit hard — we got hit with two category five hurricanes,” said Linnette Harrigan.

The destruction of the disaster left homes, schools, and hospitals destroyed, and Virgin Islanders and their relatives abroad are in the dark.

“Many people still don’t have power and won’t until next year, and the Virgin Islands still isn’t getting the media attention — the President didn’t go there and we were ignored,” she added.

Harrigan, who is from the Virgin Islands and still has family there, said she wanted to use her pull as an agent in the music industry to arrange a concert, and direct some action for her hometown’s recovery.

“I have connections with celebrities so I decided a benefit concert would be a good idea,” said Harrigan. “I saw how underrepresented my people were and saw an opportunity where I could help some of the families that were affected.”

The lineup for the concert includes headliner and Tony award singer Melba Moore, Grammy-winner Chris Jasper of the Isley Brothers, and Rhonda Ross, singer and daughter of the legendary Diana Ross. Other artists, Bashiri Johnson, Rodney Kendrick, Jahstix, and Domo Joat, will also be joining the concert, some of whom are from the Caribbean.

“We have a lot of performers and some of them are very good local artists,” said Harrigan. “It’s going to be a nice mixture of American and Caribbean music.”

She is hoping the show raises funds to support two humanitarian organizations providing aid to hurricane victims — Community Foundation of Virgin Islands, and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA). Mobile donations can be made via texting CARIB to 77948 to donate $10 and up.

And even though she holds ambivalent feelings about the stateside response for the U.S. Virgin Islands, she wants guests to attend for the entertainment and show solidarity.

“This is going to be a really good show — there’s going to be food and great artists performing in a beautiful theater,” said Harrigan.

“A Benefit Concert For The Caribbean” at Lovinger Theatre at Lehman College [250 Bedford Park Blvd. W. between Goulden and Jerome avenues in The Bronx, (718) 960-8495,]. Nov. 12, 3–5 pm. $30.

Reach reporter Alexandra Simon at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at asimo[email protected]
Tony award singer Melba Moore is headling “A Benefit Concert for the Caribbean” at Lovinger Theater at Lehman College on Nov. 12.
Tony DiMaio

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