Seva Concert a Huge Success! Elvis Costello joins superstar line-up at benefit show
What an amazing night! Elvis Costello topped the list of surprise guests joining David Crosby, Graham Nash, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt and Los Lobos for a once in a lifetime show at Seva's 30th Anniversary Concert held on September 27 at Oakland Paramount Theatre.
Thanks to an amazing community of musicians, crew, volunteers, donors and a full house of 3,000 concertgoers, the show raised $290,000 in net proceeds to support our programs, setting a new record for a Seva event. On behalf of the people we serve around the world, we thank you one and all!
The review in the San Francisco Chronicle called Elvis Costello's performance "...nothing short of amazing." Elvis told the audience, "It's a real pleasure to be here. I've been trying to get on one of these bills for about 30 years, and I'm very proud to be anywhere on this bill tonight."
Other surprise guests included Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady of Hot Tuna, blues champion Roy Rogers, and CSN&Y’s new favorite songwriter, Joel Rafael. One highlight of the evening was the electrifying opening set by Ruthie Foster, with local favorite Nina Gerber on guitar. Throughout the four-hour show, the audience was treated to unique combinations of all the artists joining each other for unexpected musical delights.
The inimitable Wavy Gravy shared hosting duty with his long-time friend and Seva co-founder, Larry Brilliant, now Executive Director of Google.org. Also taking a turn as MC was actor, activist and Seva-friend, Peter Coyote.
Singing and Speaking Out for Seva While the evening was primarily focused on the music, the artists also had a lot to say about Seva. Bonnie Raitt said, “In this weary world, it is so nice to wake up and know there is a group like Seva who’s been doing such great work all these years — one of the great success stories where the money actually gets to where it’s supposed to go. I’m honored to be part of their family.”
Jackson Browne said, “We’ve been doing these shows for a long time — and it’s always incredible to know that we could put together a room full of people here on one side of the world, and then on the other side of the world people can see again.”
Graham Nash told the crowd, “David and I would like to congratulate Wavy and all the rest of the gang for 30 years of really great work.” Crosby continued, “Yeah, there you are, you’re living in a place that is so poor that you can’t get anything to eat and you’ve got cataracts and you’re going blind — and nobody can do anything about it because there isn’t anything to be done about it. There is no doctor, there is no money, and there is no way to get any. And then these people show up from Seva!” Nash concluded by saying, “It’s a miracle, really.”
It does sometimes seem like a miracle, but as Wavy often says, “It’s all done with people!”
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