On Thursday, November 15, 2007, Artists for a New South Africa (ANSA) will host “Shaking The Blues,” a star-studded benefit, at The Wiltern in Los Angeles. The evening combines the power of music and activism to shake off our blues – from the personal to the global – and make a difference in the world. The event will feature blues-influenced musical artists as well as a multi-cultural array of renowned entertainers who are donating their time and talents to the fight against HIV/AIDS in the US and Africa.
The event begins with a pre-show cocktail party for major donors at 6 PM. Shaking The Blues performances start at 7:45, immediately followed by a VIP after-party. Those confirmed to appear include Erykah Badu, Nikka Costa, Keb’ Mo’, Taj Mahal Trio and The Roots, with Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson serving as the event’s musical director. Additional highlights include appearances by George Lopez, Jurnee Smollett, Blair Underwood and other special guest stars soon to be announced.
Shaking The Blues, which continues ANSA’s tradition of presenting one unique and extraordinary major fundraiser annually, is chaired by Dianna Cohen & Jackson Browne, Myrna Colley-Lee & Morgan Freeman, LaTanya Richardson Jackson & Samuel L. Jackson, Ann & George Lopez, Deborah Santana, Alfre Woodard & Roderick Spencer and Keisha Nash-Whitaker & Forest Whitaker. Host committee members include J.J. Abrams, Gillian Anderson, Johnny Clegg, Danny Glover, Dulé Hill, Quincy Jones, Norman Lear, Lebo M, Alexandra Paul, Chris Rock, Cicely Tyson, Blair Underwood, Alice Walker, Denzel Washington and other luminaries.
“Last year, ANSA was honored to host the 75th birthday celebration for our dear friend and advisor Archbishop Desmond Tutu," said ANSA’s Executive Director Sharon Gelman. “He embodies the belief that justice and love will ultimately triumph and maintains a remarkable sense of humor, even in the face of enormous challenges. It is activists like him who inspire us to shake off the blues and take action to fix our world. That’s the spirit of Shaking the Blues, which promises to be one of ANSA’s best events ever.”
Proceeds from the event will support ANSA’s work in the US and Africa. ANSA will also donate a portion of the proceeds to the Treatment Action Campaign, the grassroots organization that is at the forefront of South Africa’s fight against AIDS.
Tickets range from $45 to $100, and are available through Ticketmaster at www.ticketmaster.com and (213) 480-3232. For major donor and VIP tickets, ranging from $250 to $75,000, contact Blue Room Events: (310) 491-1401.
A Shaking The Blues online auction of one-of-a-kind items and experiences from President Bill Clinton, Denzel Washington, J.J. Abrams, Dulé Hill, and many others, launched October 29 at www.charityfolks.com/ansa.
ANSA is a Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization working to combat HIV/AIDS, safeguard voting rights and democracy, advance human rights and equality, and assist and empower AIDS orphans and other at-risk youth. By working in partnership with effective grassroots organizations and pivotal movements on the frontlines of these issues, ANSA makes a substantial difference. Founded in 1989 to support South Africa’s quest to end apartheid and build a new democracy, ANSA is now dedicated to eradicating social and health inequities that are the legacies of apartheid, segregation, and generations of poverty. In the past decade alone, ANSA has raised $9 million for effective African programs, shipped 70 tons of medical supplies and books to impoverished communities, and educated millions of adults and young people in the US, South Africa, and across the African continent about HIV/AIDS and voting rights. For more information go to www.ansafrica.org