While naysayers continue to barrage Obama for not implementing change fast enough, one local teen has been inspired by local humanitarians and by the president, and is taking matters into his own musically gifted hands. Barney Greer, a 15-year-old Santa Cruz alto sax star, is harnessing his talent and the talents of his peers to raise funds for Haiti through a teen concert at Kuumbwa Jazz on Friday, Feb. 26. “I noticed people and places around me that were wanting to help Haiti and doing things to make it happen,” Greer says. “Even Obama wrote an article about why Haiti matters. I read it and I realized that I had a band and a phone—to make calls, to make a benefit.” With no previous experience putting together a large event of this kind, the Harbor High student began spearheading this week’s Funk ‘n’ Rock for Haiti concert. What he describes as a “clash of genres,” the evening boasts a teen lineup of four local bands, starting with the high energy of the self-explanatory Funky Dosage six-piece, the dance rock of Jackie Rocks Band, the funk and jazz fusion of Greer’s own quartet, Barney and the Dinosaurs, and ending with the Kuumbwa Jazz Honor Band winding it all down into a straight ahead jazz closing. Greer is giving proceeds to International Medical Corps, an organization that sends medical training, relief and supplies to places in need. “I found them on Charitywatch.com, which rates charity services, and I’ve been reading in the paper that Haiti needs medical supplies,” Greer explains as to how he decided which nonprofit would benefit from the show. Putting on a concert to help ease the suffering in Haiti was one part of the equation, making a showcase of young acts in the local area was the other. “I was thinking young musicians,” Greer begins. “If we could target the teen populous in Santa Cruz and get all the high schools involved, it could be really great.” Traversing the county to put up fliers and get the word out, he says the best part of it all has been meeting supporters along the way. The worst part? “All the phone calling—it’s tough.” | Linda Koffman
INFO: 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $12 donation. 427-2227.
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