A good cause conceived in the cold light of day

It started as one man’s birthday. Today, it’s a series of concerts where talented artists from all over the US and Europe perform their music to raise awareness of Parkinson’s disease.

In November 1998, an idea came to music manager Bob Benjamin who had just been given the worst possible early birthday present: a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. Instead of buying him a present, he asked his friends to make pledges to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation. They raised over $2,000, and another idea duly popped into his head.

Teaming up with various friends from the music industry, he created the Light of Day charity, and in 2000, the first official Light of Day fundraising concert was held in New Jersey. The annual event has been growing ever since, with well-known artists such as Bruce Springsteen and Badly Drawn Boy playing at the concerts.

Today, Light of Day is no longer a single concert, but a string of performances in both the US and Europe, featuring numerous artists. On Friday they will stop off in Copenhagen and team up with some local musicians to create a feast of music, from which all the profits will go to the Light of Day charity.

Among the American artists playing at Amager Bio, you’ll find singer-songwriter Jesse Malin, an artist who is more than familiar with the Light of Day charity. The former frontman of punk band Heart Attack and glam-punk band D Generation,  who went solo in the early ‘00s, has become a regular performer in the Light of Day series over the past few years. His music is American upbeat rock, infused with pop and country and lyrics that are little narratives of their own. If that description brings Ryan Adams to mind, you’re not far off as he, in fact, produced Malin’s debut album.

The versatile musician and actor Guy Davis will also make an appearance. Playing both the guitar and banjo, Davis has been creating soulful, rhythmic blues since he first emerged on the blues scene nearly two decades ago. His debut album, Stomp Down River, was a raging success that got into various top hit lists all over the US, and his latest album, Chocolate to the Bone, has been no less of a success, receiving various music awards in his native country.

Joining the American musical veterans are some up-and-coming Danish artists, such as Malu Rohman, a quirky Danish-Greenlandic singer-songwriter who has been performing solo since 2010 in both Denmark and Greenland and is slowly, but surely, building up a fanbase. Her music is an interesting take on pop infused with electronic beats. Complementing her distinctive, smooth voice are some very catchy melodies.

Basim is another local who will contribute. Familiar to fans of Danish reality TV – he gained fame on the first series of the Danish XFactor before appearing on ‘Vild med dans’ – he might only be 21, but he is already a veteran performer, notching up numerous concerts since the release of his debut album, Alt det jeg ville have sagt, in 2008.

The above mentioned artists are only a fraction of the total number of talented people who will be performing on Friday, so head on down to Amager Bio to enjoy some good music and contribute to a good charity.

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