Bob Baldwin has used music to raise awareness for non-music-related causes. "Giving back to the musical community, as well as for special causes is very important to me, not only as a musician, but as a human being," states the NY Native.
Mount Vernon, NY - in 1986, Baldwin and his fellow local NY musicians rallied to raise the awareness and the dangers of crack in the urban communities by organizing "Local-Aid" in Mount Vernon, NY.
Los Angeles, CA - 2001 brought together a Jazz event in LA for Mike Jones (RIP), who suffered from a kidney-related illness. The event included Paul Jackson, Jr., Dave Koz, Greg Adams and Michael Lington.
Newark, NJ - More events took place in 2010, when Baldwin then took his talents and resources to Newark to perform "Jazz for Haiti", where more money was raised via the Red Cross, and over $60,000 was raised to help the sick who suffered illnesses from homelessness, clothing and medical expenses. Dave Valentin, Chieli Minucci, Ruben Rodriguez, Tony Lewis, Chembo Corniel were all in attendance.
White Plains, NY - 2010 brought about "Westchester Musicians for Haiti", which helped to raise over $2,500.00 for the Arthur Schwietzer Hospital in Haiti to aid with medical expenses for those who suffered from the earthquake. The event took place in association with ArtsWestchester at the White Plains Performing Arts Center, featuring Ragan Whiteside, Porter Carroll, Jr., Dennis Bell & Lynette Washington, and Mala Waldron.
Atlanta, Ga. - Monies were raised for Danielle Cooley, who at the time of the event, was 27 years old and struggling for breath on a per-minute basis. She was diagnosed a rare lung disorder. She later died in 2012 after failing to win the battle. Attending that event was Mike Phillips, Joey Sommerville.
The benefit picked up some steam in 2011, when they performed the show in Raliegh, NC at the former Prime Smokehouse, featuring Bassist Chip Shearin, who was recently inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
This benefit was done to draw attention to the rare autoimmune disease, Mixed Connective Tissue Disorder (MCTD). This disease recently claimed the life of Daniele Cooley, a 30-year-old Fayetteville mother of two young children.
“I learned about Daniele and her condition through a friend,” says keyboardist Baldwin, who wrote a song for Cooley, titled Every Breath is a Gift. “One thing led to another, and I felt it was important to do the benefit. I also felt it was important to raise awareness, so that people know what she went through. I’d like for the condition that Daniele had to get exposure."
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Tarrytown, NY - Funds had to be raised for Dave Valentin as he suffered a stroke in 2011. 2012 brought together "Music for Dave", which featured his many sideman and musical friends, including Larry Rosen, who signed his first record deal on GRP Records. The event took place at the historic Tarrytown Music Hall, Tarrytown, NY, featuring Chieli Minucci, Longtime Valentin Music Director Bill O'Connell, Paquito D'Rivera and several Valentin sidemen, including New York stalwarts Ruben Rodriguez and Robby Ameen. The awareness of the event created a followup, which allowed Dave Valentin to move to a new apartment that assisted medical needs.
Atlanta, GA - How Big is Your Dream, founded by Jorel Flynn, a Waycross, GA native, is spreading music throughout the youth, and giving them a platform to launch their music aspirations. Check out this video to see where HBIYD is headed.