Photo courtesy Don Gardner.

Musical fundraiser to benefit Auburn Food Bank’s Food to Go program

The White River Buddhist Temple in Auburn strongly supports the Auburn Food Bank’s Food to Go backpack program, which hands out 20 bags of food to 20 food insecure students at each school every Friday.

At 4 p.m. Nov. 20, the Temple will put that support out there when it streams on a musical program recorded to raise money to support Food to Go.

Donations will be taken.

“The first $4,000 we raise for it, the program gets $8,000, with the White River Buddhist Temple matching it dollar for dollar,” said Temple member Don Gardner.

Gardner, former owner of Green River Music in downtown Auburn, volunteered to organize the talent by tapping his many connections with musicians throughout the Northwest.

Gardner is also a trombonist for the Take 7 Little Big Band, which provides backup for some of the performers and does a few tunes on its own on the video. White River Buddhist Temple member Kendall Asai is assembling the video.

“Some wonderful artists and groups volunteered their performances, free of cost,” Gardner said.

Here are the headliners:

Kareem Kandi: One of the premier tenor saxophone players in the Northwest is also a teacher and performer clinician for the Selmer instrument company, one of the top saxophone manufacturers in the world.

Melanie Vail: This vocalist and piano teacher has been with Tacoma-based Swing Reunion Orchestra, one of the best big bands in the Northwest for about 20 years. “She is a delight to listen to,” said Gardner.

Voices 4: Headed up by Rae Colburne, a retired public school music teacher and, at present, choir director at his church. The 4-voice group is modeled after after Manhattan Transfer.

Bronson Bragg: Guitar teacher, performer, singer and songwriter has contributed three recordings, sings on a few and even provides a few chuckles.

Take 7: Performs a couple of tunes for the program, including old standards like “Exactly Like You.”

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