Food Bank of Northern Nevada brings world music at Wingfield Park

As Dr. Didg sat on an amplifier, barefoot, playing the didgeridoo at Wingfield Park, the Northern Nevada Food bank collected food and donations for their pantry.

Dr. Didg's performance was one link in a chain of performances and entertainment during July's Artown in Reno.

The free Food For the Soul concerts are an easy way to better the lives of others by donating to the Northern Nevada Food Bank, which fights to eliminate hunger, while providing the best of world music along the Truckee River at Wingfield.

A $5 donation is requested, not required. Scolari's sells prepackaged food donations for $4.99. Drop the packaged donations in the Food for the Soul barrels at Scolari's or bring them to the three remaining Wednesday concerts at Wingfield through July.

The Northern Nevada Food Bank helps 85 agencies in the area. Each donation helps feed the ill, needy, and elderly. With a donation, food pantries in homeless shelters are filled, victims of domestic violence have a little more on their plate, and the elderly in assisted living have a little more sustenance. Any contribution is appreciated.

In Carson City alone, the Northern Nevada food bank provides food to Advocates to End Domestic Violence, Apostolic Assembly Pantry/Carson and Volunteers of America.

"Most people bring a cash donation," said Cherie Jamason, president and chief executive officer of the food bank. "That makes it easy and nice, and leverages our costs. For instance if you bring a can of beans, it might cost 70 cents, but we can get them two for a dollar."

Jamason's practicality is one reason for the food bank's success, which operates on a $1.4 million budget. Jamason said the main focus of the food bank is to feed the hungry, meaning emergency pantries are stocked first.

"This is the kind of thing many food banks do very successfully," Jamason said. "The world music festival seems like such a great opportunity. Its stuff that people haven't been exposed to before."

-- The Philip Hamilton Group Trio presents jazz and R&B laced with Caribbean and African influences on July 17. Hamilton toured with the Pat Metheny Group in 1998 and 1999 as the lead vocalist.

-- Sol y Canto plays July 24, bringing romantic all-acoustic music based in Latin-American tradition to Wingfield.

-- On July 31, Davis Gaines, who played the lead in Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, will entertain the crowd.

The concerts mark the fourth year the food bank has sought food for the soul at the park. Jamason said she was absolutely thrilled with the turnout for Dr. Didg.

Jamason said most people were awe struck and stayed through the concert once they heard him play.

"It was rocking to the end," she said.

And so were the dancers who shook and shimmied beneath the light-brightened oak tree while a woman in a pink top Hula-hooped. Nearby smiling kids perched on parents' shoulders next to laughing and talking couples. The scene hinted of a tropical island, although the magic brewed along the Truckee River in downtown Reno.

"I'm a big fan of Dr. Didg," said Jon Harms, a 20-year-old from Aberdeen, S.D., who is working at Ponderosa Ranch for the summer.

Harms, who had seen Dr. Didg in concert and became a fan several years ago, came down from the ranch when he heard Dr. Didg would be at Wingfield.

"This is a good scene," Harms said.

"I thought the concert was great," said Josh Maxwell, a bank teller. "It's all about Artown, downtown. I look forward to these events."

Jamason hopes to raise nearly $20,000 from the five-week music series for the food bank. The concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. and run until 9:30 p.m.

As for donations, Jamason said the food bank prefers what "you prefer to bring." Money donations will work if lugging a bag of groceries to the concert appears less than fun.


When: Wednesdays, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. through July 31

Where: Wingfield Park, Reno

Who: Philip Hamilton Group; Sol y Canto; Davis Gaines

Volunteer: Call 331-3663, at the food bank

Donations: Drop food or money contributions at the Wingfield concerts or food donations in Scolari's Food for the Soul barrels


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment