The West Haven waterfront will host some top notch musicians during a daylong benefit concert for local school music programs.
It’s called Wimbash 2016 and it was started by Connecticut native Doug Wimbish, who is a bass player for the band Living Colour.
Organizers said the idea is to have a good time, inspire future musicians and raise money to get them the instruments they need.
For some local West Haven teens, it’s a quick practice, rocking through an original song before they will take the stage on Saturday along the West Haven shore.
"I had my first guitar when I was one,” John McCarthy, of West Haven, said. “I think I really started getting into when I was six."
But, not everyone is able to catch that musical bug at a young age such as McCarthy and his bandmates. Many times, it comes down to money.
"I'm looking now where I'm seeing the funding is being diminished in school systems across America,” Wimbish said.
That's why for the second summer in a row, Wimbish along with a number of his close musical friends are putting on the Wimbash, down at West Haven's Old Grove Park.
Last year, they raised close to $10,000 for school music programs in West Haven. Something Wimbish said can make a difference with youngsters. It’s not just as a creative outlet, but a chance to learn and grow.
“It’s the fact that you find yourself as a musician with a group, an ensemble, other folks,” Wimbish said. “The iPad is off, IPhone is down, you're sitting there with your instrument and you're having a conversation."
In addition to benefiting school music programs, money raised Saturday will also go to buying instruments and equipment to help teach youngsters at the West Haven Community House.
"Doug has some of his friends from major bands coming. It's just a great venue for this, a great event and something that's well needed in the city of West Haven, like Doug said, funding for music programs is dwindling,” West Haven Mayor Ed O'Brien said. “We raised some decent funds last year, and hopefully raise some more this year."
“We're trying to open the lens for the next generation, young artists, young players, for people,” Wimbish said. “Let's get a guitar in their hands, let's get a drum kit, a microphone, let them express themselves."
The concert starts at 2 p.m. and runs till 10 p.m.
Admission is free. They raise money with raffles, the beer garden and other refreshments.
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