After performing renowned singer/songwriter Harry Chapin’s music for over 40 years, musician Gregg Parker from Tabernacle, N.J., has finally found a way to pay tribute and give back to the artist who has been a major cornerstone of his own musical career.
On Sunday, Sept. 25, from 1-5 p.m., Parker and his fellow artists Jimmy Heffernan (guitar) and Michael Meltzer (keyboard) will perform Chapin’s music at the “Any Friend of Harry’s” tribute benefit concert, Hall of Fame petition drive, and food drive at New Hope Winery, 6123 Lower York Road, in Solebury.
The goal: To continue Parker’s quest to gain enough support for Chapin’s induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, say promoters. Admission is $20, and there is ample free parking, and wheel chair accessibility. Tickets are available from the Winery website or at Gregg Parker’s page.
Organizers invite Chapin fans to come out to New Hope Winery, and join in the celebration of Chapin’s contribution to the Performing Arts, bring a nonperishable food donation for Fisherman’s Mark Food Bank if they wish, make a donation to the Harry Chapin Foundation and sign a petition to Induct Chapin into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Attendees can come early for lunch or enjoy an early dinner from a special, locally-sourced menu offered by Chef Cory Ross-Jenkinson of the New Hope Cafe. Outside alcoholic beverages and food are not permitted.
“After an overwhelming turnout at our first Chapin event last fall, we hope we have sparked a grass roots movement that will continue to gain momentum and be unstoppable,” said Parker. “We have over 5,000 signatures, and plan to continue to hold these tribute events until Harry is officially recognized for his songwriting.”
In addition to partnering with New Hope Winery, Parker has also invited Fisherman’s Mark Food Bank in Lambertville to be a beneficiary of the event due to Chapin’s unwavering commitment to ending world hunger. Last year, Fisherman’s Mark distributed over 175,000 lbs. of food to individuals in crisis throughout their six-county food pantry programs.
“I have to make a local food drive part of every Chapin Concert,” Parker explained. “Harry was more socially and politically active than any other American singer/songwriter of his time.”
All concert goers who bring donations of a bag of nonperishable food or make a monetary donation to Fisherman’s Mark Food Bank (each $1 donated buys 5 lbs. of food) or the Harry Chapin Foundation will receive 10% off wine or merchandise at New Hope Winery’s Gift shop on the day of the event.
“Listening to Harry Chapin’s music always brings back great memories for me,” said Sandra Price, owner of New Hope Winery. “I’ve been a fan from the beginning because Harry was more than a talented musician. He cared about helping people in need and was one of the first artists to bring hunger front stage as an important cause. So, we’re pleased to host this event to not only help gain support for inducting Harry Chapin into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, a place where he certainly belongs, but also to lend support to Fisherman’s Mark Food Bank, a Social Service Agency that has been committed to helping the residents in need in our area for over 35 years!”
High-priority food items that are always welcome include peanut butter, whole grain cereals and pasta, brown rice and whole grains, canned tuna, salmon and chicken, healthy and hearty soups, canned cegetables and canned fruit, nuts, condiments, whole grain baking mixes, spices, pasta Ssauce and sugar free Iiems. (Please, no expired food items or glass containers.) For more information, visit Fisherman’s Mark online.
The famous self-described Chapin “story songs” Parker and friends will be performing include “A Better Place To Be,” “Cat’s In the Cradle,” “Corey’s Coming,” “Flowers Are Red,” “Mail Order Annie,” “Taxi,” “Sequel” ( Taxi – Part II ), “Shooting Star,” “Tangled-Up Puppet” and “W*O*L*D.”