Here’s another reminder about the Butch Baldassari benefit concert to be held tomorrow, October 22, on the campus of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. A long-time and greatly-beloved member of the mandolin community, Butch is battling an inoperable brain tumor, and proceeds from the concert will be given to Butch to help with both medical and family expenses.
The all-star lineup of performers who are donating their time for this show come from a wide range of musical styles, and include Dierks Bentley, Shawn Camp, Kathy Chiavola, John Cowan, Bela Fleck, The Grascals, Tony McManus, the Nashville Bluegrass Band, the Nashville Mandolin Ensemble, Maura O’Connell with John Mock, Mark O’Connor, Ricky Skaggs and Three Ring Circle.
Both general admission ($50) and patron tickets ($125) can be purchased online.
Butch toured as a member of bluegrass bands Weary Hearts and Lonesome Standard Time, and later founded the Nashville Mandolin Ensemble, to perform music written for a mandolin orchestra. He has also founded and run the Sound Art Recordings label, and has taught at Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music since 1996.
If you are unable to attend the show, but would like to make a contribution to Butch’s Medical Fund, you can do so online. Mandolin Cafe has set up a PayPal account where online credit card or PayPal contributions are sent directly to Butch.
If you would prefer to send a donation by mail – or simply pass along notes of encouragement – the address is:
125 43rd Ave. N.
Nashville, TN 37209
Following is the most recent update from Sinclair Baldassari (Butch’s wife) about his condition:
Dear Friends and Family,
Our doctor’s visit this week was pretty good. Butch’s blood tests show some improvement in some areas of concern. We still are working hard to gain him some weight, energy and strength. With his mother, Pat, and me waiting on him hand and foot, and with Butch eating all day long, you’d think he’d be fighting off obesity. Instead, he has lost a pound in the last two weeks. We all feel he is about to turn a corner, though. A neighbor loaned us a stationery bike of sorts. It’s set up horizontally more like a rowing machine so the fear of Butch losing his balance isn’t there. Butch has used it 15 minutes a day since getting it. Since he is not quite strong enough to start chemo, we are scheduled to have another MRI in three weeks from there, we will plan a course of action.
In 10 days, the concert of the century will take place at the Blair School of Music to benefit our family and help us with the pile of bills I constantly fight. We have been overwhelmed by the musicians clamoring to play, the fans asking where to buy tickets (mandolincafe.com or Gruhn Guitars) and the friends offering to help in any way they can. It has, in many ways, taken our attention off of the real issue and has reminded us, once again of the love and music surrounding us. Two very important things have re-entered our lives, music and laughter. About three days ago, Butch wanted to hear some music which was, well, music to my ears. I have been trying to get him to listen to some or to want to pick up an instrument. For whatever reason, my pleas went unanswered. Now, it seems, is the right time. As Butch used to list on his website what he was currently listening to, I feel I should do the same. (Remember, Butch and the guys at Bean Central started it before Starbucks was ever around!) So, he is listening to “Water Crystal Healing Music” and “Cantabile” which he did with John Mock years ago. Last night we watched a great video by Beppe Gambetta “Live in Genova”. It featured some fantastic guitar pickin’ including our very own Celtic favorite , Tony McManus, who will be performing at the Blair benefit.
All that to say, with music and laughter back in the house, things are looking up. With the loving, healing hands of the women at The Estuary in HIllsboro Village, the brilliance and patience (yes, they do know a little more than we do) of the doctors at Vanderbilt, the loyalty of the supporting musicians at Blair and the world, the steadfastness and altruism of the benefit planners Matt Combs & Company (hmmm, what have I started?), the planet-wide connection via Mandolincafe.com and our friend , Scott Tichenor, the spiritual, home-grown, love kinda support of Blakemore United Methodist Church and with family and friends like you as well as ones we’ve never met, our journey is not lonely and we all feel so surrounded by you. With overpouring hearts, until we meet next time, we send our love back to you,
Sinclair, Butch and Blake