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Benioff Children’s Hospital hosts benefit concert, Chris Martin headlines

on May 2, 2016

Musicians and writers joined forces Saturday night in Oakland, all for a good cause.

Some 1,600 people filled the Fox Theatre for this year’s Notes & Words concert. The concert, in its seventh year, benefited the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland and featured local talent like the Oakland School for the Arts choir, as well as high-profile authors and musicians, such as actor BJ Novak and Coldplay’s front man Chris Martin.

“It is meant to bring inspirational stories about what we do at Children’s Hospital, and also bring together talented musicians and artists and writers to entertain us,” said Caroline Hastings, a pediatric hematologist at the hospital. “The purpose is to raise awareness of the very important work and research that we do at the hospital—and also to engage our community to help us support this work.”

The evening began with a performance from the choir and was followed by a reading by Dave Eggers and Novak, who had the crowd laughing. San Francisco’s The Stone Foxes had the crowd on their feet with original rock and roll selections.

Shannon Koehler, the band’s vocalist and harmonica player, said he was drawn to the cause because he was hospitalized often as a child. “I was born with congenital heart disease so I know what it means to be in a children’s hospital for a long time when you’re a kid,” Koehler said. “What you guys do is the work of angels.”

“Everyone on the stage tonight is rooting for and counting on Children’s,” said Kelly Corrigan, an author and the founder of Notes & Words. “And I’m no different.”

Martin ended the night alongside the School for the Arts choir as they paid a tribute to Prince, performing a touching rendition of “Purple Rain.” After the concert, MC Hammer spun at a silent after-party, at which the dancers wore headphones to hear his tunes.

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Photo by Basil D Soufi
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