Gilda’s Club Middle Tennessee, a local charity that provides free support to anyone impacted by cancer, will host its annual Songwriters Night as a part of the Big Payback on Wednesday, May 6 beginning at 6 p.m. The Facebook Live event, designed to build awareness and raise funds for the essential non-profit, will be hosted by music industry veteran Justin Levenson and feature Grammy and Emmy nominated singer/songwriter Greg Barnhill, songwriter/artist Erin Enderlin and Grammy and Academy Award-winning singer/songwriter Dennis Matkosky.
“This year’s Songwriters Night may look a bit different than what we envisioned when we began planning it in the fall, but two things remain unchanged: a lineup of incredible talent and a critical need for community support,” said Harriet Schiftan, president and CEO of Gilda’s Club Middle Tennessee. “Because of COVID-19 / Coronavirus, individuals experiencing cancer are feeling more vulnerable and isolated than ever. Coming together virtually – uniting for this cause – will not only help us raise needed funds, but also allow us to connect as a community.”
“I personally experienced the power of Gilda’s Club after being diagnosed with brain cancer at age 35. The love and support that radiates from their ‘clubhouse’ was – and is – life changing,” said Levenson of Big Machine Label Group, who will emcee the event. “As we all know, today more than ever, life can throw us a curve ball at any time. We must support organizations like Gilda’s Club that are always there to meet us where we are, ready to wrap their supportive arms around us and hold space for us as we grow, heal and love.”
Levenson will take to the Gilda’s Club Facebook Live “stage” with singer/songwriters Greg Barnhill, known for hits including “Walkaway Joe” (Trisha Yearwood / Don Henley), “House of Love” (Amy Grant / Vince Gill) and “You Don’t Love Me Anymore” (Tim McGraw); Erin Enderlin, who penned “Monday Morning Church” (Alan Jackson), “Last Call” (Lee Ann Womack) and “You Don’t Know Jack” (Luke Bryan); and Dennis Matkosky, who wrote “You’ll Think of Me” (Keith Urban) and “I Need You” (LeAnn Rimes), as well as hits for the likes of Martina McBride, Diana Ross, Chicago, Boz Scaggs and others.
“The first time cancer really impacted me personally was when I was growing up and my guitar teacher was diagnosed. Before he passed, he took the time to write me and encourage my talent. It blew me away that with everything he was going through, he would be thinking of me. That has always stayed with me – and I think right now – more than ever – we need to take time and think of each other, and support each other,” singer/songwriter Enderlin shared. “Gilda’s Club is such a wonderful organization and I’m honored to be able to celebrate with them and help raise money for such a worthy cause.”
Sponsors of Gilda’s Club Middle Tennessee’s Virtual Songwriters event include Provision CARES Proton Therapy, Denise Alper, Anthony Barton and Sheldon Shiraki, and Helen and Steve Lane – without whom this event wouldn’t be possible. Additional thanks go to event co-chairs: Gilda’s Club Founding Board Member Ronna Rubin and current Board Member Samantha Saturn.
To learn more about Gilda’s Club Middle Tennessee’s Virtual Songwriters Night visit www.gildasclubmiddletn.org/event-tickets/. For more information on the organization’s free cancer support program, go to www.gildasclubmiddletn.org.