An interview with Donna Barron-Willey, co-owner of Village Music and Café, about the upcoming musical fundraiser and Block party extravaganza on Feb. 4th!
In celebration of Wellington’s Village Music and Café’s 10-year anniversary event I am reminded of the theme song from “Cheers,” “…Where everybody knows your name”. Although it has been about 5 years since I “happened” upon Village Music, those years have been nothing short of transformational. Village was the first place for me to share my poetry at open mic, listen to amazing local musicians, and form wonderful, lasting friendships.
Just recently my son was welcomed into this musical ”family” and is currently taking keyboard lessons there. Upon entering the establishment my son commented, “I always feel good when I come to this place,” and that is PRECISELY the vibe that I continue to feel at this venue. But it gets better…Here’s YOUR chance to “get your music on” by attending this upcoming, spectacular event. If you have never been to Village then this is your opportunity! Let’s hear more about this event from one of the proud co-owners, Donna Barron-Willey.
AW: Happy 10-year anniversary to Village Music and Café! We have all been seeing the “get excited” promotional advertising on Facebook and venue banner for this milestone Block party and ALL-DAY event on Saturday, February 4th. What can the public expect? Get us even more excited!
DW: The community can expect a full day celebration of music with ten of the most popular bands in South Florida playing as well as a headliner who is a five-time Grammy winner. We met Bakithi Kumalo (Paul Simon’s bass player) through our work with our common charity, A Spring of Hope, and he has become a friend. Regarded as one of the top bass players in the world, it’s an honor to have Bakithi entertain the community at our festival, and to support a cause that we both strongly believe in. There will also be a variety of food offerings, vendors, FREE mini music lessons, ukulele circles, a Songwriting Workshop, a silent auction, raffles and more.
AW: Please provide the details. What time is the event? Will parking be accessible? Will it be child-friendly? Who will be performing? What special eats and drinks will be available? Is there a schedule for the events?
- The event starts at noon on February 4th and will continue until approximately 10:00 pm
- There will be many child-friendly activities including music lessons and games.
- The food offering will include freshly baked pizza, grilled specialties, paella, BBQ and Chef Brandee’s menu.
- We encourage parking at the Wellington Green Mall. There will be NO parking available at the Village Music facility that day.
- A detailed schedule will be published shortly.
AW: Tell us more about “A Spring for Hope”,the charity that is dear to you and your husband Steve. I understand that ALL of the proceeds from the block party event will be donated to this charity.
DW: Yes, the proceeds go to A Spring of Hope – that is why Bakithi agreed to travel from Philadelphia with his band to play.
A Spring of Hope was founded by Joanne Young and her daughter Brittany after they travelled to South Africa in the early 90’s and experienced the destitute situation for children there. I travelled to South Africa at about the same time myself and was also very moved by what I saw. The children in the townships tend to not attend school because there is no access to water, food, or sanitation at most schools. To improve Africa’s economic situation, education is the key. Children need to go to school. Lack of clean water is the underlying issue, so that needs to be addressed. Together with Bakithi, we are trying to build a well, outside of Johannesburg, as well as an after-school music center for displaced children.
AW: What is the price for admission and where can you purchase tickets for the event?
- General Admission: $20 charitable donation in advance or
$25 on the day of the festival.
- VIP Table (for six people) $500 charitable donation; includes dedicated service, 2 bottles of wine, and 1 bottle of champagne.
- Meet & Greet with Kumalo on Sunday, February 5th at 6:00pm: $50 charitable donation. This will be an intimate storytelling/musical evening with Bakithi in the Village Music Café.
AW: Please tell us more about you’re “Special Guest.”
DW: Ranked among the top 50 bass players in the world by Bass PlayerMagazine, Bakithi Kamalo is a five-time Grammy Award-winning multi-instrumentalist. Born and raised in Soweto, South Africa, he has spent a career touring the world and performing alongside artists including the Grateful Dead, Sting, and Stevie Wonder. From Paul Simon’s Graceland to Disney’s The Lion King, Bakithi’s bass playing can be found in the heart and soul of the modern-day anthems that have shaped our sense of music and culture as we know it. Bakithi has spent the past several years supporting ASoH in improving the living conditions, particularly for children, in his native South Africa.
AW: Will this particular event also be available for streaming for a virtual audience?
DW: As of now, no.
AW: Will the ENTIRE event be outside?
DW: The main stage will be outside but there will also be events going on inside all day as well, including the music lessons, ukulele circles, songwriter workshop and silent auction.
AW: What are your future plans for Village Music? Give us a sneak peek… after all, you were voted as the “favorite hangout for Wellington.”
DW: We plan to develop Village Music’s vision of fulfilling a great local demand for involvement in the arts by providing a well-rounded and holistic performing arts program for the Wellington community and beyond.
This includes continuing to train and grow aspiring musicians and performingartists, providing a vital service to all musicians from novices to advance with our full-service music retail business and supporting the vital tradition of live music by consistently providing top-notch local, national and international acts in our live music venue, which has become a hub of community for Palm Beach County. Further, we’ve recently expanded our offering to include a Mini Black Box audition space where we currently train students for auditions to performing arts programs for middle school, high school, and college as well as for individual performances. We work with numerous students from performing arts focused schools including King’s Academy, Dreyfoos and G-Star under the direction of our Director Harry Bayron. Building musical theater/theater training into our repertoire creates a more holistic artistic offering and allows us to support Palm Beach County as a key player in the performing arts.
Mark Your Calendar
There is nothing left to say except: Will I see you for this outstanding event? Save the date (February 4th) and treat yourself to one of life’s absolute necessities: Music.