Three Inland Northwest bands will donate their time to help the poor and abused in the Himalayan nation of Nepal when they perform at The Met Tuesday.
Spokane’s super jazz rockers, BeeCraft, headline the three-band concert called Peace Gig ‘97. Talented Spokane singer/songwriter Tiana Gregg plays the middle slot with a Sandpoint acoustic duo called Wild Roses opening the show.
Proceeds will go to Ventures in Peace, a Spokane-based non-profit organization attempting to help impoverished women and stem the abuse of child workers - among other things.
Spokane resident Yontan Gonpo founded the organization with the help of Belgian Dr. Rene Leon, a social anthropologist and researcher.
Gonpo, an ordained Buddhist lama, spent 17 years training in Buddhism and 10 years teaching in the Tibetan tradition. His trips to Nepal showed him firsthand the suffering - especially of women and children - in that region.
“He would be going down the road and would see women and children in the hot sun, working for 15 hours a day, using a hammer to break up large stones into gravel and making only $20 a month,” says Debbie DuPey, director of Ventures in Peace’s Women in Nepal Program.
“The women are the most economically depressed people in Nepal. One of the things the women end up doing because they’re not making enough money to feed their families is they bring their children to work with them. It is a huge problem in the carpet factories.”
The Women in Nepal project will be working in conjunction with existing women’s groups to set up a business in which Nepalese women can make and market products in decent conditions and for decent pay.
Ventures in Peace, a relatively new group still trying to establish itself, also hopes to aid with health care in the rural Himalayan regions where there is only one doctor for nearly 15,000 people. They plan to train Tibetan monks and nuns in the rural monasteries to be health-care practitioners as well.
The bands have offered their Tuesday performances to Ventures in Peace for free. BeeCraft formed earlier this year when former members of Mama’s Dogma regrouped with a new guitar player. Laden with intricate rhythms, their music jams at a fresh pace.
Tiana Gregg plays acoustic rock with a feisty attitude. Her songs are introspective tales told with bite and, sometimes, a laugh.
Sandpoint residents Cinde Borup and Beth Pederson make up the duo known as Wild Roses. With a sound that incorporates swing, jazz, blues, country and folk, the women have opened concerts for the likes of Bonnie Raitt, Van Morrison and the Everly Brothers.
“We want to stay in touch with the community; we want to make ourselves a little better known, and we want people to have fun, too,” DuPey said. “If you can do good work and have a good time doing it, then all the better.”
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MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: BeeCraft, Tiana Gregg and Wild Roses will perform Tuesday at Peace Gig ‘97. Show starts at 7 p.m at The Met. Tickets are $15 ($10 in advance), available at Street Music, 117 N. Howard.