‘Music Fights Cancer’ takes the stage this weekend

‘Music Fights Cancer’ takes the stage this weekend

Danny Klein’s Full House, a tribute to J. Geils Band, will headline the “Music Fights Cancer” concert to benefit the Gloria Gemma Foundation this Saturday, Oct. 19, at the Park Theatre in Cranston.

CRANSTON – Three of the area’s favorite rock bands will come together this weekend for “Music Fights Cancer,” a benefit concert supporting the Gloria Gemma Foundation.

The show takes place this Saturday, Oct. 19, from 7 to 11 p.m., at the Park Theatre in Cranston. Alan Wardyga, a North Smithfield resident and owner of concert promotions company Turning Point Productions, is organizing the event in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

“There’s lots of people I know, and lots of people everybody knows, who have had cancer, breast cancer to be specific,” Wardyga told The Valley Breeze this week.

Danny Klein’s Full House will headline the event. Klein, the original bassist and founding member of the J. Geils Band, performs all the hits of the famous Worcester rock band that made it to the national stage. Bristol-based Merchants of Cool, a tribute band to Foreigner and Journey, will join them, and Big! Boom! Daddies! – a band that regularly plays Manville’s Lou’s Café – will open the event.

Former Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce President John Gregory will emcee, and Miss Teen Rhode Island North America 2019 Gianna Paul will make a special guest appearance. Both are residents of North Smithfield.

As an added bonus, everyone who purchases tickets will be entered in a raffle drawing for a one-week stay in Newport.

All of the performers, said Wardyga, are offering their music at a discounted rate to benefit the foundation.

“Everybody that’s involved with it is excited for it,” he said.

One of those performers, Sean Byrne of Merchants of Cool, has had a very personal experience with breast cancer. In 2016, his wife died of breast cancer that had metastasized to her spine after she was diagnosed with leukemia. The family previously lost a daughter to cerebral palsy, and the past few years, he said, have been tough as they deal with both losses.

For Byrne’s family, music has always been a source of comfort. His wife was an aspiring singer, and two of his daughters attended Beacon Charter High School for the Arts, while his son studied at the Boston Conservatory of Music. The upcoming concert, he said, is a chance to reach others who might be going through the same thing.

“I want to do anything that I can to help the cause and reach out to anybody who’s experiencing it and has experienced it and offer any support that I can,” he said. “(Tell them) that things will be OK, but then again they won’t be. It’s a very, very difficult thing to work through a day at a time, really.”

Tickets for the event are $20 and are available online at www.musicxcancer.booktix.com.