Earthquake Relief Concert in Keene

Guitarist and KSC Music Professor Jose Lezcano, with a little help from his friends, is offering a benefit concert June 24, 8 pm, at the First Baptist Church of Keene, to help Ecuador Earthquake Victims in the coastal city of Manta, still recovering from one of the worst natural disasters in that nation’s history.   The Earthquake of April 16, 2016, devastated the coastal provinces of Esmeraldas, Manabí and Guayas, and collapsed or damaged buildings in Manta, especially in the working-class neighborhoods of Tarqui.  Hundreds of fatalities have been reported and thousands of aftershocks have continued.  Partnering with the Pastor Mark Ferrin of the First Baptist Church, and Lorena Schwarz, a Director for Roof-to-live, a charitable organization registered in Vermont, that builds low-cost housing in Manta and other Ecuadorean cities, Jose and two colleagues, Brazilian violinist Marcia Lehninger, and Dr. Patricia Pedroza, a Professor of Women’s Studies and Theater performer, will offer an evening of songs, musical selections, and poetry that will highlight the rich musical heritage of Ecuador, Mexico, Brazil, Cuba, and other Latin-American nations. 

There will be a free-will offering, and concert-goers are encouraged to donate directly through checks written to ROOFtoLIVE, or on their website (  This organization started eight years ago as a family project that grew into a non-profit 501(3)(c) organization based in Manta, Ecuador and registered in the state of Vermont, USA.   ROOFtoLIVE is funded through private donations, corporate giving, and contributions from private foundations.  A hundred percent of all donations go toward building homes to improve disadvantaged communities in Ecuador, and all donations are tax-deductible. 

When Jose heard about the devastation in Ecuador, he wanted to help.  As a frequent visitor to that country where he has appeared in music festivals in various cities, and where his wife Ingrid was born, he knew that the people needed international help to begin the recovery process.  A twice Grammy-nominated guitarist and composer, 2016 Keene Sentinel Ewing Award winner, and frequent performer on New England concert series, Jose is also a specialist in Latin American repertory and the music of Ecuador.   He enlisted the help of Marcia Lehninger, a professional violinist, member of the Hartford and New Haven Symphonies, and lecturer at Keene State College, where she directs the string ensembles and teaches violin and Brazilian culture, and Dr. Patricia Pedroza, who has crossed geographical as well borders of education between the academic world and the world of the artist trough the creation of her own performance pieces with focus on feminisms, citizenship and language culture issues.

For more information, call 603 352-0340

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