* What: Hungry for Music benefit concert.
* When: 8 p.m. tomorrow.
* Where: St. Elmo's Coffee Pub, Alexandria.
Hungry for Music is a charity based in the District that gives the gift of music. The organization distributes new, used and reconditioned musical instruments to at-risk children through a donation program and organizes free concerts at homeless shelters and retirement homes. The recent release of "A Holiday Feast, Vol. VII" is the newest compilation in the group's annual fundraising CD series. It includes a variety of talented local artists, including the a cappella soul of Reverb, the fine folk of Mary Sue Twohy, the southern swing of Honky Tonk Confidential and the campy, classic '60s style of the Fabulettes.
Tomorrow night, six more area artists who are "hungry" to help will appear at Alexandria's comfy St. Elmo's Coffee Pub to add their voices, talents and, they hope, a few of your dollars to the cause. The two-hour concert will feature Dennis Jay, Bumpkin Pie, Mary Battiata (of Little Pink), Ruth Logsdon (of Ruthie & the Wranglers), Fannie Zollicoffe and Esther Haynes. They will perform seasonal favorites and some of the tracks that appear on the new CD. Our personal request is Haynes's unusual contribution to the set, "Christmas in Jail (Ain't That a Pain)."
According to Hungry for Music founder Jeff Campbell, who started the charity a little more than 10 years ago with a benefit concert to help the homeless, the concert is the last of five shows held recently to promote the holiday CD and raise money for the organization's programs.
The St. Elmo's concert came about when Dennis Jay, scheduled to play the cafe as part of its regular free performance series, volunteered to open the stage to other Hungry for Music supporters and make the night a fundraiser.
If you're feeling generous, too, you can purchase a copy of "A Holiday Feast, Vol. VII," or any of the previous releases, each of which presents a strong sampler of area talent. Feel free to bring along an old instrument you're no longer using. Hungry for Music will fix it up and give it to a kid who otherwise wouldn't be able to play one.
Good music, a good cause and good vibes all around.
-- Marianne Meyer
St. Elmo's Coffee Pub, 2300 Mount Vernon Ave., at Del Ray Avenue, in Alexandria. Cover charge is $5. For more information, call 703 739-9268 or visit www.stelmoscoffeepub.com. If you cannot make the concert but have a musical instrument to donate, contact Hungry for Music at 202-479-2810 or visit www.hungryformusic.com.