Music for the community gets lift from benefit concert

A concert at The Livery, in Benton Harbor's Arts District, will help promote a free concert this summer for the whole community.

Pianist Jean Prosper will bring his wide ranging background to The Livery, in an intimate setting. Prosper has said that you should start each day in a state of unknowing because each day is a new experience. And his greatest satisfaction is seeing the smiles that his music brings to his audience's faces.

Known as a jazz musician, Prosper performs other genres of music spanning repertoires from classical to gospel. Trained in classic and sacred music, he was also influenced musically by the drumming and singing of the Haitiian people he would hear in the middle of the night as he grew up. He has gone on to perform on concert stages, in churches, parks, clubs, and people's homes and at jazz festivals.

Proceeds from the evening will go to the Gene Harris Coming Home Coming Together Concert, an event intended to be an opportunity for the community to celebrate music together. The free event typically draws an more than 1,200 individuals.

This year, the concert will feature Niki Harris, a successful musician who grew up in Benton Harbor. She may be best known for having been one of Madonna's backing vocalists, but has since gone on to success on her own.

This is the 13th year for the annual summer concert named for successful jazz musician Gene Harris, who also was raised in Benton Harbor.

Writer: Kathy Jennings
Source: Jamie Nilson-Balkin, Cornerstone Alliance