MFM and We, the World Celebrating Fundraiser Advocating #UnityInTheMusicCommunity and #MakingMusicIsAProfession

By Dawoud Kringle

Photos by Carla Maria Rupp

MFM Fundraiser

Sohrab and Rick speaking about their organizations and what both organizations have in common.

On Saturday, December 21st, 2019, MFM and We, the World joined forces at Dardo Galletto Studios, NYC, for a holiday party and fundraiser, and to celebrate unity and solidarity. We, The World and MFM member Rick Ulfik and MFM’s Sohrab Saadat Ladjavardi organized the event, with Roger Blanc as musical director.

The musicians who presented their talents included Jimmy Owens, David Belmont, Roger Blanc, Ken Hatfield, Rick Ulfik, Sohrab Saadat Ladjavardi, Baba Don Eaton, Dawoud Kringle, Joe Burger, Michael McHugh, Kevin Nathaniel Hylton, and many others.

Despite some technical difficulties before the performance, and the inevitable limitations of presenting musical performances in a studio designed solely for dance, the performances were stellar.

MFM Fundraiser

Dawoud in action playing on the Indian dilruba.

MFM Fundraiser


MFM Fundraiser

The MFM Unity Ensemble making some musical noise.

Dawoud Kringle opened the event with a solo performance of two original pieces, and a variation / improvisation on a theme by Jimi Hendrix. Ken Hatfield followed with a masterful and beautiful solo guitar performance and a duet with trumpet master Jimmy Owens.

One of the highlights of the event was the performance offered by the MFM Unity Ensemble with Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi on tenor sax and vocals, David Belmont on dobro, Roger Blanc on electric guitar, Baba Don Eaton on congas, Rick Ulfik on piano, Joe Burger on electric bass and Lee McClure on flute. (For personal reasons, Maestro Billy Harper chose to sit this one out but was clapping all the time; a loss to everyone). They played a 30 minute improvisation which was described as “groovy, bluesy, Oriental, and freestyle.” Saadat’s saxophone work showed particular excellence. It was very well received by the audience.

MFM Fundraiser

Billy Harper having a good time with good food and music.

The event was very well attended, and the two organizations came together in solidarity. A splendid time was had by all!

More photos and videos by Carla Maria Rupp here:

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