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Hastings Helps the Hungry Through Jazz

HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – Grammy award winning jazz artist John Patitucci will be leading the way in a benefit concert for Hastings Helps the Hungry on Saturday.

"With economic things being the way they are, there are more and more hungry people," Patitucci said. "It's really very important."

Hastings Helps the Hungry was launched in 1987 and is dedicated to helping provide for the hungry locally. Each month volunteers cut up vegetables for a big salad and the group itself writes a check to fund the rest of the meal for a food bank in Yonkers.

After living on the west coast for years, Patitucci, who grew up in Brooklyn, moved back to New York in 1996. Patitucci has been involved with the Trinity Presbyterian Church in Hastings since then and is a church elder. Having been a deacon for several years, he and his wife felt they needed to help out more locally.

"We started to feel more and more that we really wanted to serve our community more in Hastings," he said.

Patitucci has played jazz music at the highest levels, having released 12 solo albums and winning two Grammy awards along the way.

"Being a musician I've been involved in a lot of benefit concerts in my life," he said. "So I had a chance to really do a lot of benefit concerts and those are some of the most wonderful concerts we ever do."

Patitucci has been involved with benefit concerts for 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and tsunamis in Japan, among others. With the concert to help the hungry this Saturday, Patitucci said he just wants to raise awareness while supporting a local charity.

"If you look around, there's a lot of work to be done," he said. "There's always room for some more hands to make the work lighter."

Patitucci will be performing alongside several others Saturday at the First Reformed Church in Hastings, starting at 4 p.m. Tickets are $15. More information on the concert can be found here.

Are you involved in any local charities? How do you help the community? Let us know in the comments section below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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