Senator Ed Markey’s Benefit Concert to Support the Boston Black Hospitality Coalition Draws Big Crowd
Saturday, June 27, 2020
BOSTON – More than 33,000 viewers have so far joined Senator Ed Markey for his Friday livestream concert featuring local Boston bands to help raise funds for the Boston Black Hospitality Coalition.
Musicians including the Other Than Boston Band, The MastaDonis Project, and Odaine Williams participated in the livestream concert hosted by Senator Markey. All donations from the event will go directly to the organization, which aims to preserve Boston’s Black-owned restaurants and bars amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“The federal government has not provided Black-owned businesses the relief they need during the coronavirus crisis,” Ed Markey said. “We need to support them through these uncertain times with loans, grants, and technical assistance. I am grateful that so many came together on Friday evening to support these local businesses, but our work is not done. I will continue to fight so that these businesses and their workers will survive and thrive beyond this pandemic.”
“The Boston Black Hospitality Coalition is working day and night to protect the small businesses that bring our community together and allow our economy to grow,” Faarooq Sahabdeen, Director of Communications for the Boston Black Hospitality Coalition said. “We were grateful to have the support of Senator Markey and the incredible local musicians who performed on Friday evening as we brought thousands of people across the state together to celebrate these pillars of our community.”
Earlier this month, Senator Markey joined members of the Hospitality Coalition for a business walk in Roxbury to discuss the challenges that Black-owned small businesses have faced during the coronavirus pandemic.
In an effort to get support to some of the state’s smallest minority-owned businesses, Senator Markey introduced legislation with Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-I’ll.) to dedicate tens of millions in funding from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to support more small businesses of color and provide technical assistance for those working to access the program. He is also a co-sponsor of Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley’s legislation to provide federal grants to microbusinesses.
The Boston Black Hospitality Coalition’s mission is to support and protect Boston’s eight Black-owned bars and restaurants which own liquor licenses. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted Black communities at a disproportionate rate, causing an economic crisis that has significantly undermined the financial security of these businesses, cornerstones of the Black community. The businesses include Darryl’s Corner Bar and Kitchen, District 7 Tavern, Savvor Restaurant & Lounge, Soleil Restaurant & Catering, and Wally’s Jazz Café.
Other Than Boston Band is an eclectic group of musicians and artists who harness the power of all styles of music to create unforgettable experiences. Based in the Greater Boston Area, they reflect some of Boston diversity and acquired taste for both classic vibe and new age flare.
The MastaDonis Project is a pianist that brings with him to the jazz world, an eclectic style that encompasses gospel and R&B/Neo-soul with Caribbean influences.
Odaine Williams is a Jamaican-born vocalist, pianist, and composer, and a graduate of the Berklee College of Music.
Liz Vlock, Press Secretary