Be clear: I’m a Raphael Saadiq stan from WAY back. Like, “Little Walter” and “Feels Good” way back. One of these days, maybe I’ll tell you all about the time my high school besties and I dressed up like Tony! Toni! Tone’! for Halloween and put on a three-song lip-synch concert for my girl’s mom and her friends (tragic). Or the time I interviewed the group in person and literally had to give myself a talking to before I saw them face-to-face so I wouldn’t get all Beatles fan on them when I was supposed to be professional and serious and working (The talk worked. Kinda.). Yeah.
No matter that. Today, I want to tell you about yet another reason why I heart Raphael Saadiq. In addition to being an incredible singer, producer, musician, songwriter and the mastermind behind some of my favorite songs—“Just Me and You,” “You Should Be Here,” anything by Lucy Pearl and his entire “The Way I See It” album—Raphael has a huge heart of gold. Specifically, one that loves the babies. And, with the help of SPIN Magazine and American Express, he’s putting it to awesome use on behalf of The Roots of Music Program, a New Orleans-based non-profit program that gives music education, tutoring and lots of other goodness to students from The Big Easy. From now through January 28, 2011, American Express will donate $1 to The Roots of Music Program every time someone watches THIS VIDEO INTERVIEW FEATURING RAPHAEL SAADIQ visiting New Orleans and The Roots of Music Program while he gives the 411 on the impact of music on the lives of children.
For sure, The Roots of Music Program is servicing a huge musical need in the lives of brown babies in the Crescent City, where marching bands once were an integral part of middle schools until Katrina. Today, through The Roots of Music Program, more than 100 students are getting a free after school music education in history, theory, instrumental instruction and ensemble performance, and serving it up in a full marching band that’s been parading the city since Mardi Gras 2009. So popular is the program that it has a waiting list for new students. And every penny The Roots of Music Program collects means something to the children it serves.
Helping the program is easy: Just click on this link and watch Raphael, and American Express will automatically donate $1—up to $50,000—to the program. So worth it.