This weekend, bassist John Munson and his minimalist jazz trio The New Standards will headline a fundraiser for a Linden Hills church, to raise money for humanitarian aid in Guatemala.
St. John's Episcopal Church has a long history working with communities in a particular part of rural Guatemala, minister Bill Peterson told Patch. The money raised at Saturday's event will go to fund that work.
The fundraiser, called Building Bridges, will take place (PDF) at the Famous Dave's restaurant in Uptown, inside the Calhoun Square shopping center. The event opens at 1 p.m., while the four local acts, including The New Standards, runs from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. A $30 donation per attendee is suggested, and tickets will be available either at the door, or by calling the church at 612-922-0396, extension 11.
Peterson and St. John's parishioners regularly trek down to a Guatemalan village called Nueva Providencia, to help the extremely poor coffee plantation workers who live there recover from mudslides and work to get back on their feet. In recent years, Peterson said, the church groups have worked hand-in-glove with the local council to build and install fuel-efficient wood cooking stoves in many homes—to help reduce local deforestation—a water distribution system, a new bridge, and the beginnings of a solar- and water-powered electrical grid.
"The work that we do in this village, we do alongside the people of the village. They decide what projects they want us to help them with," Peteson said. "We bring to the table some labor, some technical expertise, and also some incentive to get the project done then and there. Ultimately it’s their decision, it’s up to us to get in line with that and try and make it happen."
Through church member Nate Duncan, the church has been able to convince local music stars like Munson to perform at its foreign aid fundraisers.
"In his day job, he books many of the stages at the State Fair," Peterson said. "If it was up to me to put this together, (the well-known bands) wouldn't take my calls. We absolutely couldn't do this without him."