HAAM Day Returns
More than almost any other local nonprofit, the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM) is an integral part of Austinites' lives. Musicians don't turn to HAAM after a spurt of desperate research; they know about it (hopefully long before they ever need it) through word of mouth and blowout programming like Austin's famous HAAM Day.
The nonprofit turns the volume up for another year of live local music and philanthropy with a record-breaking twist on September 19. This year’s roster features 205 live performances, the biggest number of musical acts in the fundraiser’s history.
All HAAM Day shows are free and open to the public. Fans of Austin’s live music scene are invited and encouraged to attend a show or several. They will all raise funds directly for providing affordable access to health and wellness care for Austin-area low-income, working musicians.
“HAAM Day is not just about music,” CEO Paul Scott said in a press release. “It's about solidarity in recognizing the vital role musicians play in our community. Musicians are an essential part of what makes Austin special, and we want to make sure they are given every opportunity to continue making the music we love to enjoy.”
The all-day event begins with a kickoff celebration at 6 am at H-E-B Lake Austin. Kickoff highlights include performances by R&B singer Mélat and HAAM’s first member, longtime and super-versatile musician Troy Campbell. Guests will also hear proclamations from City of Austin and State of Texas representatives during the kickoff in between showcases.
Next, guests can catch a nonstop lineup of performances by Austin’s homegrown talent. Top highlights include a show by retro-soul performers Soul Supporters at Hotel Van Zandt’s Geraldine’s, live shows at H-E-B locations around the city, ongoing performances live from the Willie Nelson Statue, and swamp funk band Shinyribs at The Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co.
This year’s HAAM Day also includes three major Austin jazz clubs, partnering together for the first time in fundraiser history, to present live performances around the city.
Programming continues over the radio airwaves at KMFA Studios, which includes live music from "singer-soulwriter" Ray Prim, Mélat, jazzy folk-pop group Magnolia Kids, and HAAM Board member Marcia Ball. Featured performers for this year include blues guitarist Zach Person and rock band Madam Radar, who are both well-known in the Austin music scene, and several up-and-coming bands including alt-rock duo Me nd Adam and alt-pop duo Flora & Fawna.
Other artists are scheduled to perform at events like the Still Austin Whiskey Co. Showcase, the BMI Showcase, and the RECA ((Real Estate Council of Texas) Showcase at Antone’s Nightclub.
Since being established in 2005, HAAM has helped provide wellness and healthcare access to more than 6,700 musicians totaling over $144 million in services. New this year is the organization’s signing of the newest lead sponsor, SXSW, alongside PNC Bank. As part of the bank’s second year of sponsorship, live shows will be hosted at PNC branches in the Austin area.
“As an organization, we look at all of the ways in which we can support our local community, and are proud to be a part of HAAM’s efforts on behalf of Austin musicians,” said co-president and chief brand officer of SXSW Jann Baskett. “Their ability to make every $100 donated translate into $700 of healthcare services means that every contribution makes a substantial difference."
For those who prefer to raise donations online, HAAM Day is bringing back its fundraising platform website for participating members of the community to use in the spirit of friendly and philanthropic competition. Show venues are booked across Austin and throughout Central Texas. For a full lineup and schedule of events, go to myhaam.org.
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