Robert Lee Coleman will take the Mars Theatre stage June 21 at 8 p.m. as the second in a series of six concerts at the Mars in support of American Roots and Blues Artists through the Music Maker Relief Foundation.
The Music Maker Relief Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit, was founded to preserve the musical traditions of the South by directly supporting the musicians who make it — ensuring their voices will not be silenced by poverty and time.
Music Maker gives future generations access to their heritage through documentation and performance programs that build knowledge and appreciation of America’s musical traditions. By targeting their programs to serve the most vulnerable musicians, those 55 years and older with incomes under $18,000 a year, they are allowing these musicians to develop their talents, stage shows, record their works, inspire their community and focus on their music.
Since its founding in 1994, it has assisted and partnered with over 300 artists, issued over 150 CDs and has reached over a million people with live performances in more than 40 states and 17 countries.
Music Maker started by helping a small group of blues musicians in Winston-Salem, N.C., including Guitar Gabriel, Willa Mae Buckner, Preston Fulp, Mr. Q and Macavine Hayes. When these artists were asked how Music Maker could help them, they didn’t ask for money — they wanted a gig.
Over the next six months, the Mars Theatre will present Music Maker artists Drink Small, Major Handing, Ironing Board Sam and Cool John Ferguson in addition to Beverly “Guitar” Watkins and Robert Lee Coleman.
For tickets and more information visit www.marstheatre.com.