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Michael Franti & Spearhead to Headline Band Together

franti Band Together NC , a nonprofit organization that uses musical events to raise funds and awareness for select Triangle charities, has announced that acclaimed reggae, hip hop fusion artist Michael Franti & Spearhead will top the bill for this year’s charity concert May 22 outside Lincoln Theatre in downtown Raleigh. Visit www.bandtogethernc.org to purchase tickets starting at 10 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 19.

Last year’s Band Together NC concert featuring Rusted Root, the Rosebuds, Chatham County Line and HOBEX attracted more than 2,700 music lovers and raised more than $141,000 for the Lucy Daniels Center for Early Childhood. Supporting acts and activities for 2010 will be announced as the event date approaches.

Throughout his musical career spanning nearly 25 years, Franti has combined political and social themes with diverse musical influences such as hip hop, funk, reggae, jazz, folk and rock. After playing with the Beatnigs and Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, Franti formed Spearhead in 1994. The band has released numerous albums including “Home,” “Chocolate Supa Highway,” “Stay Human,” “Yell Fire!” and the recent “All Rebel Rockers,” which marked their highest Billboard Top 200 Album Chart debut ever. The band’s song “Say Hey (I Love You)” was a hit in multiple formats last year. It was one of the most added recordings on multiple radio formats (Top 40, Hot AC and Alternative) and its music video has already exceeded 1 million views on YouTube.

Known for energetic live shows and Franti’s penchant for going shoeless, the band has gained a passionate worldwide audience through extensive touring and appearances in alternative media. As advocates for peace and social justice, Michael Franti & Spearhead have played numerous benefit concerts worldwide, including their own Power to the Peaceful Festivals in San Francisco that have recently drawn more than 50,000 attendees.

“As a musician and a man, I more than anything else want to be a unifier,” Franti explains. “I want to bring people together through music and its unique power. And I hope that somehow that sense of unity extends beyond the music.”

In October 2009, Band Together NC’s Board of Directors announced that the charity recipient for 2010 would be StepUP Ministry , an interfaith nonprofit organization that teaches low-income and homeless people to become self-sufficient. Founded in 1988, StepUP annually helps empower nearly 600 individuals in Wake County through two life-giving programs: job training/placement and life skills training.

“Our goal this year is to raise $150,000 for our charity partner,” said Danny Rosin, president and co-founder of Band Together NC. “But that’s not all. Amazingly, StepUP Ministry has pledged to match our fundraising efforts dollar for dollar, so there is a potential that we could generate up to $300,000 for this wonderful and deserving organization.”

Through corporate and individual donations, Band Together has already raised more than $70,000. Commitments have come from Cargill, S&A Cherokee, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, Davenport Investments, Duke Realty Corporation, Lincoln Theatre, Synergy Commercial Advisors, RPG Solutions, Brand Fuel, Trisure, Capstrat, Prometheus, Hosted Solutions and Manning, Fulton & Skinner, PA.

Tickets for the event will be $22 in advance or $25 day of the show. VIP tickets are $150. Sponsorships begin at the $150 level. Event attendees must be 21 years or older.

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