Lonnie Lester

 

Hilbert Circle Theatre

Friday, June 15-Saturday, June 16, 7:30 p.m., $35-$75, all-ages

Whether it’s Farm Aid or Rock for Riley, more and more performing artists are standing up for those who cannot stand up for themselves.

This weekend at the Hilbert Circle Theatre, Indiana’s own Lonnie Lester will perform the second installment of his 2007 Concerts for Charity series, the proceeds of which will benefit the National Rhythm and Blues Foundation.

Everyone knows the rags-to-riches and back-to-rags stories of musicians who made it big and then plummeted into obscurity. The National Rhythm and Blues Foundation, founded by the late Ahmet Ertegun of Atlantic Records, was set up to prevent just that.

Here to do his part for the genre that has given him a name, Lester, along with a 15-instrument band, background singers and dancers, will pull out all the stops to have his audience singing along and dancing in the aisles. R&B aficionados will be delighted to hear him perform such hits as “You Can’t Go,” “Ain’t That a Shame” and his most recent piece, “I’m a Soul Singer,” which was written specifically for this show and describes who he is to a younger generation.

In addition to original work, Lester will also honor James Brown. “Without James Brown, all music we know today would not be the same,” Lester says. “He shaped music. I would be remiss if I did not pay a tribute to him.”

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