Mickey Hart hosted a benefit concert for the What If? Foundation and Partners in Health this past Saturday at San Francisco’s Fillmore Auditorium. Heartbeat for Haiti featured sets by Hart, Big Head Todd and The Monsters, Brett Dennen and Amos Lee—all of whom donated their time for the cause. In total, the evening raised $40,000 for the charities.
“It came together really quickly and all these performers paid their own way to get here,” Hart says. “It was a magical night.”
Hart’s set was billed as Mickey Hart & Friends and featured Giovanni Hidalgo, Sikiru Adepoju and Rebeca Mauleon, as well as Raz Kennedy, Linda Tillery and her Cultural Heritage Choir. Other guests included Joan Baez’s son Gabriel Harris, a world-influenced percussionist, and Lee, who sat in for a bit later in the night. The musicians primarily played music rooted in the Haitian tradition, though the ensemble offered reworked versions of “Iko Iko” and “Not Fade Away.”
“The idea wasn’t to play rock and roll,” Hart says. “It was important for us to play their [Haitian] music, which is very spiritual.”