Swan Songs Austin
Some prominent figures in the Austin music scene are lending their voices to help locals diagnosed with terminal illnesses. On Wednesday, October 19 at the Gibson Showroom in South Austin, Jerry Jeff Walker will play a benefit concert for a non-profit called Swan Songs. For KUT’s Texas Music Matters, Haley Howle reports.
Swan Songs fulfills musical wishes at the end of life by organizing private concerts for individuals with terminal illness. At their request, a favorite style of music or musician is brought directly to the home or facility. The concert allows patient, family and friends to focus beyond the illness and come together through the medium of music.
Officially created as a non-profit in 2005, Swan Songs gets most of it’s funding from private donations. The musicians are offered an honorarium for their time, although it is often donated right back to the organization. Over the years Swan Songs has put on about 85 concerts with the help of musicians like Ray Benson, Van Wilks, and Jimmy LaFave. The concerts are set up as quickly as possible. Past requests have ranged from bagpipes and traditional Irish folk songs to blues and gospel. Whatever the request, Swan Songs makes an effort to find the right music. In a town like Austin, the musical talent is never too hard to find. Swan Songs sessions are offered free of charge to patients and their families.
If you would like to request a Swan Songs concert, you can call 512-416-SWAN or email firstname.lastname@example.org.