MERIDEN — A roster of state musicians will take turns playing a single guitar Saturday night at the Augusta Curtis Cultural Center in a concert to benefit the Meriden Soup Kitchen.
Robbie DeRosa, of Homegrown The Connecticut Connected Music Show on WESU FM, joins local artist Frank Critelli and Lisa Catherine, of Concerts With Causes, to bring “Pass the Guitar” to the city.
“Pass the Guitar” was started two years ago by musician Hugh Birdsall of The Reducers in New London to benefit that city’s soup kitchen, DeRosa said. Joe Glennon followed with a similar event to benefit a Westerly, Rhode Island, warming center.
Local musician Frank Critelli played in both the New London and Westerly events, and he decided to bring one home with the help of his friends and a Taylor guitar.
“It’s always a great time, very community oriented both in the local community and the community of musicians,” Critelli said. “We’ll be using my guitar.”
Critelli brought DeRosa on board to help generate publicity, and Catherine for guidance on fundraising and securing a venue.
“I never met Lisa, so that seemed like the right person to help do this kind of work locally and to do something together,” Critelli said. “He (Robbie) knows a lot of musicians and he’s the Meriden guy.”
Meriden-area musicians include Critelli, Rooney Roberts and Dan LaRosa of the Coconuts, and more. Statewide acts include Birdsall, The Sawtelles, Christopher Bousquet, Anne Marie Menta, Ben Parent, Russell Shaddox, Lea and Lou Lorenzo, Robert Vincent Tweedie, Lys Guillorn, Seth Adam, Arlene Tessman, Dan Osto, Rivers, Matt Kevorkian, Danielle Capalbo, and Ponybird.
The Meriden Soup Kitchen in the First Baptist Church on Broad Street provides daily meals for those in local homeless shelters or residents in need of food. The center, which opened in 1983, served 38,729 meals in 2016.
The number of meals served daily averages between 140 and 170, sometimes reaching as many as 250. In addition to food, the kitchen must purchase paper goods and other supplies. The staff consists of volunteers from area churches.
“We hope to help the food kitchen just pay their bills,” Critelli said. “People don’t always realize they need cash for auxiliary costs.”
Pass the Guitar runs from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Augusta Curtis Cultural Center on East Main Street. Suggested donation is $10 but attendees are encouraged to give what they can
“These people are hungry and the soup kitchen needs help,” DeRosa said.