NORWAY — Lovers of reggae and other soulful music won’t be “Waiting in Vain” to hear a live concert. Glen DaCosta, a former member of Bob Marley and the Wailers, has teamed up with Portland native Kate Schrock to help the Alan Day Community Garden this weekend.
The benefit concert — which will help the nonprofit build a pavilion for workshops and other events — will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 15, at the garden, 26 Whitman St. in Norway. Tickets are available on a sliding scale from $10 to $25 and kids 12 and younger are free. Attendees should bring their own chairs.
DaCosta — who played saxophone with Bob Marley and the Wailers — first met singer, songwriter and pianist Kate Schrock at a club they both played in Lexington, Ky., when he was touring with the Wailers in 2002.
“Glen, being the gregarious person he is, went down to the club to just check it out and I happened to be playing. He stayed for the show, we met and struck up a friendship and conversation,” Schrock said by phone Monday. “I was bowled over by who he was and the history and the contribution he made to music. That really affected me at a crucial time in my own life. … It’s music with meaning. A lot of my drive is to write music with meaning — spiritual, political — more than boy meets girl.”
Their friendship blossomed and Schrock went down to Jamaica a few times to record with DaCosta. He also came to Maine to contribute to her 2007 album “Invocation.”
“I think she’s a talented writer and performer. She’s not a conventional artist from the commercial aspect of things,” DaCosta said about Schrock, noting she pours her heart and soul into her music.
He’s also referring to Schrock’s 20-plus years a mostly do-it-yourself music career, which she started doing before it became popular. She taught herself to play piano at age five and said her music has been described as mixture of jazz, blues, rock and gospel that she’s blended into her own unique style. After stints of playing and recording music in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City — where she signed with Famous Music Publishing and toured with the likes of Mick Taylor of the Rolling Stones, Wayne Kramer of MC5, BoDeans and Stephen Stills — Schrock returned to her hometown of Portland.
“Wow what a cool place. Maine is not as backwoods as I thought,” Schrock said about coming back to the Pine Tree State. “There’s a thriving art and music scene here so I worked real hard and just built on top of that initial success and started my label (Kakelane Music).”
DaCosta — who’s known as Uncle Glen to Schrock’s son — loves playing and making music with her.
“For me, it’s more you’re really enjoying what you do without much distraction from other elements,” he said, noting there are negative aspects of playing with a high profile band. “It’s just artistic for me. My heart is there.”
DaCosta first learned the art of being a horn player when he was 11 years old at an all boys school in Jamaica. Before joining Marley and his revolutionary troupe of musicians, he founded his own reggae band, Zap Pow, and met Marley in the studio in 1973.
“We had a big horn section and, of course, everyone wanted the best musicians to play and that’s how we started playing with him,” DaCosta said.
Since he has such an intriguing and inspiring background, Schrock makes sure DaCosta shares it with their audience.
“Whenever we’re performing, even in the set list there’s story time with Glen. I hand over the mic. Sometimes we open up with questions from the audience,” she said, noting DaCosta was with Marley when there was an assassination attempt on his life in 1976 at Marley’s home in Kingston, Jamaica.
“I was scared for their lives and I didn’t know these bullets were coming in and Bob was lucky to be alive after that,” DaCosta recalled, noting Marley’s manager, Don Taylor, pushed him out of the way and later picked up five bullets that were meant for the musician. “People loved Bob Marley. I think, to be honest, some of the stories going around the event point to the CIA (which) wanted him dead because of his revolutionary music style and turning the kids into rastas. That sounds quite appropriate to me because who would want Bob Marley dead?”
It’s the revolutionary aspect and one love theme of DaCosta’s music that inspires Schrock when she’s creating her own music and performing with her friend.
“He’s got a lot of insights on the political power of music,” she said. “I think it is really important in this day and age.”
“Real music in the real sense of it represents the voiceless and disenfranchised and to bring people together in harmony as one race,” DaCosta said. “Music is such a great device (when) used properly. Some people up to me and say, ‘Thank you Glen, your music saved my life.’ They were on drugs or whatever and the music turned them around.”
Schrock encouraged Oxford Hills residents and others to come out support the community garden on Saturday night.
“Alan Day was a personal friend of mine and he was an amazing soul and a great example of someone who put a focus on the community and outside of himself. His spirit lives on,” she said.
For more information on the concert, call 743-2423, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit alandaygarden.wordpress.com. For more on Schrock, visit www.kateschrock.com/ and for more on DaCosta, visit www.glendacostamusic.com/music.html.