April 24, 2009 — An impressive list of performers showed up at Music City's Schermerhorn Symphony Center on Wednesday for Big Kenny's Nashville4Africa benefit, raising money to deliver educational supplies to a remote village in Sudan.
Faith Hill, Keith Urban, Dierks Bentley and the SteelDrivers were among the acts on hand to show their support for kids living in dire poverty on the other side of the globe.
Big Kenny expected to bring in enough money "to build a school in Uganda and to completely fit out the school we built last year for 1,000 girls," Big Kenny told Dial-Global. "A thousand girls bought out of slavery or orphaned that will now have a chance at education for the first time — the first time, man! That's crazy stuff."
The concert sold out — a significant development in a troubled economy. It helped that the20lineup was stellar, but it also helped that Nashville embraced the cause.
"The need for us to be aware and participate in these lives of these children is very important," Faith told Dial-Global. "And after meeting these kids? I mean, I feel in love with every single one of them. So it [was] a great night for Nashville, and I'm so proud of this city for coming out and supporting this extremely important event, and I think it should happen every year."
Among the acts on the bill was the African Children's Choir which tours to bring attention to the plight overseas. Dierks gave the choir members an opportunity to leave Nashville with a very appropriate experience, taking them into a Music Row recording session.
"I think it's one of the first times they've really been in the studio and heard themselves, and they loved it," Dierks told Dial-Global. "We were doing it over at Ocean Way, which was great. There's kind of this church vibe to it anyway, and to see all these little kids wearing these big headphones that barely fit on their heads — but they blew me away. They weren't just doing background vocals; they're actually singing some of the chorus, you know — just great harmonies. The singing alone speaks for itself, let alone the story behind it's even more inspiring, but just alone they're great singers."
To find out more about Big Kenny's Sudanese mission, visit Nashville4Africa.com.