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Emerging Artists Join Music Beats Cancer to Raise Money to Fund a Cure

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When Lisset Diaz Guevara and her band Sweet Lizzy Project were invited to be a part of Music Beats Cancer’s 2022 Valentine’s Day Challenge, she was honored and excited to play a role in raising funds for the fight against cancer. Lisset knows the pain that cancer can bring to families; her grandfather died of cancer a year ago and her grandmother is battling the disease now. She also knows the hope that treatment can bring; she studied alternative cancer treatments for three years after getting a degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Havana.

“Science and music have always been my passions,” says Lisset. “So having the opportunity of putting them both together to raise funds and awareness and to help people is just a dream come true.”

Sweet Lizzy Project is one of the dozens of bands participating in the crowdfunding challenge launched on February 14, 2022, by Music Beats Cancer. Many of the bands know firsthand the pain that cancer brings to the world. All of them are dedicated to finding a cure. They have been promoting the #MusicBeatsCancer Challenge to their fans via social media and shout-outs from the stage.

Music Beats Cancer is a 501(c)(3) charity that supports those battling cancer by increasing the number of cancer-fighting technologies in the product development pipeline. It focuses on the “Valley of Death” in the fight against cancer, which it describes as the severe funding gap that often keeps entrepreneurs from advancing in their development of innovative treatments.

“Too many families have been burdened by cancer, if not directly, then through people they love,” says Dr. Mona Jhaveri, founder of Music Beats Cancer. “We want to change this. We want to dramatically improve how great ideas born out of cancer research labs get translated into medical innovations for people battling cancer because this is where our war on cancer is breaking down.”

The crowdfunding challenge will wrap up on March 14, 2022. The four bands who raise the most money will have a 60-second stream of one of their songs played on iHeartRadio in the New York City area during the months of April and May. The latest standings can be found on the challenge leaderboard. Read on to learn more about some of the participating artists and bands.

Alexandrina

Alexandria Vasilkevich is a solo artist whose music reflects her European roots — she is from Belarus – as well as her California home — she has lived in San Diego for 11 years. Having lost a friend to cancer, Alexandrina understands the pain and frustration that many feel.

“Seeing someone perfectly healthy, just having some back pain, then finding out it is Stage 4 cancer is frightening,” she says. “And that’s where Music Beats Cancer comes in. I believe in it. I believe together we can find solutions.”

Alexandria’s music promotes a life lived to the fullest. She is excited about rallying her fans to take part in the fight and fund the search for a cure.

Kris Angelis

The pain of losing someone to cancer is fresh for Kris Angelis, a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who calls Pacific Grove, California home.

“A friend just passed away a couple of months ago from a rare and aggressive cancer,” Kris shares.

And that was not her only experience with cancer; she lost a grandfather, both grandmothers, and an aunt to cancer. She’s honored and excited to be using her music as a way to spread awareness and raise funds.

“I have friends and family who have survived and been taken by cancer,” Kris shares. “It feels good to be part of something that is making a positive difference.”

B. Good

Justin Goodman, known to his fans as B. Good, wears a necklace with a microphone charm that once belonged to his grandfather, who was also a singer. When Justin’s grandfather died of cancer, the necklace was passed to him.

“I like to believe that his musical legacy carries on through me,” Justin says.

Justin, a rapper, singer, and guitarist from Brooklyn, New York, says he is honored to be joining Music Beats Cancer on its mission.

“Fighting cancer seems to be the one thing the world can agree upon and I am so excited to be working with the team,” Justin says. “This organization is doing so much good and it is essential that the world knows about it.”

Bear Williams Band

Bear Williams lost his mom to cancer when he was only two. She was 33. When he was invited to be a part of the Challenge, he knew he couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

“Cancer has been a scourge in our society for far too long,” Bear says. “We feel that it is now up to the people of our nation to come together to make a stand to make sure that the proper funding goes to the creators and designers of cutting-edge cancer treatments so that all people will benefit.”

Bear has been making music since the 1970s and has played with superstars like Anita Baker, Branford Marsalis, Steve Perry, and Alanis Morissette. The Bear Williams Band brings rock energy to the blues. They are based in Chicago.

Juliana Hale

“I have always said I want to make music that makes the world a better place,” says Juliana Hale, a singer, songwriter, and musician who was born in Southern California and who now calls Nashville home. “It feels amazing to have this opportunity to partner with such an amazing organization and give back to a great cause.”

As a child, Juliana watched her step-grandmother struggle with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. While her grandmother has been in remission for years, Juliana says she still struggles with residual issues. Leveraging her musical skills to support a good cause is something that resonates deeply with Juliana.

Miami Conspiracy

Rudy Baros is a vocalist and musician in the band Miami Conspiracy with vocalist Andre Sterling. Baros has lost a lot to cancer.

“My mother passed away several years ago due to the complication of colon cancer and just last year my father-in-law had the same fate,” Rudy shares. “We saw very closely how devastating and sad this disease is.”

Miami Conspiracy draws upon Rudy’s Brazilian heritage to give a tropical twist to their rap recordings. He considers it a great pleasure to be invited by Music Beats Cancer to leverage the power of music in the fight against cancer.

Onism E

When asked if anyone in her life has been touched by cancer, Eline Chavez, who sings and plays guitar for the San Antonio, Texas, band Onism E, has a profound answer: “Too many.”

Eline’s grandmother and aunt were both taken by cancer. “I never met my grandmother and have few memories of my aunt on my Dad’s side because my grandmother died from stomach cancer when my dad was a teenager and my aunt died from intestinal cancer,” she says.

Presently, Eline has a cousin fighting breast cancer. She says cancer has robbed her family of too many “could have beens.”

The entire Onism E band has dreamed of not just playing for but also being of service to the communities that have supported them over the years.

“This challenge gave us the opportunity to do what we love and to give back,” she says.

Mason Reich

Mason Reich, a vocalist and piano player from New York City, lost his mother to lung cancer in January 2021.

“The entire family was affected by her illness as cancer slowly consumed her body and strength,” Mason remembers. “It was quite painful watching my mother slowly die.”

Mason points out that cancer research has slowed down over the past several years as the healthcare community has turned its attention to addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. He hopes that his involvement in Music Beats Cancer will not only raise funds for research, but also remind people that music has the power to bring peace, unity, and mental healing.

Loot Bryon Smith

“The Music Beats Cancer challenge has been a great reminder that there are noble causes in this world that are only as powerful as those that are willing to take responsibility in helping,” explains Loot Bryon Smith, whose music aims to motivate and inspire positive vibes. “I am very passionate about taking part in noble, charitable, humanitarian efforts and I can think of very few that are as indispensable as the fight against cancer.”

Loot is a songwriter, lyricist, vocalist, composer, and self-empowerment musician from Northern California. Seeing many of those dearest to him affected by cancer over the years has brought great emotional trauma and heartache to Loot. He says being a part of initiatives like the Music Beats Cancer project has helped him to develop inner peace and joy that can only be found in serving others while expecting nothing in return.

Supreem Da Rezarekta’

The music recorded by Philadelphia-based Supreem Da Rezarekta’ is filled with inspiration and hope. Now, it is being used to inspire fans to contribute to cancer research.

“I feel honored that my music was considered and selected to be part of something that means so much and could possibly help so many people sick with cancer,” says Jemal Carter, who is the frontman for the band.

Jemal lost his Aunt Lil to cancer.

“She survived 13 years with leukemia and lymphoma cancer with the faith and spirit of a warrior,” he remembers. “But ultimately she passed away because there wasn’t a cure.”

Supreme jumped into the Music Beats Cancer challenge with the hope that other fighters soon could have what they need to overcome.

Sweet Lizzy Project

“Music Beats Cancer is the perfect project to prove that our actions matter and that if we all work together, we can make a difference in the world,” says Lisset Diaz, a vocalist who leads the Nashville-based Sweet Lizzy Project.

Each of the band’s members were born and raised in Cuba but came to the US in 2017 after signing a record deal. Their latest single, Dreaming of a Revolution, shares a message of change and hope that meshes perfectly with the Music Beats Cancer project.

Lisset’s experience with cancer, which includes losing her grandfather and seeing her grandmother presently fighting the disease, has been very painful. Her hope is that Sweet Lizzy Project’s involvement with this challenge will make a huge contribution.

The Voxies Band

The Voxies Band, which was formed during the COVID-19 pandemic, is delighted to have been included in the crowdfunding project. Based in the New York/New Jersey area, they hope this project can be their first step toward contributing to a positive relationship between the arts and cancer research.

Ken Negri, who plays trumpet and leads the band, has family and close friends currently facing the disease.

“Both my in-laws were stricken with cancer within the last 18 months and I have a friend currently receiving rounds of chemo,” Ken explains. “All are okay at the moment, but the long-term impact is still unknown.”

Mark Winters

Mark Winters has a love for the arts that was inspired by his grandmother, Dean C. Winters. She taught Mark to embrace his passions while she was living with cancer. She survived for more than 30 years after her diagnosis thanks to advances in treatment. Now Mark is hoping that he can contribute to seeing even greater advances made.

“I hope to raise awareness with my fans about the importance of supporting scientists in their research and commercialization efforts for cancer treatments,” Mark explains. “It’s amazing how personal many of the projects are for the inventors and how hard it is to see their projects find support and ultimately a place in the treatments and care of cancer patients.”

Mark, who does solo work as well as playing with Mark Winters and the Jetliners, lives in Sugar Land, Texas.

EP Wolfe

EP Wolfe sees his music as a reflection of the daily struggles we face in life and the victories that we achieve. Cancer is clearly one of those struggles, and it profoundly affected his life.

“I lost my best friend and bassist in my band for over ten years to cancer,” EP explains. “It changed my life in every way imaginable.”

Wolf has been inspired by seeing his mom and others fight back against cancer and win. He says he is honored to think that his music could play a role in funding the work that Music Beats Cancer is doing.

Topping the leaderboard

Regardless of who is at the top of the leaderboard as the #MusicBeatsCancer Challenge comes to a close, the winners will be all of those who are awaiting a cure for cancer, whether cancer patients or those who love them. And sincere thanks will be due to all of those who stepped forward to use their influence with their fans to fund further research. As they say at Music Beats Cancer, the war on cancer depends on the power and passion of people and music.

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