MoJO plays benefit birthday party for all

Apr 16, 2018
The Mondaynite Jazz Orchestra

Camden — The Mondaynite Jazz Orchestra will perform Sunday afternoon, April 29, from 2 to 4 p.m. at John Street Methodist Church, 98 John St., for a community-wide birthday party and benefit concert for Knox County Homeless Coalition.

Everyone has a birthday; however, many of us don’t have birthday parties. One local woman — about to celebrate a milestone birthday — is changing that, using hers to raise awareness and funding for Knox County Homeless Coalition. A few years ago, she decided to start celebrating her momentous birthdays by raising funds for organizations she wanted to support.

As the plans started to come together this year, she heard that KCHC had worked with Planet Toys to help provide birthday gifts for some of the children in their program. However, she recognized there are many people — children and adults — who may not have the opportunity to celebrate. She decided this was the perfect opportunity to turn her party into a community-wide birthday celebration. She contacted Mondaynite Jazz Orchestra to see if the band would be interested in providing entertainment for a benefit party and was met with a resounding “YES!” by band organizer Scott Kessel.

“It is really rewarding to be able to celebrate by giving back to community organizations doing a great job, but when the idea turned into throwing a Birthday Party for everyone of all ages — now that is really cool,” said the “birthday girl,” who wishes to remain anonymous.

“This is the perfect opportunity for everyone to celebrate together, no matter what. If you don’t want to celebrate for yourself, you can celebrate for those around you — and no one is exempt from having a birthday,” said KCHC Director of Development Becca Gildred.

MoJO has been bringing extraordinary modern and traditional big-band music to life for more than 30 years under various group names. The 18-piece “big band” makes it their mission to be the premier community jazz orchestra of Midcoast Maine, performing a variety of musical styles including traditional big band, Latin, swing, funk and blues, including vocals when possible. With a commitment to supporting local nonprofits, MoJO also strives to provide education and experiential opportunities for students looking to improve their skills.

The Happy Birthday and All That Jazz Party is is certain to be a fun family event for all. Entry and all refreshments will be by donation, with proceeds to benefit Knox County Homeless Coalition. To find out more about donating to this effort or make a difference with those who are homeless in our area, contact the Knox County Homeless Coalition at 593-8151 or

Knox County Homeless Coalition, founded in 2014, is the only dedicated homeless organization serving Knox, Waldo and part of Lincoln counties, offering case management to an active client base of about 300. KCHC also manages the Hospitality House family shelter, a live-in facility for 23 in Rockport. The Home Help Hope on Wheels van, a service added in 2015, helps remove one of the most critical barriers to rural independence and transports clients to jobs, education, child care, health care and other services, an average of 2,000 miles per month. The newest program of KCHC, The Landing Place, located on Park Street in downtown Rockland, is a low-barrier, comprehensive, safe haven for under-served and marginalized teens.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or

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