A Time to Cry, a Time to Dance
Cory Silva & Co. share the love for a good cause
We all know the pain of loss. When it's somebody close, the hurt is more than one can stand. During this time of pain, it's a blessing to have others come around us, for support, for encouragement, even just to share a tear...that's love. And when that love comes from stangers, it means ever so much to realize that the World we live in is not so terrible after all, despite the pain that we sometimes have to endure as part of living.
Published on LatinoLA: October 5, 2004
My beautiful Gente know how to share love. It's a concept that keeps our spirit alive, and makes some painful memories so beautiful to keep.
That said, let me share with you one such example of love...
Recently, a young Latina, Linda Gutierrez, beautiful and just 21, was celebrating her winning fight against cancer. She was loved by her family, and loved back ten-fold. She had the blessings of a loving family & good friends. She had plans to live the life she had valiantly fought for, to continue her education, to better her life, to make her family proud...
...In the midst of her success, she was simply standing outside her home enjoying the warm summer breezes when she fell victim to a cowardly drive-by gang shooting, which proved to be fatal.
Despite all the love & hope she was blessed with, she left our World before her time.
The family, hurt & devastated beyond their imagination, were now hard-pressed to meet the expenses of her funeral.
Upon hearing about this, neighbor-singer-music promoter Cory Silva was touched to tears. A loving father & street survivor himself, Cory took steps to make a difference and help this family on his own terms.
Contacting friends in the entertainment business who selflessly donated their time on Sunday, October 3, Cory put on a benefit concert at the Club Montebello for the Gutierrez family in an outpouring of love that was enjoyed by an appreciative, good sized crowd, despite it being a Sunday afternoon.
I was honored & priviliged to serve as Master of Ceremonies for an all star line up, and the love & appreciation the family & friends gave us was enough to water my eyes.
Starting off the show was the Classic Soul Band, a tight, rock-n-soul brass band from Southern California. With kick~butt brass, congas and hot vocals, The Classic Soul Band played their hearts out, with lead singer Claudell Herrington giving up some of the best James Brown & Tower of Power imitations I've ever heard or seen, stage dancing & all.
Next, despite feeling deeply emotional & fighting back tears, Cory Silva & his band After Dark, came up and gave up a great performance of Latin Soul & Oldies, which, after a brief announcement by Hector Gutierrez, the father of the slain girl, that this night was not mourning the loss of his daughter, but in fact celebrating her life, the dance floor got busy.
Next, one of L.A.'s most beloved crooners, Mr. Brenton Wood, came up and gave up a warm performance of some of his greatest hits, dedicating them all to the Gutierrez family. Talking to Brenton after his performance, I thanked him for coming and donating his time. His response was to thank Cory & I, stating that he was truly honored & touched to be asked to be involved in such a wonderous occasion, and took time to share his condolences with the family. His wish was that more people get involved, and that gang violence, and the suffering it causes, end.
After that, DJ Johnny, one of L.A.'s hottest club DJ's took the stage for some hot R & B dance music. Johnny stayed the whole night, spinning his majic between acts. A classy act himself, Johnny made some nice dedications to the family.
Next, to the suprised delight of the many in attendance, the new Temptations strutted on stage and put on a brilliant performance, dancing & singing with dazzling style & verve that got the entire crowd to their feet. With superb showmanship and classy choreography reminiscent of the originals, the new Temptations honored the Gutierrez family, as well as their late predecessors, as they sang some of their greatest hits. They have put the World on notice: The Temptations are back, and as good as ever! They also gave homage & tribute the Gutierrez family. In a touching show of humility, the Temptations publicly thanked the family for allowing them to perform on this night.
Closing out the show in style, Rocky Padilla came on stage and brought the evening to a mellow end along with Cory Silva, as they cruised the rest of the night with Oldies and Latin Soul that had most of the crowd staying till the very end, dancing slow and keeping the love alive as only good Gente know how to do.
It is my hope and prayer that the Gutierrez family gets past this tragedy, difficult as it is, and continue living life, as I'm sure Linda would have wanted them to do... as she had planned to do.
On behalf of all the talented artists that gave of their time, I wish to thank Hector & Antonia Gutierrez for allowing us to honor their daughter Linda in a manner that was motivated by love, and our sharing of your grief.
It is also my wish that everybody reading this, and all the other talented artists who sent well wishes and donations, but were unable to participate due to other commitments, join us in working towards ending the senselessness of Gang violence...
Note: Cory Silva promotes concerts & dances at The Club Montebello regularly, with the Temptations making a return appearance October 9th. Other great acts are also scheduled. Cory can be contacted at : email@example.com
Frankie Firme spins the finest Oldies but Goodies and Latin Soul Music on the World Wide Web every Thursday on www.kclafm.com , and is a contributing writer on latinoLA.com