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Mother’s Day concert to support Women Helping Women

By Staff | May 5, 2011

KIHEI — Maui singer/songwriter Gail Swanson will welcome aspiring artists Elaine Ryan and Sebrina Barron to a storytelling sing-a-round that will help shine a light on the needs of domestic violence and abuse victims.

Slated at Stella Blues Cafe in Kihei on Sunday, May 8, this Mother’s Day concert will benefit Women Helping Women.

Play it Forward’s approach to putting on events was inspired by the film “Pay if Forward.” Instead of paying a favor back, we repay the rewards in our lives with new good deeds for new people.

“Our good deeds are twofold: we use music and the arts to increase awareness and raise money for a variety of charities. At the same time, we invite established musicians to share a stage with up-and-coming artists as a way give new acts much-appreciated exposure,” the organization noted.

Swanson, whose charitable heart inspired Play it Forward, is one of Maui’s most treasured singer/songwriters. She has written and recorded five award-winning CDs.

Her most recent album, “Simple Truth,” features three songs produced by Patrick Simmons of the Doobie Brothers. It also features guest appearances by Willie Nelson, Michael McDonald, John McFee, John Cruz, Hutch Hutchison and others. Swanson’s albums have been nominated for three Na Hoku Hanohano Awards, and her 2000 release, “Living in a Movie,” won the Hoku for “Best Rock Album of the Year.”

Swanson will be joined by international indie recording artist Ryan. The part-time Maui resident is quite successful in her Canadian homeland for her pristine voice, humble nature and musical storytelling.

“Elaine’s voice is incredible, and I love the way she writes,” said Swanson. “Nobody on Maui sounds like her — we are lucky to have her.”

Swanson and Ryan will be joined by Maui native Barron, whose fresh voice, insightful songwriting and bubbly spirit makes new fans every time she performs.

“Sebrina has a very special stage presence,” Swanson said. “There’s a very genuine, down-to-earth vibe about the way she interacts with the audience, and the way she writes songs and sings. It’s really very endearing.

“It’s great to have an opportunity to showcase local talent while shining a light on a worthy cause like Women Helping Women,” she added. “Plus it’s Mother’s Day. It couldn’t be more perfect.”

Admission is $60 for the show and a four-course meal. Show only tickets are $30.

The dinner show seating is set for 6 p.m. Seating for the show opens at 7:15 p.m.

For reservations, call Stella Blues at 874-3779.

Women Helping Women is a nonprofit Maui organization that provides services to victims of domestic violence while working to end abuse through advocacy, education and prevention.