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Hunter and the Dirty Jacks

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What Does Feeding The Hungry Have To Do With Rock 'N Roll?

Well, in the words of lead singer Hunter Ackerman, "In order to see the change you want to see, you first have to be the change." Los Angeles-based band Hunter & The Dirty Jacks have been putting compassion into action every Tuesday night at Harvelle's in Santa Monica. Inspired by a pub crawl a few months ago that benefitted the homeless and hungry in the area, the band realized that people in that area needed help all the time, not just once a year.

While every band member works hard at jobs that vary from engineer to graphic designer and beyond, they decided to pair their passion for the band and their love of music with helping people. Now you can join them -- Feed your soul with rock 'n roll and help them feed the hungry while you get a payback in top notch entertainment. What could be better?

Service Your Soul Tuesdays At Harvelle's In Santa Monica

Working with two established organizations, Feed Your Soul and The Magic Music Foundation, the band's weekly residency at Harvelle's will raise awareness in order to help the underprivileged in the community. Every Tuesday, your $5 cover charge will be pledged towards the charities. Also, two non-perishable food items or a musical instrument can be pledged at the door for admission. Proceeds will raise money and food for the homeless and hungry, and donated instruments will be used to help teach homeless and foster children music. HDJ Serving in kitchenAdditional donations are of course welcome. The band has already raised enough money to prepare - and serve! - dinners for hundreds of individuals and families.

With more than 250,000 homeless people in LA County -- 30,000 of them in Santa Monica alone -- co-founder and guitarist Jon Siembieda knows that every little bit helps. "I knew I wanted to do something for the community, and playing the blues and rock and roll allows us to tell stories about hard times and helps people relate to the cause. You can't solve everything, but if everybody picked one thing they liked, they could do something with it, and there'd be a lot of progress overall." A health care consultant by day, Jon has been playing for over a decade, and his band mates -- Sean Soto on guitar, Aaron Barnes on bass, Brian Lara on drums and Ackerman (vocals, guitar and floortom) -- are equally seasoned. The Dirty Jacks are high energy, and their blues-based, long sets combine soulful originals with terrific covers from legendary groups.

It seems that the whole band is not only tight onstage, but has also found a great way to focus their musical energy to spotlight and support positive change. When asked how others can step out and find what 'it' is that they'd like to do to help others, Jon had this advice: "Look for a problem around you, and think about something you like to do, a hobby or a talent -- see if you can put the two together. If you put the passion for the cause first, you'll find out that your passion for your hobby will follow exponentially and the two will fall into place even more." Aaron Barnes agrees, he says, "Just start small." Good advice when the problems seem large. But there are a few less hungry people out there tonight because this band stepped off the stage and into their community with what started small, and is now growing into a powerful way to give back. Join them Tuesdays at Harvelle's and service your soul!

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