Joe Walsh and David Crosby to Perform at Kent State’s May 4 Commemoration Benefit Concert

click to enlarge Joe Walsh and David Crosby to Perform at Kent State’s May 4 Commemoration Benefit Concert
Photo provided by David Crosby
Two classic rock acts — Joe Walsh with Barnstorm and David Crosby (pictured) — will perform at a benefit concert on May 2 in the Memorial Athletic and Convocation (MAC) Center to mark the 50th anniversary of the Kent State shootings that took place on May 4.

Walsh was on the Kent State campus on May 4, 1970, and he currently tours both as a solo artist and as a member of the Eagles. The concert will represent a reunion of Walsh’s band Barnstorm with original members Joe Vitale and Kenny Passarelli along with several other renowned musicians joining the original three members.

“We wanted to make sure the artists we brought in for the concert had a strong understanding of the history of May 4, 1970, and a commitment to helping raise funds for the scholarships,” says Rod Flauhaus, project manager for the May 4 50th Commemoration, in a statement. “Artists like Joe Walsh and David Crosby provided the soundtrack for both those that went to fight in the Vietnam War and for those who were against it. Their music was the common thread that helped to raise national awareness, inspire activism and helped us to heal as a nation.”

Crosby formed Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (CSN&Y) in the late ’60s, and the band’s single “Ohio” was released in the summer of 1970 and helped to raise international awareness of the tragic events at Kent State. Crosby, Stills and Nash performed an acoustic version of the song on the Commons at Kent State during the May 4 annual commemoration on May 4, 1997. Crosby has visited Kent State’s May 4 Visitors Center and performed in Kent many times over the years.

Proceeds from this event will help support the newly created May 4 Legacy Scholarships, which will provide four endowed scholarships to be given to students majoring in Kent State’s renowned Peace and Conflict Studies program. Each scholarship will bear the name of one of the students killed – Allison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, Sandra Scheuer and William Schroeder.

The endowment of the four scholarships has long been a goal for many of the family members of those killed and wounded by members of the Ohio National Guard during an anti-war protest at Kent State on May 4, 1970, and music played an important role in the lives of those killed and wounded.

“We are extremely honored and grateful to have these two world-class musicians as part of our 50th commemoration activities,” says Kent State President Todd Diacon in a statement. “The willingness of these artists to help us raise funds for the scholarships demonstrates the commitment and strong ties that these individuals have to honoring those killed and wounded on May 4, 1970, and ensuring a lasting legacy of learning and peaceful reconciliation.”

Tickets to the concert will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday, March 6.

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Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected].
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