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Young Guitarist inspires 2nd year of Benefit Concerts

Wheelchairs for disabled children in Iraq & to assist wounded American veterans

Young California guitarist will join local classical guitar professor for a charity benefit called "Ben & I Play for Peace 2012," which will take place on April 22, 2012 at 3pm in Austin, TX at the Concordia University Texas Auditorium. Proceeds from the concert will co-benefit "Wheelchairs for Iraqi Kids" and the "Wounded Warrior Project".

Ben Werdegar, a 14 year old guitar prodigy from California, has pledged to raise funds in partnership with CNN Hero, Brad Blauser, to purchase wheelchairs for disabled children in Iraq and to assist wounded American veterans. For the second year, classical, jazz, and popular musicians from Seattle to Sarasota have joined forces with Ben to further his cause.

Dr Kim Perlak will be joined by Ben Werdegar, Yale School of Music Professor Benjamin Verdery, The McCallum Fine Artst Academy Guitar Ensemble and the Concordia University Performance Faculty & Friends.

"Ben & I Play for Peace 2012" will take place on April 22, 2012 in Austin, TX as well as in two "sister cities" - Seattle, WA and Sarasota, FL

"Ben Werdegar is inspiring. We first met at a guitar masterclass in Hawaii run by my friend and former teacher, Benjamin Verdery. Ben Werdegar raised his first $19,000 by playing at his neighborhood coffee shop in San Francisco. Since last year's concerts, Ben's total has reached $28,000 - making him the largest single fundraiser for "Wheelchairs for Iraqi Kids"," said Dr Perlak. "Who couldn't be moved to action by this young man who is making a difference in the lives of Iraqi children and our American Veterans - all of whom have been so deeply affected by the events in the Middle East? ."

In its first year, "Ben & I Play for Peace" was featured on the PBS/NPR series "From the Top"'s Arts Leadership Series and was officially recognized by the US House of Representatives.

DONATE: At the door - suggested $10 Students/ $20 General, or online

For more information, or to donate in advance/after the event, please visit:

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