Link Between African Americans and Kidney Disease Spawns Festival Featuring Kidney Disease Survivor Natalie Cole

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    On August 22, “On The Vine,” a four-day music and entertainment festival starring Natalie Cole and benefiting kidney disease research will launch. “On The Vine” will take place on the island of Martha’s Vineyard August 22 – 25, and will feature live performances by Kenny “BabyFace” Edmonds, jazz greats Kahil El Zabar, Roy Hargrove and James Carter, music legend and icon Smokey Robinson, comedian and kidney disease survivor Richard Lewis, Grammy Award winning violinist Miri Ben-Ari, singer-songwriter Angie Stone and others.

    “On The Vine” is slated to be an annual event benefiting the Rambam Health Care Campus located in Haifa, Israel and will help fund the kidney disease research of Prof. Karl Skorecki. This year, the event’s biggest evening will star Cole, a multiple Grammy Award winner, songwriter, performer, author and kidney disease survivor.

    According to Skorecki, 40 million Americans have kidney disease, almost 12 million of whom are Black. African Americans are 3.5 times more likely to suffer from kidney disease. While African Americans account for only 14 percent of the population, they make up 30 percent of all patients treated for kidney failure. Of the 580,000 Americans on dialysis due to kidney failure, African Americans constitute 187,000 – nearly a third.

    African American patients often wait up to ten years before getting a match for a transplant because there are fewer potential donors for Black people.

    Breakthrough medical research led by Dr. Karl Skorecki and his team based at Rambam Hospital in Israel, has isolated genetic markers that are linked to contracting kidney disease, as the first step to prevention and cure.

    “It is my understanding that we are five years and $5 million dollars away from finding a cure for kidney disease among African-Americans. I am proud to have the opportunity to produce a benefit that will generate funds for a history making medical breakthrough,” said Dennis Shortt, founder and executive producer of On The Vine.

    “It has been a great experience working with Michele Segelnick, executive director of American Friends of Rambam, and we are looking forward to four days of entertainment from a great lineup of talent, and kicking off a benefit for kidney disease that will continue yearly as an ongoing tradition.”

    “On The Vine” is a Heard It Through The Grapevine Production created and executive produced by Dennis Shortt, Chief Creative Officer of Concretemixx22, a Chicago based touch marketing agency. Shortt and The American Friends of Rambam created the festival to generate awareness and funding support for this lifesaving research discovery.

    Below is the “On The Vine” festival schedule: (subject to change)

    THURSDAY, AUGUST 22, 2013 “THE SHOWCASE” – THE FOUR DAYS of entertainment opens with a music legend, Motown great Smokey Robinson. Smokey’s vocals create high appeal for the ON THE VINE benefit. Partnered with Smokey for a very special opening performance is Angie Stone. The R&B and soul artist is a singer-songwriter and producer; she has a big sound ON THE VINE is proud to Showcase.

    Location: Tabernacle – Trinity Park, Oak Bluffs (Martha’s Vineyard), MA 02557

    FRIDAY, AUGUST 23, 2013 “THE ELEVATION PROJECT” – This late afternoon happy hour event is a music and art creation of Kahil El’Zabar known as one of the world’s greatest jazz percussionist. El’Zabar brings his creation designed for the South of France to ON THE VINE on Martha’s Vineyard. During the R&B and Jazz performance live art is created; painting, sculpturing, videography capped off with an exclusive trend fashion show.

    Location: The Featherstone Arts Center – 30 Featherstone LN, Oak Bluffs (Martha’s Vineyard) MA 02557

    SATURDAY, AUGUST 24, 2013 – “LINEN & LOVE” IN CLASSIC BLACK – This evening one of America’s most beloved entertainers, nine-time Grammy Award winner and kidney survivor Ms. Natalie Cole, will perform. This will be a star-studded evening of entertainment headlined by Ms. Natalie Cole and featuring one of the most talented singer-songwriters of our time, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds. The evening is hosted by comedian, actor (Curb Your Enthusiasm) and kidney survivor, Richard Lewis. This evening also features Grammy Award winning violinist Miri Ben-Ari.

    Location: Tabernacle – Trinity Park, Oak Bluffs (Martha’s Vineyard), MA 02557

    SUNDAY, AUGUST 25, 2013 – “DELIBERATE DISTORTIONS” – The four-day entertainment benefit ends with a pure jazz brunch for jazz lovers. The stellar talents are assembled by jazz percussionist Kahil El’Zabar featuring headliners trumpet great Roy Hargrove and saxophone sensation James Carter, for a collaboration first in jazz history. Closing out four days of fundraising is a check presentation to American Friends of Rambam Health Care Campus for Kidney Disease Research and Martha’s Vineyard Hospital Dialysis Center.

    Location: The Featherstone Arts Center – 30 Featherstone LN, Oak Bluffs (Martha’s Vineyard) MA 02557

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