HEART & JOAN JETT & THE BLACKHEARTS HEADLINE HISTORIC EARTH DAY CONCERT AT EMP MUSEUM TO BENEFIT WILD ORCA RESEARCH AND ADVOCACY
With all the recent controversy surrounding captive orcas, Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart decided it was high time to celebrate the wild ones.
Heart and fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Joan Jett & The Blackhearts will headline an historic concert at EMP Museum’s spectacular “Sky Church” this Earth Day, April 22nd, to benefit wild orca research and advocacy. Joining Heart and Joan Jett will be Seattle’s own Grammy Award-winning recording artist and producer Sir Mix-a-Lot, Country Joe McDonald of “Woodstock” fame, and New York-based musician and activist Andrew Morse. Also on the bill for “Kiss the Sky! The Orca Freedom Concert” is an extraordinary up-and-coming LA-based singer/songwriter and guitar virtuoso Arielle, a protégé of Queen’s Brian May. The event will be emceed by legendary Seattle radio personality Norman B.
The Earth Day concert and subsequent hour-long broadcast special are being produced by Seattle-based network journalist (ABC News and others) and wildlife filmmaker Michael Harris, together with EMP Museum Public Programming Producer Andrew McKeag. The sponsors are Guitar Center, and the Pacific Whale Watch Association.
“Ann and Nancy and I worked together several years ago on a syndicated series for young people entitled ‘Baby Wild Films Presents,’ with Nancy hosting and narrating,” remembers Harris. “One of those specials we did was called ‘The Killer Whale People,’ and so I had the pleasure of taking Nancy out with our wild orcas. I think it was her first time seeing them in the wild, and she was hooked.”
So much so, in fact, that the Wilsons teamed up with longtime songwriting partner Sue Ennis and wrote a song about orcas called “Baby Wild,” which Nancy performed in a wonderful beach campfire scene that ends the special, and then later recorded in studio with seven-time ASCAP Award-winning Hollywood composer and Baby Wild Films Executive Producer Tim Truman. The show went on to win several Emmy Awards.
“I’ve been doing network television for over 25 years now and that experience still tops the list,” Harris continues. “I’ve spent a good part of my life amongst whales and wildlife, but watching Nancy see these wild orcas for the first time was a kick. It was like I was seeing them for the first time too, through her eyes. This legendary rock-and-roller, this power chord guitar slinger, suddenly became a kid again. You could see the transformation, as I’ve seen with so many others who experience orcas in the wild. But most importantly, Nancy immediately made the connection that this isn’t Shamu – this is the real SeaWorld, this is where orcas belong. As she says in the show, ‘this is where orcas reach for the sky, but not on command.’ When I was asked to approach Ann and Nancy about doing this benefit, I think I got a ‘yes’ from them in about five minutes.”