The House of Music concert to benefit unsheltered, at-risk youth

The House of Music concert to benefit unsheltered, at-risk youth

Celebrity Cuban bands, youth from The House of Music program will play at the May 1 event

By Victor Ortiz, Jr.

The House of Music, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, will present “Cuba Llego,” a concert fundraiser benefiting unsheltered and at-risk youth who are part of its program.

The concert will be hosted beginning at 5 p.m. on May 1 at The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park and will feature celebrity Cuban bands Los Van Van and Havana D’Primera

As a highlight, children who are part of The House of Music’s program will be performing a rendition of the late Tito Puente’s “Oye Como Va.” 

Founded by San Diego City College alum Chris Springer in 2019, The House of Music does not have a physical facility of its own, but instead travels to community partner organizations with established facilities that serve the unsheltered population. 

“I noticed in the more affluent areas they have orchestras and they have great music programs, but in the lower-income neighborhoods, in the more underserved areas, there are zero music programs,” Springer said to City Times Media during a March 26 podcast interview. “We take our programs to the schools, to the living centers where these kids are.” 

Springer’s goal for youth who are part of the program is to provide support, mentorship, and life skills through teaching Latin music, specifically salsa. 

“It’s about mentoring, teaching kids confidence,” Springer said. “Teamwork is very important. In a salsa band or whatever type of band, you have to play together. Every instrument you have to play together. You don’t have to outshine each other unless it’s time to solo.” 

The youth who participate with The House of Music music program celebrate another successful day of practice, alongside their instructors. Photo by Victor Ortiz, Jr./ City Times Media
The youth who participate with The House of Music music program celebrate another successful day of practice, alongside their instructors. Photo by Victor Ortiz, Jr./ City Times Media

The youth enrolled with The House of Music receive a brand-new, state-of-the-art instrument upon completion of their first year in the program as a reward for both their hard work and attendance.

The types of instruments the students receive depend on which one they are learning. The conga drums and timbales are the most popular.

In order to fund programs like those The House of Music offers, fundraisers like the “Cuba Llego” benefit concert are held.  

“Fundraising is a big part of what we do,” Springer said.

The money raised is used to help pay for instruments, instructional supplies and teachers.  

Los Van Van and Havana D’Primera are both internationally recognized salsa groups. 

For more information regarding The House of Music’s mission and purpose, you can visit its website.

Tickets for the concert fundraiser are on sale now and can be found here. 

*This story originally appeared on the San Diego City College digital media website, City Times Media.

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