HAAM’s Ray Benson Birthday Bash Raises $260K for Austin Musicians with Surprise Performance by Spoon
Spoon and Sabrina Ellis from A Giant Dog and Sweet Spirit | Image Credit: Rachel K. Belkin
With the rising cost of living in Austin, the city’s vibrant music scene faces mounting challenges. Over 8,000 musicians in the greater Austin area struggle to afford basic necessities, including healthcare.
Fortunately, the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM) offers a lifeline to more than 3,000 local musicians. They provide comprehensive healthcare services, including dental, vision, hearing, wellness, and highly trained healthcare navigators for those in need. HAAM’s life-changing support enables musicians to stay in Austin, pursue their careers, and play the music the community loves.
Since 2005, HAAM has helped over 6,000 members access more than $123 million in healthcare services. Donations are critical for HAAM to continue serving and expanding support to Austin musicians.
One of HAAM’s most significant fundraising events is the annual Ray Benson’s Birthday Bash, featuring live music from Ray Benson and Asleep At the Wheel, along with special guests. Past performers have included George Strait, Willie Nelson, the Avett Brothers, Delbert McClinton, Chris Schiflett, Randy Rogers, and Wade Bowen.
Nearly 1500 music lovers and HAAM supporters enjoyed an exclusive and intimate night of music at the invite-only 2023 Ray Benson Birthday Bash on Tuesday, March 14, hosted at GSD&M’s backyard. The event featured diverse food and drink options and a buffet with finger sandwiches, fruits, vegetables, appetizers, and desserts such as cookies, lemon bars, and brownies.
The Tiarras kicked off the evening with a lively and eclectic performance, followed by Ray Benson and his western swing band, Asleep at the Wheel, playing classics like “Route 66”, “Miles and Miles of Texas,” and “Boogie Back to Texas.” Impressive musical talents The Shootouts, William Beckmann, and Willis Alan Ramsey joined Benson on stage.
HAAM announced a surprise performance by an Austin-based, Grammy-nominated band, leaving the crowd in suspense until the last set when emcees CBS Austin’s Trevor Scott and Chelsey Hernandez introduced the band Spoon to a roar of cheers. The spirited Sabrina Ellis from A Giant Dog and Sweet Spirit accompanied Spoon as a guest.
The illuminated Austin skyline served as the perfect backdrop for the event, making the evening a fantastic way to enjoy Austin, Texas music and support local musicians.
The event raised over $260,000 through donations, auction items, and sponsorships, demonstrating the tremendous support and love for Austin’s music community.
To donate, sponsor, or purchase tickets for future HAAM events, please visit www.myhaam.org.
For media and press coverage in the Austin, Texas area and nationwide, contact Rachel K. Belkin.
illuminated Austin skyline backdrop for 2023 Ray Benson’s Birthday Bash at GSD&M’s Backyard | Image Credit: Rachel K. Belkin The Shootouts with Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel – Austin, Texas – 2023 Ray Benson’s Birthday Bash | Image Credit: Rachel K. Belkin The Tiarras at Ray Benson’s Birthday Bash 2023 | Image Credit: Rachel K. Belkin The Tiarras at Ray Benson’s Birthday Bash 2023 | Image Credit: Rachel K. Belkin Britt Daniel – Spoon at Ray Benson’s Birthday Bash | Image Credit: Rachel K. Belkin
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