A California Jam Session evolves into a WEFTEC tradition of music, fellowship, and good doings.
Musicians inevitably find other like-minds and talents with which to play. In today’s world – apps and websites more frequently bring musicians together; so does WEF. WEF Members networking about water quality expanded their focus in 2012 to enjoy a side helping of musical fellowship and charity fundraising. That first year, two dozen WEFTEC attendees gathered at Diego Rosso’s studio in Los Angeles. That early “word of mouth” session conceived the popular and fast-growing water industry related musical collaboration and charity event: Jammin’ 4 Water.
Following the 2012 gathering, a core of the musicians and supporters noted the interest on both the performing and spectating side of the stage to expand into a more organized event. Chandler Johnson (hard rocker) and Matt Livingston (mandolin) approached Dave Kinnear (guitar) and offered to step up monetarily if they could take it to a higher level. They decided to secure an appropriate venue to raise money for water related charities. A few phone calls and emails later Kinnear was able to secure the sponsorships. WEF Students and Young Professionals Committee (SYPC) were identified as the original recipient with proceeds going benefitting their Chicago Service Project.
The Saturday night before the 2013 WEFTEC in Chicago the first official event occurred. Musicians, friends, family, sponsors, WEFTEC attendees and WEF SYPC filled the room to the 150 person capacity. Musicians also donated to the charity cause to secure a stage spot – and the rights to perform and produce their bucket-list music before an enthusiastic audience. Some songs were solo; others were truly a jam session with a full stage. “In addition to supporting water charities, the garage band sensation excited both young and old WEF professionals alike. It was WEF meets Woodstock, the positive grove requires it to be continued” said Dave Kinnear.
In 2014 the core group incorporated, assembled a formal Board of Directors, and obtained 501c non-profit status. “Water Charities Fundraising” was organized to host an annual charity event on the Saturday prior to the WEFTEC™ conference. The event, Jammin’4Water, consists of an open microphone format with eclectic live performances by WEFTEC attendees. The fundraising focus on water-related charities donated $17,000 to the following:
- WEF SYPC
- Water for People
- Global H2O
The House of Blues in the New Orleans French Quarter hosted the 2014 J4W with Tom Kunetz and Mary Knosby serving as the Masters of Ceremony. Over 30 musicians entertained almost 300 attendees. Performances ranged from traditional Irish and bluegrass to rock & roll, with standards like “House of the Rising Sun,” Jethro Tull’s standby “Cross-Eyed Mary” and Guns N’ Roses “Sweet Child of Mine.” Sponsors went beyond donating and bought tickets for clients and manufacturers representative. “Initially, we signed up to support our musical friend and Rep, Max Foster of Premier Water. We couldn’t be happier that it has evolved beyond great music and diverse audience to a water related charity fundraiser. We are very proud to be a part of this special event”, said sponsor Custom Conveyor Corporation President Dave Caspersen. The sponsoring organizations included:
- World Water Works
- Custom Conveyor Corporation
- PC Construction
- Huber USA
- HDR Engineering
- Garney Construction
- CH2M Hill
- Indigo Water Group
- Brown and Caldwell
- Premier Water
The Third Annual Jammin’4Water 2015 will be held in Chicago on Saturday, September 26 from 6:00 pm. Venue selection is underway. More than 70 artists have expressed an interest in performing. What started out with a few people Jammin’ one weekend has turned into something special. Look for Jammin’ 4 Water to continue on a high note.
Water Charities Fundraising Board of Directors:
Dave Kinnear, President (HDR Engineering)
Mike Cecil, Vice President, Fundraising (PC Construction)
Max Foster, Treasure, Fundraising (Premier Water)
Greg Hyde, Promotion (Custom Conveyor Corporation)
Chandler Johnson, Fundraising (World Water Works)
Matt Livingston, Promotion (Novozymes)
Diego Rosso (University of California, Irvine)Ole Sortehaag (Cambi)
Julian Sandino, WEF Liaison (CH2M Hill)
Bob Wimmer, WEF Liaison (Black & Veatch)