While the homeless community in Santa Cruz struggles to get by, local band Dan P. and the Bricks gives money back to the community. On Jan. 21, Kuumbwa Jazz Center is clearing its seating for a dance floor and hosting the band’s latest album release. All proceeds from the event will be donated to the Homeless Service Center of Santa Cruz.
With a five-piece horn section, two guitars, an organ, a bass and drums, Dan P. and the Bricks are a rocking 10-member ska band from Santa Cruz. Their latest album, “Watch Where You Walk,” was released from Asian Man Records in November 2011 and was voted No. 1 of the top 10 albums of 2011 by Upstarter Punk Reviews.
“We’re a local band, we play local shows, so we wanted to help a local charity that helps the homeless,” said Dan Potthast, the band’s lead singer.
Since the band formed in 2009, their goal has been to play locally and raise money for local charities. Their fundraisers have included a concert for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Hospice of Santa Cruz County, and the Surf City AIDS Ride that benefited the Santa Cruz AIDS Project.
Dan P. and the Bricks, who regularly play street shows on Pacific Avenue, said they play most of their shows for the homeless community.
“We show up on Pacific with a piano, a drum set and play free shows for anyone on the street,” Potthast said.
In this event, as in their past philanthropic events, the band feels supported in their efforts.
“You discover other people in the community that are like-minded and want to help out,” Potthast said. “We’re fortunate to have a lot of community to help out with this show.”
The Santa Cruz Homeless Service Center is an organization dedicated to providing emergency and transitional services to homeless individuals and families. It has four different programs that offer an abundance of resources like shelter, hot showers, meals, phone use, an address from which to send and receive mail and many other benefits.
Mareisa Weil, Homeless Service Center development manager, is thrilled about the band’s donations.
“It’s really special when an artist wants to get involved with our program,” Weil said. “There’s something really special about music and art that brings a community together. It has a lot of power and impact.”
Both Potthast and Weil predict the show will sell out. With a 200-person venue capacity and tickets at $9 a piece, that is a potential donation of $1,800. The funds will be used for general operating funds within the organization.
The Homeless Service Center is also enthusiastic about the event being held at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center, another nonprofit.
“It’s two great local organizations with a great local band, coming together to help people who just need a little bit of extra support to get them on their feet,” Weil said.
Clutch Couriers, a local bike messenger service, has been supporting the event by donating its printing and poster distribution services.
Richard Graves, who works for the Couriers, said the organization donated its time because all the sales were going to benefit the Homeless Services Center.
“Big ups to Phil and the band, as well as the Kuumbwaa for setting this up — true humanitarians,” Graves said. “Myself and other crew members have been homeless at one time. I have seen how when you give a leg-up to someone, you never know how far they can go.”