Savage Bean hosts fundraiser for Cassopolis student performing at Carnegie Hall

Published 3:00 pm Monday, November 20, 2023

CASSOPOLIS — Community members and local businesses came together at Savage Bean Coffee Co. Friday to help support Cassopolis musician Seth Kalina and his quest to perform on one of the country’s biggest stages.

Savage Bean hosted a fundraiser for Kalina to raise money toward Kalina’s participation in the Honors Performance Series Feb. 7-11, 2024 at Carnegie Hall. The four-hour event featured performances from local musician Rick Drews as well as Kalina performing with local band Terry and The Heartbeats.

“Seth is a key individual in our community and he brings a lot of vibrance everyday within the school system and also throughout our community by playing at several different events,” said Savage Bean co-owner Kim Savage. “He is an extraordinarily talented individual and we’re all here tonight to support him and give him the best.”

Kalina, a senior tenor saxophone player at Ross Beatty High School, was selected as one of 500 young musicians from around the world to perform at the legendary venue. 100 percent of ticket sales and donations went toward flights and accommodations for Kalina and his family. Thanks to those contributions, Seth and his parents’ trip is fully paid for.

“Donations like that pushed him and his parents to be able to go comfortably,” Savage said. “We thank every single person here tonight that has given up their time to come out and listen to these amazing artists. We couldn’t have done this event without each and every person here.”

Upon his arrival, Kalina was greeted by a performance from his Cassopolis bandmates flanked outside Savage Bean.

“I didn’t know what to expect,” Kalina said. “It was pretty cool seeing everybody come out. “It means a lot to see everybody get together and help me do this special event.”

Saxophonist Randy Radke was one of the musicians performing Friday night and has known Kalina for a few years having played together as members of Terry and The Heartbeats. Radke was happy to be performing for a great cause.

“I think this is pretty amazing,” Radke said. “Seth is quite a horn player for his age and has a dedication to what he does. I’ve seen him grow in the last couple of years as far as his sound and what he does on solo work and stuff like that. I’ve been playing for quite a few years and he’s giving me a run for my money… He’s got a great ear, he deserves it.”

The event was the latest example of Savage’s vision to create a space to provide musical, cultural and informational programming to the community.

“This is about Seth Kalina tonight,” she said. “Thank you for helping us do this. It’s important for us as a community to bridge all the gaps in our community. That is what this coffee shop has set out to do with every other business that is partnering with us throughout the evening, and throughout the years and years to come.”