Sting Sings For Rain Forest - Benefit With Jobim Raises $250,000...
Sting and Brazil's Antonio Carlos Jobim raised an estimated $250,000 for The Rainforest Foundation with a benefit concert and dinner on March 10.
Patrons paid as much as $25,000 for a package of 36 seats for the show, dinner, and extras, down to $35 for a single ticket to the Carnegie Hall concert. The foundation, which works with the Indians in Brazil to protect the rain forest and the rights of its inhabitants, spends its money on political action, raising public awareness, and medical care for rain forest tribes.
The three-hour, sold-out show opened with Sting and his band, in black-tie, playing a 45-minute acoustic set that stressed his jazz leanings more than the rock side he is showing on his current tour.
He was followed by Elton John, who performed two tunes alone on the piano and was then joined by Sting for 'Come Down In Time' from 'Tumbleweed Connection'.
Prior to an intermission, contemporary Brazilian singers Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil performed togeilier and separately.
After a brief pause, Sting and his wife, Trudie Styler, who sits on the Rainforest Foundation's U.S. Board of Directors along with Sting, Susie Field, Gil Friesen, and others, introduced a short film about the rain forest. Next came a rambling, passionate speech by Amazon Indian Chief Raoni in his native tongue that was finally interrupted by his interpreter, who read a one-minute translation of his 10 minute speech.
The rest of the evening belonged to Jobim, Brazil's bossa nova king, who performed for nearly an hour with five female singers and a band. He profusely praised Sting, saying the singer was "very nice and very generous... but sometimes a little naive to help the Indians. It's not always so easy to do." He then welcomed Sting out to sing the Jobim standard 'How Insensitive'
The night ended on a slightly scattered note as all the performers gathered onstage to good-naturedly bumble through an obviously unrehearsed version of Jobim's best known number, 'The Girl From Ipanema'.
© Billboard by Melinda Newman