By Karen Ostlund
Red Carpet photos by Harmony Gerber
HOLLYWOOD CA, (Hollywood Today) 2/12/2013 -The inaugural Whole Planet Foundation Pre-Grammy Benefit was presented by Sambazon, and was held at the historic East West Recording Studios, 6000 W. Sunset Blvd in Hollywood, last Wednesday. The studio is actually an enormous labyrinth of meeting and recording rooms, which recently was updated by renowned designer Philippe Starck, where legendary artists including Frank Sinatra, Barbara Streisand, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys and many others have recorded their iconic hits in the past.
“We are here to raise awareness of Whole Planet Foundations micro-lending efforts to struggling companies’ world wide and to honor cultural icons Darryl Hannah, Jason Mraz, Jack Johnson and Jessica Alba for their commitment to promoting sustainable practices and changing global environments”
“Whole Planet Foundation was founded in 2005 and is a private, nonprofit organization established by Whole Foods Market”
“We provide grants to microfinance institutions in Latin America, Africa and Asia who in turn develop and offer micro enterprise loan programs, training and other financial services to the self-employed poor”.
The evening included performances by GRAMMY winners Ozomalti, and leading artists as Meiko, Venice, Stephen Perkins of Jane’s, Steel Toed Slippers, Native June, Raining Jane, Veronica Romeo and emcee Geno Michellini.
Headliner Los Angeles band Ozomalti’s music is described as “a notorious urban-Latino-and-beyond collision of hip hop and salsa, dancehall and cumbia, samba and funk, merengue and comparsa”. They have also their own OZO Espresso coffee out on the market.
This pre-Grammy concert coincides with Whole Planet Foundation’s annual fundraising campaign. Proceeds from the evening, went directly to the foundation to support its efforts to alleviate global poverty through micro credit and entrepreneurship programs in 55 countries around the world, including the United States.
The event was sponsored by Whole Foods Market West Hollywood, Chivas Regal and Gibson Pro Audio brands Cerwin Vega and Stanton, and was produced by Planet LA Music and Clamorhouse.
Other event partners included Hubert’s Lemonade, Tito’s Vodka, pop chips, KIND Healthy Snacks, VOSS Water, Ciao Bella Gelato Co., Stone Brewing Company, Uber Cars and Wild Soul.
Supporters included Essentia, Hand in Hand Soap, Hint, Justin’s, Late July Organic, PACT, Pretzel Crisps, Reason, The Republic of Tea, Steaz, Tasty Brand, VOS, World Centric, and Zevia.
The foundation was formed with the entrepreneurial spirit of Whole Foods Market in partnership with Professor Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank, co-recipients of 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. (wholeplanetfoundation.org.)