NILES, Ill., March 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Nineteen years ago, El Salvador native Juan Manuel Pineda faced a bleak future. He was born with a cleft palate, lost his legs in a tragic fire at age 3, his mother died when he was 8 and he was forced into a contentious foster situation. However, thanks to the Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos (NPH, Spanish for "Our Little Brothers and Sisters") orphanage in El Salvador, he found the love and stability he needed to thrive. Today, as a 22-year-old talented musician with loving, extended families in both El Salvador and Chicago, Juan's heart of gold is compelling him to pay it forward.
On Fri., May 13 at 6:30pm, Pineda is inviting music lovers of all ages to the Step Forward Tour, a concert at Chicago's Park West Theater. Proceeds will benefit Friends of the Orphans for St. Damien Hospital in Haiti to provide medical care and rehabilitation to amputee victims of the country's Jan. 2010 earthquake. Friends of the Orphans (www.friendsoftheorphans.org) is a Chicago-based nonprofit that supports the work of NPH in nine Latin American and Caribbean countries, and transforms the lives of orphaned, abandoned and disadvantaged children.
Hosted by Pineda and joined by a group of talented industry musicians, the family-friendly concert will be an evening to remember.
Confirmed guests include:
- Steve Augeri: Journey lead singer from 1998-2006 and successful solo artist
- Gina Glocksen: 9th place finalist on season six of American Idol
- Erica Iozzo: Chicago-based indie rock musician with dedicated Midwest following
- Chris Medina: Season 10 American Idol contestant who caught judges' attention with both his strong singing voice and love for his fiancee who was severely injured in a car accident
- Rich Perez: Described by three-time Grammy winner Pink as "an insanely great singer," he is front man for Chicago-based band "Creedance Again"
- Amber Tripp: High energy front woman for CoverGurl and driving force on Chicago music scene for the past ten years
"I am thrilled and honored to be a part this year's Step Forward Concert benefiting Friends of the Orphans, and drawing attention to such an important and worthy cause," said Steve Augeri. "I hope to see many music fans there for a very special night."
Approximately 2,000 to 4,000 children and adults endured amputations in Haiti as a result of last January's 7.0-magnitude earthquake. An orphan and double-amputee himself, Pineda—more than anyone—understands their need for medical care, prosthetics and rehab to regain control of their future.
Erica Iozzo said, "It is a great honor to be a part of such a memorable event. This concert is giving all of the performers and all of the people that attend an opportunity to give to the children of Haiti. Juan Manuel Pineda is doing a fantastic job providing this cause with a strong voice."
On Friday, May 13, the Park West (322 W. Armitage Avenue, Chicago) doors will open at 6:30p.m., with the concert beginning at 8:00p.m. There is a variety of individual, group and VIP ticket options available, as well as corporate sponsorship opportunities.
To learn more and purchase tickets for the Step Forward Tour, visit www.thesoundofgratitude.com or call Robin at 847-647-7500.
SOURCE Step Forward Tour