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Spotlight: Music for a cause

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Alex Ross Photo Pictured from left are Brady Chambers, Jocelyn Smith, Jeffrey Cabana, Will Webber and Carlos Brady of the local band GdP as they play a free “pop-up show” Sunday evening at Reischman Park in downtown Roswell. Donations were accepted with all money going to the Roswell Homeless Coalition. Cabana said Monday the show had raised $65 for the Homeless Coalition.

The band GdP introduces pop-up concerts to Roswell

By Christina Stock

Vision Editor

Anybody who braved the weather driving or walking by Reischman Park downtown Main Street last Sunday could enjoy tunes from the band GdP, which stands for Gross domestic People. The band started a tradition in April, which Jeffrey Cabana, drummer of the band, encountered first growing up on the East Coast.

“They have done it since the ‘90s, but nobody does it here,” Cabana said. The band’s pop-up shows use all tips or donations for nonprofit causes. GdP’s first concert went to benefit Roswell’s Homeless Coalition, last Sunday’s concert was planned to support a new children’s playground, Horizon Park, with the donations going to the New Mexico Autism Society who is working toward creating an “all-inclusive” playground for children with disabilities, as well as those without.

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Unfortunately, with the downpour, only a few people showed up, but the band is already planning another concert to make up for it.

“I don’t have an exact date yet,” Cabana said. “I don’t like to announce a date if I don’t have the permit in hand, because we have a permit every time — we do it by the book. We are hoping in two to three weeks.”

Asked why he started the pop-up charity concerts, Cabana said, “My two biggest passions in life are music and charity. I don’t have a lot of money, I have four kids, I work. I do have other things I can donate. I have musical talent and ability, which I describe as being a superpower in a way. I also have a good strong work ethic, I donate my time, my effort, anything that it takes to help a good cause.

“Horizon Park, that one is close to my heart actually,” Cabana said. “I spent most of my childhood in a wheelchair, due that I was born disabled, had surgeries and so on. I know what it’s like to be the kid in the park that can’t (participate), just watching the other kids have fun.”

Like many other bands, GdP evolved with time. According to Cabana, it started out with three musicians, including himself, who specialized in acoustic music, while he would make jokes in between the songs. “It was more like a comedy show,” he said.

Today, the band has five members and performs a variety of music from oldies to ‘80s music and metal. Members are Will Weber, lead singer; Brady Chambers, guitarist; Carlos Brady, guitarist; Jocelyn Smith on bass and Cabana on drums.

Having a female bass player is unusual for the region. “She is fairly new to music,” Cabana said. “The band has been together a year and a half total, and she’s just been playing bass, maybe four months before that. One day, she wanted to learn music. She’s dating Carlos, so she decided that she wanted to play music along with him — then I joined in. She is very inspirational. She’s playing at The Liberty with us and all over. She just started. People don’t realize she is still new. She is definitely a natural. She didn’t pick up a bass until she was 35 or 36. Just goes to show, you can do anything.”

Cabana said that the entire band is in favor of the benefit pop-up shows. Asked about its music style, he said, “Our originals are probably more the modern age rock that you hear on the radio today, but our covers are all over the place. We cover everyone from the Beatles to pop singers, to heavy metal, anything that gets eyebrows raised.”

Weber joined the band in August last year. Asked how long he had been a musician, Weber said, “Fifteen years, about as long as I’ve lived in Roswell.” Weber is originally from California. “I was born in Monterey, spent my childhood along the coast,” he said.

Weber got to know Cabana while he was part of another band. “Jeff recorded the album for my last band I was in,” he said.

Asked how he felt about the pop-up concerts, Weber said, “it’s something important. I always wanted to be more active in community stuff. Doing this is a great opportunity to doing it. It’s right downtown where we are doing it — we get band exposure, there are a lot of tourists who hear us and then, it’s also giving exposure to these nonprofits out there that benefit. A lot of people didn’t know that there was the Homeless Coalition and a shelter.”

“I think it is great doing it at Reischman,” Cabana said. “People are coming and going from shops and the UFO museum. Tourists are our target, because people are here to spend money. When you are on vacation, they want to donate or help out, because you’re spending money anyway.

“I also want people to know that we are open, if they have a charitable cause that people need money for, let us know,” Cabana said. “The ones we picked so far are just the ones that friends of ours are involved in and are on my timeline constantly. That’s kind of how we picked them so far. Just the ones we know of. We are open to doing more and with others.”

The band is active on social media, mainly Facebook, but — according to Weber and Cabana — they are looking to branch out to Instagram, possibly Twitter and YouTube.

“When I created the flier on Facebook, it automatically generated a donate tab,” Weber said. “So we picked the New Mexico Autism Society, which are people who are heading the Horizon Park. We added that to the event, so people can actually click on there to donate.”

The band is also looking for other musicians to participate in pop-up concerts. “I am open for other musicians to come help us out. It doesn’t always have to be us playing it. We are more than happy making fliers, organizing the event, offer the equipment,” Weber said. “We want to set the example and do our part to not only better but further the Roswell music scene. Do what we can.”

According to Cabana, the band has just recorded an EP locally. “We’ll be having a release party for it, nothing solid yet, we are getting it back from the studio, fine-tuning it,” he said.

For more information, visit GdP’s Facebook page or email gross.domestic.people@gmail.com.