SOURCE: Westone Laboratories, Inc.

September 14, 2011 17:02 ET

Westone Expands Partnership With Playing For Change and Teams Up With OneDrum to Sponsor an African Roots Reggae Benefit Concert

Playing For Change Band Members Use Westone's High Performance In-Ear Monitoring Technology

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO--(Marketwire - Sep 14, 2011) - Westone Laboratories, Inc., a leading manufacturer of high-performance earphones, has partnered with OneDrum Productions to sponsor a benefit concert to support the Playing For Change Foundation's Bizung School of Music and Dance, the only tuition-free school in Northern Ghana. Westone provides Elite Series ES5 in-ear monitors to Playing For Change artists and chose to expand its support of the non-profit organization by sponsoring the benefit and encouraging the development of future musicians.

"The Playing For Change Foundation is honored that Westone has continued their sponsorship by supporting this benefit concert for the Bizung School, which epitomizes what we dream of accomplishing at PFCF -- spreading inspiration and encouraging creative expression and cross-cultural learning," said Whitney Kroenke, executive director of the Playing For Change Foundation.

"Westone is proud to be working closely with Playing For Change artists to provide them with our Elite Series ES5 in-ear monitors and support the Playing For Change Foundation's global education initiative," said David Slepak, marketing director at Westone. "As musicians here at Westone, we are committed to supporting music education, as well as educating aspiring young artists about hearing conservation and safety -- supporting the Bizung School of Music and Dance is a great opportunity to reach out to the next generation of artists."

Headlining the Playing For Change Foundation benefit and hailing from St. Croix, Virgin Islands, is Reggae band Midnite, known for its old school Roots Reggae sound, with Mohammed Alidu & the Bizung Family Band opening the show.

Alidu, founder and artistic director of the Bizung School of Music and Dance as well as percussionist for the Playing For Change band, was born into the Bizung lineage of talking drum chiefs of Northern Ghana dating back over 1,000 years. He has a vested interest in the preservation of the concert's beneficiary, the Bizung School, which is located in his hometown of Tamale, Ghana.

"When I was little, all I wanted to do was go to school. I would walk there and look through the window wishing I could be part of the class with my friends, but we didn't have the money," said Alidu, also a former instructor of African dance and drumming at the University of Colorado at Boulder. "Through the Playing For Change Foundation schools, I am hoping kids like me will have the opportunity to explore music, which was so important to me as a child. Music will give them hope and give life to their dreams."

The Bizung School of Music & Dance provides the children of Tamale free courses in drumming, dance, xylophone, gonje and vocals. For many of the students, this is their first time attending a school of any kind, since all other schools currently require tuition to attend. Construction of the Bizung School was completed in February 2010, and after hiring teachers, planning curriculum, and enrolling 150 students, classes began in May 2010.

Event Details and Tickets
The Playing For Change Foundation benefit will be held at Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom in Denver on Saturday, September 24, 2011, at 8:00 p.m. Tickets can be purchased for $20 through the venue's website http://www.cervantesmasterpiece.com/show/detail/50658
or by phone at 303-297-1772 or at Cervantes' Box Office
Monday - Thursday 8 am - 6 pm, Friday 8 am - 11:30 pm and Saturday 1 pm - 11:30 pm.
VIP tickets are also available for $50 and include preferred seating and access to an open/private bar.

About Westone Laboratories, Inc.
Westone, the In-Ear Experts since 1959, has been at the forefront of in-ear monitoring technology since the early 1990s. Westone offers a wide range of custom and universal-fit products for music lovers, athletes and musicians the world over. For more information, contact David Slepak at (800) 525-5071 or dslepak@westone.com or visit westonemusicproducts.com.

About Playing For Change
The Playing For Change Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to creating positive social change through music education. We are driven by the belief that peace and change are possible through the universal language of music. By providing children a safe place to learn, flourish and express themselves, PFCF programs provide a creative alternative to the struggles many children face daily. To date, seven music schools and programs have been created in countries including South Africa, Ghana, Mali, Rwanda, and Nepal. Each offers students the mentorship and guidance they need to grow and thrive through interactions with other students, schools, teachers, and musical cultures.

About OneDrum Productions
OneDrum produces benefit concerts that connect music fans, corporate sponsors, entertainment contributors, and international NGOs with the common goal of raising awareness and funds to improve the social and environmental conditions of people around the globe. Visit www.onedrumfoundation.org to learn more.

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