Chicago musician Nicholas Tremulis was planning to perform at a benefit concert this year in support of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) as a way to honor the memory of Elvira Castaneda, the mother of Chris Castaneda, a board member with the Beverly Area Arts Alliance.
The concert was postponed until next year due to COVID-19, but now that Tremulis has experienced family tragedy on several levels, Castaneda and The Alliance are rallying behind him.
Tremulis’ 26-year-old son, Stephanos, recently died in a car accident, and Tremulis is currently battling COVID-19.
The Alliance will host a backyard concert featuring musician Jon Langford on Aug. 29, and proceeds will benefit the GoFundMe campaign for the Tremulis Family.
Castaneda grew up listening to Tremulis and said the concert is a great way to help.
“I wanted to do something just because of how much he and his music have meant to my family,” Castaneda said. “It’s just our way of doing what we can for a local musician. It’s our way of just showing him support.”
Tickets to the concert are $45, and only 40 will be sold to allow for social distancing, although donations will still be accepted. The location of the backyard is in Beverly and will be provided to buyers upon purchase.
Gates will open at 5 p.m., with Langford performing at 6 p.m.
Castaneda said he discovered Tremulis’ music, which includes a mix of rock, R&B and pop, when he was 6 years old through the record collection of his father, Jesse. Castaneda’s parents saw Tremulis perform live, then met him after the show in a bar, where he signed a beer coaster.
Castaneda’s father recently found that coaster while organizing around the house and framed the momento.
According to The Alliance, Tremulis, who grew up in Greektown and Northbrook, is known for giving back, and from 1999 through 2003, he organized The Waltz benefit concerts at the Metro, a venue on the North Side, with proceeds benefiting local organizations. Over $200,000 was raised.
Castaneda said when he asked Tremulis to perform at the ADA show, Tremulis “said yes on the spot.” Castaneda just wanted him to play one song—“Maybe I’m Amazed,” by Paul McCartney—and Tremulis jumped off the phone, practiced it on the piano, started singing verses, then signed on. Tremulis also reached out to Bun E. Carlos, the original drummer for the rock band Cheap Trick.
Langford, who has punk roots but also performs country and folk, has often played with Tremulis, Castaneda said, and was planning to be in a show in Beverly this summer supporting renovations at the Givins Castle at 103rd Street and Longwood Drive; that concert was also canceled.
Castaneda felt that Langford was the right choice to play at the concert supporting Tremulis.
“I thought this was a good way to at least do something with Jon,” Castaneda said. “It’s a friend of Nick’s, so that way we can have Jon come down here; he’s familiar with the neighborhood a little bit. He was my first choice and the first person I thought of.”
Castaneda said Langford is multi-talented.
“He brings a very wide pallet of music to perform,” Castaneda said. “He performs with that punk piss-and-vinegar attitude, but he’ll be singing about miners from the ’20s on strike.”
Langford will also sell a limited number of digital reproductions of his paintings, printed on paper and mounted on wood, and he has autographed each piece. Those proceeds will also benefit the Tremulus GoFundMe effort.
The show will also sell Goose Island CIVL Pale Ale, which supports the Chicago Independent Venue League.
With its usual summer events canceled, The Alliance has hosted two other outdoor backyard concerts. Both have sold out, Castaneda said.
Guests have social distanced appropriately, and he hopes to host another show in September.
“Everyone’s been really enjoying the experience and is being respectful of the guidelines,” Castaneda said. “We haven’t had any issues on that front. … I’m very happy with how things have been going so far.”
For more information, visit The Alliance website at beverlyarts.org.