Meet the Artists:
Brevan Hampden, Co-Producer and Band Leader
Le'Andra D McPhatter, Co-Producer and Pianist
Ally J, Vocalist
Join us for Sólo Cantar: A Celebration of Life through Story and Song to raise over $20,000 for the ALS Association, North Carolina Chapter, and celebrate the life of Luis Felipe Romero Jr., who died of complications related to ALS on June 20th, 2016. Music speaks to us and heals us in powerful ways, and my father was profoundly aware of that. Give if you can, and come celebrate with us as often as you can!
This event was originally scheduled for June 20th, 2020 at the PSI Theatre of the Durham Arts Council. In light of restrictions on indoor gatherings due to COVID-19, the main event has been postponed. In the meantime, we continue bringing musical joy to people online while supporting the ALSA, beginning with the Sólo Cantar Summer Revue: Some of Dad’s Favorites on June 18th at 9pm EST.
Uncertainty and risk around COVID-19 has impacted everyone in North Carolina, and that certainly includes people living with ALS and their loved ones, many of whom need specialized care, numerous doctor’s appointments, and may live in skilled nursing facilities. Please learn more about the needs of people living with ALS here.
When we can be together, Brevan Hampden Music Productions, Le’Andra McPhatter, Ally J, LeLaina Romero (that’s me!), and a beautiful community of musicians and storytellers will celebrate Luis Felipe Romero Jr., my father, and bring Sólo Cantar to life—first on the stage at PSI Theatre and again with DJ Gemynii in Semans Gallery!
Luis Felipe Romero Jr:
My father was born in Humacao, Puerto Rico on January 18th, 1948 and moved to Red Hook, Brooklyn with his family when he was four years old. He was the oldest of his parents’ eight children. He grew up a lover of music and poetry and instilled in his children a deep appreciation for music of all kinds, and a love of reading. He served in the Navy in the mid 1960’s, and played a lot of paddleball in Queens in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s.
In the last few years of his life, Luis was always in search of beautiful images of people and places to frame and share with family and friends. He loved nature and animals and was always ready to talk about his fishing adventures and new wildlife discoveries that he’d read about, saw on video, or experienced firsthand. One of his last experiences before he became ill was a really sweet connection with a manatee.
Luis’s work life was as eclectic as his musical tastes. His mechanical and creative mind helped him thrive as an electrical mechanic in a number of settings. He was also very proud of his service as a correctional officer for fourteen years in Orange County, Florida.
His loved ones include siblings, children, nieces and nephews, grandchildren, and great grandchildren as well as his son-in-law. We miss him deeply and tell strange and funny stories about him when we get together. His life was not free from pain, loss, and struggle, and Sólo Cantar will celebrate the resilience of those struggling with mental illness and addiction as we lift up the healing power of music.
We are so grateful for the work of the ALS Association North Carolina Chapter. Through one of the hardest times for our family, we received help from their Loan Equipment Program, support navigating dad's care, and a connection with the Multidisciplinary ALS Clinic at Duke. Their work supports people living with ALS and their families, as well as medical research to end this devastating disease.
*Thanks to Alex Kapitan for designing the Sólo Cantar logo*