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WEST HAVEN, Jan. 17, 2017 — From left, WimBash Beach Festival founder Doug Wimbish, members of the local teen rock band Stratus, festival organizer John McCarthy and Mayor Edward M. O’Brien strike a pose Friday night, Jan. 13, during the Youth Open Mic at the West Haven Community House, 227 Elm St.
McCarthy joined Wimbish and O’Brien to present two guitar amplifiers for future open mic events. The used amps were purchased with $1,000 raised at the WimBash benefit music festival Saturday, Aug. 13, in Old Grove Park.
For the second year, festival proceeds were also granted for the school district’s music program — to the tune of $5,000.
During the three-hour open mic, Wimbish, the legendary bassist of Living Colour, jammed and mingled with aspiring young musicians.
The free open mic, held most Fridays at 6 p.m., provides an outlet for kids to perform and interact together creatively, said McCarthy, who hosts the event, which began a year ago, and owns The Rock House School of Music. The house band is Tears Fall Down.
WimBash 2016 was headlined by Mark Rivera’s ’67 Chevy and featured saxophonist Rivera of the Billy Joel Band, Wimbish and vocalist Corey Glover of Living Colour and Average White Band drummer Rocky Bryant.
Wimbish’s charity, the WimBash Music Festival Series, which includes the festival and related fundraising events, has collected $15,000 to date for West Haven music education.