Rock N' Run benefit event unites local musicians and a cause

February 10, 2009

On March 27, four Boston bands will unite to fight cancer at the second Rock N' Run Benefit Event. The event will feature live performances by The Vital Might, Build A Machine, Spectator and Forgetful Jones. The night, hosted by two Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge runners, is dedicated to raising thousands of dollars for the Claudia Barr Cancer Foundation at Dana-Farber.

The Rock N' Run Benefit Event will be on Friday, March 27, at Oliver's Nightclub at the Cask n' Flagon. Attendees will enjoy a night of live music, cocktails, prizes and giveaways donated by local businesses, including a Fender Stratocaster guitar from Guitar Center Boston and red carpet photos with the bands and friends. They will also have the opportunity to learn more about cancer.

Andy Milk, a Cape Code native and Boston resident, hosted the first Rock N' Run Benefit Event almost four years ago to date. This year, he is hosting the event with his band The Vital Might (who recently garnered The Boston Phoenix MP3 of the week) and his girlfriend Jennifer Simckowitz.

The couple is running and raising money in honor and memory of loved ones. Milk's mother, Susan, is a retired Centerville Elementary school teacher and a nine-year cancer survivor still battling the disease. Simckowitz's cousin Peter Geanoules, a Special Forces Navy Seal, passed away from cancer in early January. The couple hopes the event will help them surpass their $10,000 fundraising goal. At the last Rock N' Run Event, Milk raised almost $5,000.

The 2005 Rock N' Run Event was a huge success, according to Milk. "It was truly amazing. There was a great outpouring of support from fans, the Boston community and the press. I think about 350 fans and donors came out and supported cancer research — something that's bigger than all of us," said Milk. "I hope we can do it again this year. It's really important to me, my mom, my family and Jen."

For more event information please contact Jennifer Simckowitz or Andy Milk or visit Tickets are available online and at the door. Ticket donations range from $10 to $50.

The Runners

Andy Milk, singer and guitarist for The Vital Might, will run his second marathon with the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge this year. In 2005, Milk raised more than $5,000 for the Claudia Barr Foundation at Dana-Farber. Milk's mother is a nine-year breast cancer survivor still battling the disease. He will be running in her honor.

Milk, a native Massachusetts resident, grew up on Cape Cod and has lived in the Boston area for 16 years. Throughout his time in here, he's played in a number of local bands including Johnny Wishbone, New Blood and The Vital Might. Last year, WBCN invited Milk with the Vital Might to its annual Rock N' Roll Rumble for a second time.

Jennifer Simckowitz will run her first marathon with Dana-Farber this April. In January, her cousin Peter Geanoules, a Special Forces Navy Seal, passed away from cancer and she will be running in his memory.

Simckowitz, a New Yorker, avid runner and die-hard music fan, settled into life in Boston in 2006 when she moved to attend graduate school at Boston University. She earned her master's degree in corporate public relations and communication research. Despite pressure from Boston residents, she is still a Mets fan.

Milk and Simckowitz met in December of 2006.

The Bands

The Vital Might

Boston rock band The Vital Might, with two self-produced LPs out the door, shining response from press, a song on the top daytime soap opera and blossoming fan bases across the country, continues to churn out hard-hitting music that doesn't shy away from mixing pop rock with metal, funk with progressive, and good old fashioned songwriting with psychedelic breaks.

Build A Machine

Build A Machine's CD was produced by Dave Aron (Sublime, Snoop), Dan Rothchild (Beck, Fiona Apple) and features Stephen Perkins (Jane's Addiction). "Metallic guitar riffs, hints of reggae, and intelligible lyrics" — The Boston Herald. "Clearly this is a band that won't be in Boston for long" — The Noise.


Spectator, formed in 2006 in Boston, has a unique sound likened to both Radiohead and Muse. In Winter 2007, they headed to Applehead Studios in Woodstock, NY, to record with Michael Birnbaum and Chris Bittner (Coheed & Cambria, King Crimson, Bad Brains). Spectator is playing shows in the Northeast, writing new material and preparing to enter the studio in Spring 2009.

Forgetful Jones

Hailing from their stomping grounds of Boston, and blending the genres of hard rock, funk, reggae and blues, Forgetful Jones illustrates a non-definitive, signature sound that is unlike the music that currently paints the mainstream industry. The band has been privileged to play alongside such headliners as Alice in Chains, Buckcherry and Days of the New. Forgetful Jones is presently in the production phase of their follow-up to their studio LP Sub-Atomic Philharmonic.

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