About the 2019 U.S. Veterans Concert

The 2019 VNEW U.S. Veterans Concert was held on Saturday afternoon, November 9, 2019 at the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum in the Los Angeles area. It was a perfect, sunny day as over 200 veterans, family members and friends gathered in the historic outdoor amphitheater to hear veteran singers and musicians play original songs, rock, country, folk and pop standards. Performers came from as far as St. Louis, Nashville and Texas and as close as down the road in Topanga Canyon.

The concert was free to veterans, active military and family members. The backstage crew and front of house team included many veterans and members of American Legion Post 283 and Post 43 in both hired and volunteer positions. We were joined by various Veterans service organizations that provided information to audience members. It was a terrific, rousing afternoon in keeping with VNEW’s mission to help veterans cope with stress and find community through music.

The VNEW 2019 Veterans Concert was dedicated to
Ted Post, Veteran and Co-Founder, VNEW

Our Performers

BJ Lange, Host
Keith Carrington
Richard Desiato
Andy Hill and Renee Safier
Oscar Jordan
Tony Selvage
The Swing Dolls
Jorge Valcárcel and Boxcar
Renée Wahl

VNEW Thanks our Concert Supporters

We appreciate Beyond O2 Alkaline Water for helping to hydrate our Concert guests and performers. Please be kind to Mother Earth by bringing your own water bottles and vessels

Keith Carrington

Keith was born on a US Air Force base in Montgomery, AL, and served in the USAF in Upper Heyford, England. Growing up in Nashville, Memphis, and Jackson, TN, he got his first guitar for Christmas when he was five. Later in life, working in Lawrence, TN, he had a fortuitous trade: his leather jacket for a client’s guitar. And today he is closer to his dream of music than ever. Through good times and bad, music has been there for Keith.

Richard Desiato

Richard was stationed with the US Army Special Services in West Germany in the 1960s where he toured all the bases, singing, dancing, and acting for the troops, as well as performing in the USO’s “Variety 65”; a weekly Armed Forces Variety Television show, and with the US Army Special Services in the Theater Department. Vocally, Rich covers the greats: Beatles, Dylan, Presley, and Sinatra. Rich believes music has “shaped who I am” and brought him adventure, love, and new friends around the world. For Rich, music is a spiritual adventure.

Andy Hill and Renee Safier

Since a chance meeting at the University of Denver, recording artists Andy Hill and Renee Safier have carved out a unique musical niche for themselves in the Los Angeles music scene and beyond. Their performances, more than two hundred a year, are as much social gathering as musical event. Part fan family reunion, part rock and roll tent revival, their incomparable live shows attract a large, enthusiastic and fiercely loyal group of fans. They will be joined by bandmates of the late John Stewart - the incomparable Bob Hawkins on guitar and consummate professional bassist Dave Batti. LA session drummer Edo “the Tank” Tancredi completes the quintet on drums.

Oscar Jordan

Oscar served in the United States Army from 1978 to 1981 having undergone basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina and serving with multiple Military Police units. Jordan later produced the critically acclaimed blues-rock albums Mister Bad Luck and Eclectic Soul. Today he continues to work his artistry in multiple creative platforms. He is honored to perform for the men and women who served our country, and looks back at his military experience with fond memories.

BJ Lange, Master of Ceremonies

BJ Lange (MTV, Dr. Phil, Jimmy Kimmel Live!) is a retired USAF Reserve medic, two-time testicular cancer survivor, an alumnus of iO West (formerly improvOlympic West), Upright Citizens Brigade Los Angeles, and a graduate of The Second City Hollywood Conservatory, long form program, and musical improv programs. He has also studied at The Groundlings Theater. He is a service-connected disabled veteran yet continues to be an athlete, ambassador, and mentor in the Air Force Wounded Warrior Program where he also serves as a comedy coach teaching applied improv as part of the resiliency program.

Tony Selvage

Tony served in the USN Air Attack Squadron 215 on the USS Hancock CVA 19 from 1960-1966 as a ship’s barber and an aviation storekeeper. For Tony music is about healing, as endorsed by the NIMH since 1986 and the World Peace Organization since 2012, to aid the veteran’s families to deal with the stress of war they bring home and to help them sleep. His musical talent was inspired by both parents; his mother, singer/actress Ennid Zamboni, and father, Morris Coffin Selvage, a successful trombone player. Tony is familiar with the Theatricum Botanicum, beginning with his friendship with Will Geer in the 70s, where he will share with his world-renown violin playing accompanying the Andy Hill Band.

The Swing Dolls

The Swing Dolls are a dynamic female vocal trio that has been thrilling audiences nationwide for over 10 years. As America's premier Tribute to The Andrews Sisters, they have garnered appearances on television’s “Gilmore Girls” and “Your Big Break”, The Kennedy Center with The LAPD Concert Band, The USS Missouri, HBO's “Band of Brothers” Gala, and for Bob Hope's 100th Birthday celebration, and numerous patriotic themed shows for townships, military bases, and the USS Midway in San Diego.

Gleni Tai

Gleni is an internationally known singer of Native American Eastern Creek lineage. Her career includes background singer on six gold records. Presently she is considered the go-to vocal coach for vocal problems for the biggest name recording artists of Malibu, Hollywood, Nashville, Las Vegas and New York and is a sought-after pianist, composer and conductor. She is the author of four best seller books for singers. “Two of my Uncles went off to war when I was young. One came back paralyzed from bullet wounds and the other came back in one piece, but both of my precious, happy, warm and wonderful uncles suffered a lifetime of PTSD. Alas, such is war, and that is why I support Veterans. They need us!”

Jorge Valcárcel‎ and Boxcar

Jorge Valcárcel is a former Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class in the US Coast Guard. In 2008, after being laid off as a middle school teacher, he joined the military in search of adventure and public service. His travels took him from Shang-Hi to New York City on ship and helicopter duty stations. After the Coast Guard he joined up with Scripps Institution of Oceanography as an Able-Bodied Seaman in the US Merchant Marines. There he devoted years on the RV Sally Ride out of San Diego, CA assisting in oceanographic research. Leaving his life at sea he used the GI Bill to become a nurse and now works as a cardiology nurse at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis Missouri. Through all his travels and years at sea he has maintained his music project, 'Boxcar' going. Indeed, it was the people that he met and the excitement of new and exciting places that have inspired all of Boxcar's songs and that continue to do so after more than a decade of bold uncharted adventures.

Renee Wahl

Renee served as a Captain in the US Air Force with top-secret clearance with the NSA, and her service was in the spirit of her family, and it’s probably what made her strong enough to be drawn to this crazy business of music. Renee is a Nashville-based singer song writer, who is always striving to meet the challenges of recording to the next level with her soon-to-be-released EP.


Dr. Harold Sriro and Eddie Kreg Anderson of Bearded T’s for the T-Shirts
Felix Velasquez, Soaptopia
Daryl Hoss, American Legion Ronald Reagan Palisades Post 283
Karl Risinger, Hollywood American Legion Post 43
Councilmember Bob Blumenfield, Los Angeles City Council District 3
State Assemblymember Richard Bloom, California State District 50
California Senator Henry Stern, 27th Senate District
Jesse “Bulldog” Gonzalez
Alice Varela, Support Kids In Progress, Inc.
The Harmony Keepers
Los Angeles Veterans Collaborative
Veterans Collaborative Ventura County
All Terrain Conversions
GM Mobility Works Beverly Hills
Insight Choices
SOLA/South of Los Angeles
Valor Department of Mental Health
Vets and Loved Ones Recovery
Volunteers of America IVTP
Volunteers of America Greater Los Angeles
WFG Connects
Joseph Auer and Blake Clayton, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors District 3
Ellen Geer and Gina Shansey, Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum
Andre Andrews
A-Z Techs
B. Harlan Boll Public Relations
Richard Desiato
Ananda Edmunds
La Joy Farr
Mel Garcia
Jackie Goldberg and Chaplain Dev Cohen
Gordolicious Catering
Kevin Silverhawk Hernandez
Dr. Stephanie Grudberg, Kadyn’s Place
Jay S. Kennoff, Esquire
Ann Knoll
L&E Transcriptions
Los Angeles LGBT Center Senior Veterans Initiative
Messenger Mountain News
Chili Most and Z Most, Stop the Violence/N’ Love with Love Campaign
NEP Services
Diana Offen
Jessie Ortiz-Barreto, Los Angeles LGBT Center Senior Veterans Initiative
Hector Pérez-Pacheco Consulting
Xóchitl Ramos
John Sencio, JDS Ronda Inc.
Donelle Thompson, Hair Therapist


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