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Local career musicians plan benefit for drummer



Jerry Hamilton was playing an out of town gig with jazz/R&B band PowerHouz when he started feeling sick. The Edmond drummer soon found out he was suffering from liver failure.

In an effort to help with Hamilton's hospice bills, Steve Crossley and other local career musicians have rallied for a benefit show Sunday at the UCO Jazz Lab, 100 E. Fifth in Edmond.

"Jerry's played with so many people, he's been in a band or freelancing as a drummer for like 40 years around here," Crossley said. "He can play anything. He's very versatile, therefore he is always in great demand. There are a lot of guys like me that if you are ever in need of a drummer, maybe your normal drummer gets sick, Jerry would be able to just sit in."

Crossley and Hamilton played with legendary soul singer Percy Sledge. Because of Hamilton's skill and flexibility, Crossley said Hamilton has sat in with and toured as a drummer for many working musicians in Oklahoma City.

Benefit organizers hope the concert's lineup " which includes Chris Hicks, The Groove Merchants, Big G, Speedy West and Hamilton's former band, PowerHouz, among others " will attract fans familiar with Hamilton.

The 4 p.m. Sunday benefit concert is informal, Crossley said, with individual performances leading up to a jam session at the end of the night.

"Hopefully the way it will turn out, there will be so many guys around the venue that know each other that they can just jump up and join in, so it should be really exciting and unusual," he said.

Crossley described Hamilton's condition as serious, but hoped the drummer will be able to attend the concert. He said Hamilton recently got out of bed to tinker with a lawnmower in the garage.

"He still has some spells, but considering what his condition has been in the past, he's doing awesome," Crossley said. "We hope he can show up, but the real hope is he can play."

The benefit show is free, but Crossley said donations will be welcomed. For more information, call 416-3854. "Charles Martin

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