Astari Nite Rocks Against Leukemia Saturday at America's Backyard

The adjoining venues (Green Room, America's Backyard) in the Revolution complex have been seriously heating up lately with bookings of up-and-coming artists. But just such a gig this Saturday at America's Backyard serves a higher cause. Headlined by Detroit singer/songwriter Pato, it's a benefit for the Williams Leukemia Foundation.

The Williams in the charity name is a South Florida local -- Adam C. Williams, a married father of one who lives in Miramar. The software quality control contractor was diagnosed with acute leukemia (AML) earlier this year and has responded well to chemotherapy. As anyone who's dealt with a serious illness knows, though, insurance or not, costs continue to pile up.

Luckily, Williams has a friend in local musician Albert Grey, bassist of Miami band Astari Nite. Grey, together with the label VMI Records and America's Backyard, put together Saturday's benefit. Donations at the door in any amount are suggested, but for $10, attendees get a premium cocktail, a $20 gift certificate to the venue, and an entry into a giveaway of a Fender guitar signed by Slightly Stoopid. All of these proceeds will go to the foundation, which, in turn, uses 98 percent of all donations for Williams' care. (The other 2 percent goes to the foundation's website's administrative costs.)

It's the latest in a new community-driven mission for America's Backyard, which has continued to offer the venue for charitable fundraisers. It's also the latest in a flurry of renewed activity for Astari Nite since the band signed a management deal with Creator Entertainment earlier this year.

On August 27, the band will return to frequent West Palm stomping grounds to play Respectable Street's annual anniversary party, the same venue where the guys will open for Modern English on September 22. In the meantime, Astari Nite is also recording its first full-length album, filming a new music video, and preparing for a West Coast tour and CMJ showcase dates in the fall.

Watch them rock for a good cause on Saturday, and check out their most recent music video, for "True Romance."

Pato and Astari Nite, at the Williams Leukemia Foundation Benefit, 8 p.m. Saturday, July 30, at America's Backyard, 100 SW Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Admission is by donation, and $10 is suggested. Age 21 and up. Call 954-727-0950, or visit

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