Scott Graves
Curry Coastal Pilot

More than a dozen hip-hop artists are set to perform at the second annual Southern Oregon Hip-Hop and Rock Benefit Concert in Brookings on Saturday, April 5.

The all-ages concert, which benefits the Community Helpers Food Bank in Brookings, is the brainchild of 19-year-old hip-hop musician Jesse Orozco. Last year's event resulted in a packed theater with fans who donated $289 and 10 grocery bags of canned food.

This year, the show was moved to the Brookings Elk Lodge, 800 Elk Drive. The doors open at 4:30 p.m., with the show scheduled for 5 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the door. Admission is free to those who bring five cans of non-perishable food.

Orozco said the success of last year's show spread to other hip-hop artists, who asked to be included this year. The roster of performers has doubled, with acts coming from Medford, Grants Pass and California scheduled to take the stage. The artists include Day and Night, Nate B. Yola Mateo, Sodope, Snow'd Inn and Vitamin E.

The artists will be joined by professional DJ Mac Marcos and Orozco will serve as MC and perform as Young J. Snacks and beverages will be available and seating will be limited, with most of the space at the lodge reserved for dancing.

Orozco said the artists have been asked to perform toned-down versions of their songs.

"We want this to be a fun concert for all ages," he said.

Orozco, a Brookings Harbor High School graduate, always dreamed of being a music star, but it took the death of his 22-year-old cousin three years ago to inspire him to try to realize that goal.

"Before he died of cancer, my cousin told me I could do anything I put my mind to, so that's what I'm doing," Orozco said.

To kick-start his music career and that of other local musicians, he decided to plan, organize and host hip-hop concerts.

This year's show sponsors include Mark Rogers Painting,Artistic Trends and Sierra Pacific Mortgage.

Orozco is no stranger to helping others. Over the years he has volunteered for community organizations such as the Lion's Club, Brooking Fire and Rescue, KASPER, the Chetco Community Public Library, and Brookings-Harbor Community Theater.

In an earlier interview with the Pilot, Julie Davis, manager of the food bank, said she appreciated what Orozco was attempting.

"I think what he's doing is innovative and generous; I'm so proud that young people are so willing to give," Davis said. "We're thrilled that he's doing this."