Cancer Can Rock founder offers ‘one good day’ to musicians who need it

A D.C.-area music producer whose credits include work with Madonna, Ice Cube, Toni Braxton and HR of Bad Brains is hoping to help musicians with aggressive cancers.

Jim Ebert honed his skills as chief engineer of Cue Recording, in Falls Church, Virginia, before relocating to Los Angeles. Now, he’s back in the D.C. area and has founded the Cancer Can Rock charity.

Cancer Can Rock provides ailing musicians with the chance to work with professional musicians, in a top studio.

“We take musicians with fairly aggressive cancers, bring them in, and we record a song and a video for their family and friends, so they have something forever,” said Ebert, who said he’s survived brain cancer for nearly 22 years.

Cancer Can Rock helps sick musicians and their families

The experience provides musicians with a meaningful distraction from their medical situations, and results in tangible recordings that can offer solace and pride to survivors.

“I’ve had several artists sit by me while we’re recording the song, and they’ve told me it’s one of the best days of their lives,” said Ebert. “That’s very powerful.”

The goal of Cancer Can Rock isn’t to solve the disease, said Ebert.

“I’m just trying to give one good day to people that are having a crappy life at the time.”

The musicians and engineers who back the performers during the Cancer Can Rock experience are generous with their time and talents.

Musicians and their families benefit from Cancer Can Rock experience

“When I was sick, there was a lot kindness that came out of the woodwork, and I see that with the players now,” said Ebert. “We try to give them a little money to make it worthwhile, gas-wise, but they’re basically doing it gratis.”

Tickets are on sale now for a fundraiser for the Cancer Can Rock Foundation: The NOVA Fall Music Fest, at B Chord Brewing Co., in Round Hill, in Loudoun County, on Saturday, Sept. 24.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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