Homegrown Singer to Perform at Legal Aid Fundraising Concert
“Feeling powerless can be devastating,” said singer Melissa McCreight as she reflected on her band SIX sometimes SEVEN’s upcoming gig. The group will join five other bands to perform June 14 at Jam for Justice 2018, a charity concert for The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, which serves Northeast Ohio’s most vulnerable families faced with legal threats to housing, safety and security.
McCreight, a lifelong Euclid resident, began her musical career in the wake of her own brush with powerlessness. In 2010, McCreight was diagnosed with Stage 4 Malignant Melanoma, which forced her to leave her job as a legal assistant with Taft, Stettinius & Hollister to focus on treatment.
After her hard-fought battle with the disease, McCreight reports her cancer is in remission. With her second wind, she immerses herself in the things she loves: being a wife and mom, rehabbing the family’s mid-century home on Lake Erie, and flexing her creative muscles as a fiber artist and musician.
As her energy rebounded, she decided to try something new, and met her bandmates at School of Rock in Highland Heights.
“My daughter is a student there, and I signed up for the adult program as kind of a reverse-bucket-list thing.” McCreight said. “We played several seasons of shows together and decided to try performing on our own, and SIX sometimes SEVEN was born.”
Initially comprised of its namesake core of six or seven musicians, the band has added new members over the years and will expand to welcome an eighth member at this year’s Jam for Justice concert.
McCreight said one of her favorite things about the band is the eclectic play list she says keeps her on her toes.
“Our band plays all kinds of music, from Tom Petty to Talking Heads, and Pearl Jam to the Marshal Tucker Band,” she said. “We even do a mean cover of Britney Spears that I think would surprise you.”
This will be the band’s second time performing at Jam for Justice, which drew nearly 1,000 guests last year in support of Legal Aid, a nonprofit law firm that provides no-cost assistance to low-income Northeast Ohio families.
For SIX sometimes SEVEN, performing at last year’s Jam was a positive new experience.
“It was a great event in a beautiful space with a crowd of people we had not reached before,” McCreight said. “We usually play small fundraisers or our own shows with small crowds, so the atmosphere was super fancy-shmancy compared to what we've played in the past.”
When attorney Paul Grieco, vocalist and bass player with the band, presented the opportunity to perform at Jam for Justice again this year, the group was happy to show their support.
“The people that come to Legal Aid have something to overcome, and we feel fortunate to be able to help Legal Aid help others through this fundraiser,” McCreight said of her reasons for donating her time and talent to Jam for Justice.
Proceeds from the event will support Legal Aid’s no-cost legal representation to prevent improper evictions, stop domestic violence, ensure access to education, secure wrongly denied benefits and right other civil legal wrongs. In 2017, Legal Aid’s direct representation impacted more than 18,000 people in Cuyahoga, Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake and Lorain counties.
For the SIX sometimes SEVEN vocalist, this cause is the impetus to overcome the jitters of performing at such a large venue.
“I always get nervous about performing but, in the end it will be so much fun,” McCreight said. “Expressing yourself through music is invigorating and emotional — and even better when it’s for a good cause!”
Euclid friends can support their hometown girl for Jam for Justice 2018 at Lago Custom Events 1091 W 10th St., Cleveland OH 44113 on June 14, from 5 to 9:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale at https://lasclev.org/event/2018jam/. Fans can also follow SIX sometimes SEVEN on Facebook @sixsometimesseventheband or Instagram @6sometimes7 for more upcoming events.
Emily Parrino is a writer with the development and communications team at The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland.