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Throughout the night, gifted young musicians on the autistic spectrum appeared: ... and Nick Guzman on guitar and vocals for "Am I Trembling," looking a bit like early Neil Young with his heavy muttonchops.

It brought me so much joy to see Nick Guzman in his element (performing at the Wild Honey Orchestra - White Album concert) - so talented and gifted - his light shines when he's onstage!! XO

While Neil Young has made it clear he'll never perform with Crosby, Stills and Nash again, when his buddy Stephen Stills comes calling the Canadian rocker usually accepts the charges. Stephen and his wife Kristen have put together a benefit concert for Autism Speaks dubbed "Light Up The Blues" and both Stephen Stills himself and Neil Young are among the artists expected to perform at The Hollywood Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles on April 25.

 

Jack Black of Tenacious D fame will emcee the third annual Light Up The Blues concert which in addition to Stills and Young will feature Shawn Colvin, The White Buffalo, Steve Earle and Chris Stills. Also performing are three artists with autism: Spencer Harte featuring Petra Haden, Nick Guzman and Matt Savage.

Tickets go on sale this morning at 10 a.m. PT via Ticketmaster.

Here's more info via a press release:

The April 25th event spotlights Light It Up Blue, Autism Speaks’ annual global awareness and fundraising campaign, which is celebrated by the international autism community on April 2nd, World Autism Awareness Day, and throughout Autism Awareness Month in April. Light Up The Blues will celebrate the many gifts of individuals with autism, while supporting Autism Speaks in their mission to raise awareness and support their successful advocacy on behalf of all those who navigate through the journey of Autism. Proceeds from the Light Up The Blues Concert will go towards Autism Speaks’ research and advocacy efforts for families and individuals impacted by the disorder.

“We are so thrilled to be doing this benefit for the third time and, this year, at the iconic Pantages Theatre. The last two years’ Light Up The Blues benefits were such incredible, life-changing events for all involved. We are so grateful to be able to bring such a special night of music to the entire community and to support Autism Speaks,” said Kristen & Stephen Stills.

“It is a night to celebrate the gifts of music and community,” Autism Speaks’ President Liz Feld said. “Autism sings again! Light Up the Blues is home to the most special talent we have – from Stephen Stills and Neil Young to Matt Savage.”

Beginning excerpts from the article:

This guest post is by musician Nick Guzman who has autism and played at Autism Speaks' Light Up the Blues event in Los Angeles.

One of the first songs I learned to play on guitar was "Helplessly Hoping" when I was 11 years old. I have always loved the sound of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

Fast forward to 2011 when Elaine Hall called my house to ask if I would like to perform for the Miracle Project at an event called “Autism is Awesomeism”. This is when I got to meet Stephen Stills and Jack Black at the Grove in Los Angeles. I played Ray LaMontagne’s “Beg, Steal or Borrow” and after I walked off stage Jack Black told me I sounded like Neil Young! It was a huge surprise that later that day I was asked to perform “Helplessly Hoping" with Stephen Stills himself, along with Lexi Aaron from the Miracle Project. What an amazing experience!

 

Beginning excerpts from the article:

During rehearsals for the Crosby, Stills & Nash concert in Los Angeles on April 13, Crosby's wife Jan Dance stepped out to take a quick break. Hearing the Grammy and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members working their way through their repertoire of folk rock classics, Dance hummed and nodded along.

As her husband launched into his 1969 signature hit, "Almost Cut My Hair," Dance decided it was time to rejoin the band. But when she opened the stage door at Club Nokia, Dance did a double-take.

There, just to the right of Stills and Nash, confidently strumming an acoustic guitar and singing lead, stood not her husband but another musician entirely. Saratoga resident Nick Guzman, 23, was belting out the lyrics in a voice and style nearly identical to Crosby's original.

Excerpt from the article:

After the intermission, a teenager named Nick Guzman effectively took center stage on guitar to perform the defiant CSN&Y chestnut, "Almost Cut My Hair," which brought the house down. Stills' playing gave the song a desperate, soaring edge that represented one of the night's highlights.

 

Excerpt from the article:

Next up was ... Nick Guzman, who strummed guitar and belted CSN’s hit “Almost Cut My Hair.” With his Crosby-esque vocal — and long locks appropriate for the tune — Guzman’s performance was a true testament to the success of The Miracle Project, an organization formed to provide autistic performers with opportunities to express themselves in the creative arts.

Excerpt from the article:

The schedule was also broken up with courageous performances by members of the Miracle Project Fly Singers, a group of teens and young adults with autism and other special needs. Rio Wyles, Lexington Aaron and Nick Guzman all delighted the audience with their performances, particularly Guzman’s version of CSN’s “Almost Cut My Hair.”

NICK GUZMAN IS AN EXTRAORDINARY MUSICIAN, a kind hearted soul and a blessing to the planet. When he played with the rock great Stephen Stills, Nick was Amazing! What a talent!

NICK GUZMAN IS A YOUNG MAN WITH MUSICAL TALENT. From the first time I heard him sing at my film camp in San Jose CA, I could hear he had the gift. With each passing year at the camps I could see his development and I have encouraged him to continue his passion for performing music. This is why my friend Jeff Lass and I co wrote the song "Since We're Friends" for Nick as a signature song to help promote his career.

I believe Nick will go far in his career of musical performance and I am pleased to have had him as a continuing student in my film camps for four consecutive years. It's been great to see his growth and development as he is a testament for all people to believe in yourself.

 

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