“Tune It Up” Virtual Concert to Raise Awareness of Colorectal Cancer

ACG’s Soundtrack for March CRC Awareness Month

ACG’s “Tune It Up: A Concert to Raise Awareness of Colorectal Cancer” returned on Thursday, March 28, 2024 at 8 pm Eastern under the direction of concertmaster Dr. Benjamin Levy of the ACG Public Relations Committee. Dr. Levy invited an incredible array of musical guests for this virtual event that taps the connection and energy that music creates to shine a light on the importance of colorectal cancer prevention.

Watch/listen to a recording of the webcast below.

2024 Tune It Up Concert

2024 Performers

Colbie Caillat

A Great Big World  
Singer/Songwriter Duo

Lisa Loeb

Rufus Wainwright

Hilary Hahn

Katie Couric
Journalist/Presenter/Cancer Advocate

Ally Venable Band
Blues Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist

Kerry Ellis
West End/Broadway Singer

Maddie Poppe 

K.F. Jacques
Hip-Hop Singer

Karen Gomyo

Dave Douglas
Jazz Trumpeter

Julia Lee 

Shaun Munday

Sammi Palinkas
Country Singer/Songwriter

Elsa Grether

Bridget Kearney

Calista Del Toro
Rock Singer/Guitarist/Songwriter

Cincinnati Pops

The Knights

Free Bridge Quintet
Jazz Quintet

2024 Performers

Colbie Caillat – Two-Time GRAMMY® Award-winning singer and guitarist who has accumulated more than 15 billion streams. Her debut album Coco hit #5 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums and is certified 3x Platinum, while her Platinum selling follow-up album Breakthrough landed at #1 on the Billboard album chart. Starting with her breakthrough hit “Bubbly” which is certified 6x Platinum, her radio career features eight #1 and/or top 10 singles including “Realize,” “Try,” and her Grammy-winning duet with Jason Mraz “Lucky.” Colbie Caillat contributed vocals to the song “Breathe” on Taylor Swift’s original Fearless album and newly recorded Fearless (Taylor’s Version). Recorded in Nashville, TN, her debut solo country album, Along The Way, is out now, including singles “I’ll Be Here” featuring Sheryl Crow, “Worth It,” and “Still Gonna Miss You.” 

A Great Big World – The GRAMMY® Award-winning New York pop singer-and-songwriter duo Ian Axel and Chad King met in college at NYU and their music was first popularized on the Fox show “Glee.” Their hit song “Say Something” featured during Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance was re-recorded with Christina Aguilera and became a worldwide hit. A Great Big World went on to perform the song with Aguilera on NBC’s The Voice, and that version took off to #1 on iTunes. After performing at The American Music Awards, they closed the year supporting Maroon 5 in New Year’s Eve concerts. The pop duo then released Is There Anybody Out There? on Epic Records. The duo was featured on Ingrid Michaelson’s 2014 album Lights Out singing “Over You.” In 2014, A Great Big World won their first GRAMMY® Award for best Pop Duo/Group Performance. A Great Big World recently released their third album Particles featuring “Fall on Me” with Christina Aguilera, “Save Me From Myself,” “Mama” (a version featured in the concert), “Boys In The Street,” and “Glowing.”

Lisa Loeb – GRAMMY® Award-winning singer-songwriter and guitarist who started her career with the platinum-selling hit song “Stay (I Missed You)” from the film Reality Bites. A trailblazing independent artist, Lisa Loeb was the first pop musician to have a #1 single while not signed to a recording contract. She followed that feat with several hit singles and six albums, two of which were certified gold. The Dallas, Texas, native recently released her 15th album, A Simple Trick To Happiness. Lisa Loeb is also the host of her own weekday SiriusXM show, “Stay with Lisa Loeb,” on ’90s on 9, where she shares first-hand, behind-the-scenes accounts about the music and events of the ’90s. In recent years Lisa Loeb released a cover version of “All the Young Dudes” for Howard Stern’s David Bowie Special on SiriusXM. Her family-friendly album Feel What U Feel won the Grammy for Best Children’s Album. Often recognized for her iconic cat-eyed glasses, Lisa Loeb also oversees the design for Lisa Loeb Eyewear. 

Rufus Wainwright – The New York-born, Montreal-raised GRAMMY® Award-nominated singer songwriter recently released his 12th studio album Folkocracy, a star-studded album of folk music reinventions featuring special guests and collaborations including Brandi Carlile, John Legend, David Byrne, Sheryl Crow, Nicole Scherzinger, Chaka Khan, Andrew Bird, and many more. Rufus Wainwright has written two operas, numerous songs for movies and TV, and is currently working on his first musical for the West End and a Requiem. He has collaborated with artists such as Elton John, Burt Bacharach, Miley Cyrus, Boy George, Joni Mitchell, Robbie Williams, Jessye Norman, Billy Joel, Paul Simon, and Sting. Rufus Wainwright’s fantastic GRAMMY® Award-nominated “Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall,” captured his celebrated Judy Garland tribute performance at the London Palladium. 

Hilary Hahn – The three-time GRAMMY® Award-winning violinist is currently Artist in Residence at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic. Violinist Hilary Hahn won the 2024 Avery Fisher Prize for her exceptional artistic achievement and leadership in classical music. Hahn is a prolific and celebrated recording artist whose 21 feature albums on Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, and Sony have all opened in the top ten of the Billboard charts. A strong advocate for new music, Hahn has commissioned more than 35 composers to write works in a wide range of formats. Hahn was featured in the Oscar-nominated soundtrack to The Village

Kerry Ellis – The London West End/Broadway singer who originated the role of Meat in Queen’s “We Will Rock You” musical and was the first British Elphaba in the West End smash “Wicked.” Ellis then immediately transferred to Broadway and played Elphaba at the Gershwin Theater for 6 months, where she won the Broadway.com Audience Award for Favorite Female Breakthrough Performance, before returning to London for 6 months in 2009. Her many other leading role credits include Eliza Doolittle in “My Fair Lady,” Ellen in “Miss Saigon” and Fantine in “Les Misérables.” Kerry Ellis also played Svetlana to critical acclaim in Chess at London’s Royal Albert Hall opposite Idina Menzel and Josh Groban. She is a frequent music collaborator with Queen guitarist Sir Brian May. Kerry Ellis just released her 4th studio album “Kings & Queens” featuring Sir Brian May on the song “Battlefield.”    

Dave Douglas – Jazz trumpeter, composer, and educator. Dave Douglas’ unique contributions to improvised music have garnered distinguished recognition, including a Doris Duke Artist Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Aaron Copland award, and two GRAMMY® Award nominations. In 2000, Dave Douglas composed El Trilogy for the Trisha Brown Dance Company and toured internationally with the dance troupe. Dave Douglas played trumpet in John Zorn’s Masada Quartet. Douglas’ career spans more than 60 unique original records as a leader and more than 500 published works. He also has composed for Norddeutscher Rundfunk, Essen Philharmonie, The Library of Congress, and Stanford University. Tonight, Dave Douglas and his label Greenleaf Music generously contributed a performance with his Overcome ensemble which includes vocalists Fay Victor, trombonist Ryan Keberle, bassist Jorge Roeder, and drummer Rudy Royston.

Ally Venable Band – Ally Venable is a Texas blues-rock singer/songwriter and guitarist. It was 2019’s #2 Billboard Blues charting “Texas Honey” and rocking sets on Ruf Records’ European Blues Caravan tour that propelled Ally Venable internationally. In 2021, Kenny Wayne Shepherd lent his guitar skills on her XM Bluesville’s charted song, “Bring on the Pain.” Ally Venable also frequently collaborates with blues guitar legend Buddy Guy who performed on her 2023 song “Texas Louisiana” released by Ruf Records. Ally Venable has been opening for Buddy Guy on his “Damn Right Farewell” Tour. The Ally Venable Band features EJ Bedford on bass/keyboard and Isaac Pulido on drums.   

Cincinnati Pops – GRAMMY® Award-winning orchestra and Conductor John Morris Russell. The growing list of celebrated artists who have collaborated with the Pops include Ella Fitzgerald, Henry Mancini, Aretha Franklin, Dave Brubeck, Kristin Chenoweth, John Williams, Idina Menzel, Rosemary Clooney, Mandy Patinkin, Ben Folds, Vanessa Williams, Boyz II Men, and Bernadette Peters. Maestro Russell and the Cincinnati Pops recently received a GRAMMY® Award nomination of “Best Classical Compendium” for their recording American Originals 1918 (a tribute to the dawn of the jazz age).

John Morris Russell – A master of American musical style, John Morris Russell has devoted himself to redefining the American orchestral experience. Beginning his twelfth season as conductor of the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, the wide-range and diversity of his work as a conductor, collaborator, and educator continues to reinvigorate the musical scene throughout Cincinnati and across the continent. Maestro Russell is also the Music Director of the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra in South Carolina and also serves as Principal Pops Conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, following in the footsteps of Marvin Hamlisch and Doc Severinsen. John Morris Russell has worked with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Pops, New York Pops, and the National Symphony of Washington, D.C. This season, John Morris Russell will lead the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as guest conductor in a special concert of iconic music from the James Bond movie franchise. 

Maddie Poppe – Singer-songwriter, guitarist, and pianist who won “American Idol” Season #16. Since then, Maddie has toured the country opening for Ingrid Michaelson and has been headlining her own tours. Maddie Poppe’s album Whirlwind hit Number 2 on the iTunes Pop Charts. She also has been a guest on The Kelly Clarkson Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Live with Kelly & Ryan, and Good Morning America.  

The Knights – A GRAMMY® Award-nominated orchestra of adventurous musicians in NYC dedicated to transforming the orchestral experience and eliminating barriers between audiences and music. The orchestra has toured and recorded with renowned soloists including Yo-Yo Ma, Dawn Upshaw, Béla Fleck, Chris Thile, and Gil Shaham, and has appeared across the world’s most prestigious stages including Carnegie Hall, Tanglewood, Ravinia, The Kennedy Center, and the Vienna Musikverein. 

Eric Jacobsen – Cellist and conductor of The Knights, who also serves as the Music Director for the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. Under Jacobsen’s baton, The Knights have developed an extensive recording collection, which includes the critically acclaimed album Azul with longtime collaborator Yo-Yo Ma, as well as a recent album featuring Gil Shaham in performances of the Beethoven and Brahms Violin Concertos. Eric Jacobsen is also a member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project.

Karen Gomyo – Born in Tokyo, Karen Gomyo began her musical career in Montreal and New York. She studied violin with Dorothy DeLay at Juilliard before continuing her studies at Indiana University and at the New England Conservatory. Karen Gomyo has been the violinist, host, and narrator for a documentary film produced by NHK Japan about Antonio Stradivarius called “The Mysteries of the Supreme Violin” which was broadcast worldwide by NHK WORLD. Recent seasons have included debuts with the New York Philharmonic, the Pittsburgh Symphony, Orquesta Nacional de España, the Czech Philharmonic, and Rome’s Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. She also has returned to the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Gustavo Dudamel at the Hollywood Bowl and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France in Paris under Mikko Franck. In May 2018, she performed the world premiere of Samuel Adams’ new Chamber Concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen, a work written specifically for Karen Gomyo and commissioned by the CSO’s ‘Music Now’ series for their 20th anniversary.  

Shaun Munday – Bassist and singer who graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston. Shaun Munday has performed with a diverse array of musicians including John Mayer, The Wailers (Bob Marley’s band), the band Kansas, country music star Collin Raye, and Mary Wilson of The Supremes. 

Bridget Kearney – Multi-instrumentalist, bassist, and singer who studied jazz at the New England Conservatory of music and double-majored in English at Tufts University. Bridget Kearney is the bassist with the popular retro-soul combo Lake Street Dive. Her 2020 collaboration with Benjamin Lazar Davis Still Flying was a playful and groove-laden experiment that grafted electronics and dance rhythms onto melodies from West African musicians. She has appeared with Lake Street Dive on many national shows including: The Colbert Report, The Late Show with David Letterman, Conan, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, National Public Radio, Prairie Home Companion, and Live From Here hosted by Chris Thile. Bridget Kearney’s third solo album Comeback Kid will be released in April 2024. 

Julia Lee – Cellist Julia Lee received her Bachelor of Music at The Juilliard School where she served as Principal Cellist of the Juilliard Orchestra for four years. As principal cellist, she played under the baton of Marin Aslop, David Robertson, Gustavo Dudamel, David Chan, Carlos Miguel Prieto, and Mei-Ann Chen. Julia Lee is currently pursuing a Master of Music at Juilliard where she studies cello with Joel Krosnick under a C.V. Starr Scholarship. Julia Lee has appeared in many festivals including The Perlman Music Program, La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest, and the Aspen Music Festival.  

K.F. Jacques (Earth Lunar Ky) – Hip-Hop artist, singer and songwriter who combines hip-hop with opera. K.F. Jacques is the award-winning creator of the hip hopera genre bending sound called OperaTronic. K.F. Jacques recently performed at the Chicago House of Blues and sang the national anthem at the United Center, U.S. Cellular Field, and Soldier Field. He composed “Corsair” for the Chicago Fringe Opera which was awarded Best New Opera Production in 2020 by the Chicago Reader. In 2022, K.F. Jacques wrote an OperaTronic song for TEDxWrigleyville which was subsequently filmed at Wrigley Field in Chicago. K.F. Jacques served as the head composer and played the role of Figaro in the “Rosina Project,” which is a hip hop opera version of ‘The Barber of Seville.’ K.F. Jacques holds a Master of Music degree in Voice Performance from Roosevelt University.  

Elsa Grether – French violinist who won the Premier Prix in violin at the Conservatoire de Paris-CRR on her fifteenth birthday. Elsa Grether continued violin studies at the Salzburg Mozarteum and then in the United States with Mauricio Fuks at Indiana University Bloomington and Donald Weilerstein at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. She was awarded the Josef Gingold full scholarship at Indiana University. Elsa Grether has given performances at Carnegie Weill Hall in NYC, Printemps des Arts de Monte-Carlo, Festival Berlioz, Ido Festival Düsseldorf, Palazzetto Bru-Zane in Venice, Festival Musiques en Eté in Geneva, plus concerts at Salle Cartot, Invalides, and Petit Palais in Paris. Tonight, she contributed a Ravel performance with her pianist David Lively. 

David Lively – American-born pianist who began his career at fourteen when he performed Khatchaturian’s virtuoso Piano Concerto with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra. Conductor Lorin Maazel subsequently invited him to perform with the Cleveland Orchestra which resulted in engagements with ensembles such as the English Chamber Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra, National Orchestra of France in collaboration with conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Colin Davis, Leonard Slatkin, and Michael Tilson Thomas. David Lively studied piano in the U.S. and in France at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris where he now resides. David Lively was a prize-winner at the Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud, the Queen Elisabeth, and the Tchaikovksy where he won the special prize for contemporary music. David Lively has taught at the National Superior Music Conservatoire of Paris.  

Free Bridge Quintet – Faculty Jazz Quintet at the University of Virginia featuring John D’earth on trumpet, Jeff Decker on saxophones, Calvin Brown on piano, Peter Spaar on bass, and Robert Jospé on the drums. The quintet has been a staple of the UVA/Charlottesville jazz scene, and of the Central Virginia jazz scene, for two decades. Its members are internationally recognized jazz performers and recording artists.  

Sue Foley – Canadian guitarist, singer, songwriter, and bandleader based in Austin, Texas. Her trademark instrument is a pink paisley Fender Telecaster. She is a veritable triple-threat as a guitarist, songwriter, and vocalist. As with many blues women of the past, Foley has a long history of defying convention and being a positive role model for aspiring young female musicians.

Sammi Palinkas – Contemporary country singer-songwriter from Melbourne, Australia. Sammi Palinkas recently performed the National Anthem at the Victoria Football League Women’s Grand Final. Her first single “Meet in the Middle” debuted at #3 in the Australian iTunes Country Music chart. Her follow-up singles including “You’ve Lived” and “Don’t Blink” debuted at #5 in the Australian iTunes Country Music chart. Sammi Palinkas developed her songwriting craft in Australia and the U.S. (LA, New York, and Nashville), collaborating with renowned songwriters and producers including Andrew Bolooki (Selena Gomez, The Weeknd, Post Malone), Sally Barris (Trisha Yearwood, Martina McBride, LeeAnn Womack), and Templeton Thompson (Reba McEntire, Little Texas). 

Calista Del Toro – Singer-songwriter from South El Monte, California, known for her laid-back soulful pop sound.

The Beacons – Rock band of gastroenterologists from the American College of Gastroenterology featuring Patrick Young, MD, FACG (bass and vocals), Costas Kefalas, MD, FACG (drums/percussion), John Saltzman, MD, FACG (guitar), Samir Shah, MD, FACG (vocals), Daniel Pambianco, MD, FACG (guitar), Benjamin Levy, MD (cello), and Thomas Ullman, MD (guitar).

Special Message from Katie Couric

A Message from Katie Couric to Colorectal Cancer Screening Champions and ACG

Concert Director: Benjamin Levy, MD

Benjamin Levy, MD, is a board-certified Gastroenterologist at the University of Chicago. His clinical projects focus on health care disparities and the development of colon cancer screening campaigns. Previously as Division Head of Gastroenterology at Mount Sinai Hospital, Dr. Levy organized a Gastroenterology clinic for refugees resettling in Chicago. Dr. Levy is a member of ACG’s Public Relations Committee and FDA-Related Matters Committee.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Levy started an international health education campaign named “Concerts & Cocktails” that teamed up musicians with physicians and nurses on the front lines. Dr. Levy was subsequently selected to be a TEDx speaker @TEDxWrigleyville – “Humanity: An Inside View of the Pandemic.” An avid cellist, Dr. Levy recently served as co-chair of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Soundpost Series.

Special Thanks

PianoForte Chicago
Rishi Productions
Ruf Records
Aparté Music
Greenleaf Music
The Philharmonic Society of Orange County
Ms. Katie Couric
Jonathan A. Leighton, MD, FACG, ACG President
Daniel J. Pambianco, MD, FACG, ACG Immediate Past President
Irving M. Pike, MD, FACG, ACG Past President
Ronald Hsu, MD, FACG, ACG Governor Northern California
Reezwana Chowdhury, MD, FACG, Chair, ACG Public Relations Committee
Tauseef Ali, MD, FACG, Past Chair ACG Public Relations Committee
ACG Public Relations Committee

About Colorectal Cancer Screening

In the United States, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer, yet it is one of the most preventable types of cancer. It is highly treatable and is often curable when caught early. 

Screening colonoscopy can find growths in the colon called polyps so they can be removed before they turn into colorectal cancer. The most common symptom of early colon and rectal cancers is NO symptom, so it is important to get screened. No matter what your age, never ignore new or worrying bowel symptoms.

Learn More

“Tune It Up Concert” Promotional Video by Leann Toomey