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Celebrating Women’s Voices: For the second year, Natascha Hoffmeyer is bringing artists together to benefit Centre Safe

by on August 30, 2019 11:10 AM

Natascha Hoffmeyer is getting set to host the second annual Women’s Voices festival, a concert meant to celebrate women’s voices in music and life.

The event, benefiting Centre Safe, takes place at 7 p.m. September 28 at the State Theatre.

Hoffmeyer thought it was a great idea to bring many talented local women artists together on one night, on one stage, to benefit something meaningful to her.

“They’re so many different female singers that it would be so great to have them all on the same stage because there’s so many different genres people play,” she says. “Celebrating the amazing talent in this town, while benefiting Centre Safe.”

Centre Safe, formerly known as the Centre County Women’s Resource Center, is a safe place for women, men, and children experiencing abuse to reach out for help. For Hoffmeyer, it seemed like a “no-brainer” to have an evening that features women performers benefit a place where women and others can find help when they’re in abusive domestic situations.  

This years’ lineup includes, among others, The Lemon Drops, Jazz Kat, Jackie Brown, Anchor & Arrow, Pure Cane Sugar, Miss Melanie’s Double Something, and, of course, Hoffmeyer’s own band, Natascha and the Spy Boys.

Without giving too much away about this year’s show, Hoffmeyer says she wants to bring some great choreography together as well as newer acts that have not been as recognized as some of the area’s best-known artists.

“My idea from the get-go was to switch up the lineup every year because there’s only so many people you can get on stage,” says Hoffmeyer.

The bands will play a collection of original pieces, along with covers, and touch on different styles of music such as jazz, swing, folk, rock, soul, Americana, and more. 

Hoffmeyer’s journey with music began in Europe. She was born and raised in Germany,; where her dad was a music teacher and pianist. She often sang with her dad and her sister. At age 12, she began teaching herself to play the guitar. She then realized singing was more her forte.

“I quickly realized my singing is better than my instrumental skills and comes easier to me than having to practice all the time,” Hoffmeyer says. This led her to begin singing campfire songs, and she eventually created her own band when she was 18.

As a musician, Hoffmeyer  was inspired by the opportunity to bring something unique to town that was woman-focused. Original songs written by the performers or by other female artists will be heard throughout the night.

“It came together amazingly easy,” Hoffmeyer says.

Her original idea came about in the winter of 2017; she shared her thoughts with people at the State Theatre and the event took off from there. The first show, in which she worked with stage manager Dave Defilippis, had a strong turnout.

Some songs performed included classic oldies-but-goodies such as “Respect” and “Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves,” which gave the show an upbeat and fun atmosphere.

Hoffmeyer’s band, Natascha and the Spy Boys, will play some of its own music. The five-person band is flexible and can be seen performing as a quartet, trio, or duo, depending on the venue or show.

Hoffmeyer is already planning on hosting the benefit again next year, where she hopes to incorporate a more politically focused event; some of her original inspiration for Women’s Voices came from her political views, and she wants to put more emphasis on that. She’s looking forward to expanding the event and including acts such as slam poetry.

Apart from performing herself, the highlight of the event for Hoffmeyer is being able to watch the other performers from the green room and be a part of the audience for once. She hopes everyone can come together to enjoy the array of talent and different styles of music for one night, all while supporting a good cause.

“It’s so much fun for myself, too,” she says, “being able to see to all these people on stage in the same night.”

 

For more information on Women’s Voices, visit thestatetheatre.org.

 

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