Arts & Theater

He’s performed in Sacramento for decades. But he’s never had a show quite like this one

Ross Hammond
Ross Hammond Louise Mitchell

Guitarist Ross Hammond has been performing for two decades around Sacramento and beyond but has never played a show quite like this.

Hammond, an acclaimed local musician and composer, is planning to play for 12 straight hours Sept. 1 at Luna’s Café in midtown as a benefit for the Sacramento Food Bank.

The marathon concert will be from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Admission is free. Hammond is accepting donations for the Food Bank via a generosity.com website before the concert and at Luna’s on the day of the show. People also can pledge online during the show, which will be streamed live on Facebook, Periscope and Twitter.

Hammond said he hopes to raise $2,500 for the Food Bank. As of Monday afternoon his fundraising page had received $720 in donations.

“I feel like for artists, if you’re ever given a platform or ever in a position where you can present your ideas or stuff to other people, we have a duty as well to basically give back to our communities,” Hammond said. “I feel like that’s really important.”

Hammond said fellow performers might join him throughout the day but that he personally intends to play for the entire 12 hours.

“If I have to go to the bathroom or order coffee or something, I have a couple tricks I’m going to do to sustain some notes,” he said.

Musicians in other parts of the country have played marathon concerts for charity and Hammond, who turns 40 on Aug. 19, said he saw this as a way to “challenge” himself. His concerts typically top out around three hours.

“I feel like by hour number eight, at that point I’ll have played everything I know,” he said. “That’ll be the fun part.”

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“Follow Your Heart” by Ross Hammond Courtesy of artist

Earlier this year, Hammond released a solo LP/CD titled “Follow Your Heart,” which he recorded at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Sacramento. He appears regularly about town and lists upcoming performances on his website. He plays in a “roots” style that combines elements of folk, blues, spiritual and world music.

Hammond said Luna’s, which typically closes for a few hours in the afternoon on weekdays, agreed to let him use the café for the full day Sept. 1. He said he’ll have both set songs and “themes or little starting points” off which to improvise. He plans to set up a “Home Depot bucket” for donations.

“My wife thinks it’s totally crazy,” Hammond said. “And I’m like, ‘Yeah, it is.’ 

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