As a former combat engineer for the National Guard who was injured by an explosive device in Afghanistan, Donald Jarvis felt a personal connection to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.
That connection is what motivated the 26-year-old Newbury resident to organize a benefit concert, with all proceeds going to The One Fund Boston. United We Jam will take place next Thursday at 8 p.m. at the Grog in Newburyport.
On the day of the attacks at the finish line, Jarvis was working a detail with the National Guard in Newton, along the race course.
After news of the blasts hit, Jarvis and the rest of his team were bused down to Boylston Street to help block roads and assist with the cleanup.
“We were there from 4 p.m. Monday until 3 a.m. Tuesday,” he said. “After being there and seeing the impact, I want to return something to them.”
Jarvis enlisted the help of friend and fellow Triton Regional High School graduate Dave Hill, the owner and production manager of Fusion Blue Productions, a Salisbury-based company that specializes in event management.
Hill, a 25-year-old Byfield resident, got to work organizing bands for the concert, and the Grog agreed to donate the room for the show. The lineup includes Soul Robot, a Newburyport-based blues/funk/pop band for which Hill sings and plays the keyboard; Soft Cactus, a Lowell group known for rock, jazz, blues and funk; Deep Keel, a reggae band from Salisbury Beach; and Ben Carroll, a well-known musician and songwriter from the band Ra. Carroll will perform with his Portland, Maine-based side project, The Hollow Glow.
A similar show in November, a tribute to Jarvis after he returned home following months of recovery in a Virginia hospital, raised more than $1,200 for the Wounded Warrior Project.