In memory of the legendary concert promoter who helped revolutionize the modern day live entertainment business, the San Francisco-based Bill Graham
Memorial Foundation is holding its first East Coast benefit concert May 27 at the Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza.

In collaboration with Live Nation, the concert will feature performances from Dark Star Orchestra, Moonalice, Spin Doctors, Blues Traveler's John Popper and Chan Kinchla, among others. Tickets are currently available for $65 via

"For the last five or six years, we've been doing a benefit concert on [Graham's] birthday in January at the Fillmore in San Francisco," foundation president Bob Barsotti tells Billboard. "Just recently we've decided to expand our foundation a little bit."

As part of its expansion, the Bill Graham Foundation has tapped music industry veteran Morty Wiggins as its executive director. Wiggins -- who formerly worked for Graham's artist management company -- booked the lineup for the upcoming benefit concert in New York.

Along with musical performances, the night will feature stories from longtime Grateful Dead road member Steve Parish, along with a few nostalgic words from Graham's sons, David and Alex. A concert poster signed by the Grateful Dead and Dave Matthews Band from 1995 will be available through silent auction.

The event is expected to raise $15,000-$20,000, according to Barsotti, who worked at San Francisco-based Bill Graham Presents for 30 years. "I started working for [Graham] at 16, and he became my second dad," Barsotti says of Graham, who died in a helicopter crash in 1991. "He was quite the character."

Graham, who presented concerts at the Fillmore East and Fillmore West, gained fame in the mid-'60s for helping launch the careers of such acts as Jimi Hendrix, the Who, Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Santana, and many others.

Founded after his unexpected death in 1991, the Bill Graham Foundation is designed to give grants in areas of music, arts and education, as well as supporting social work and environmental issues. Last January, a similar event at the Fillmore in San Francisco raised more than $50,000 for the organization.

Along with live music fund-raisers, the Bill Graham Foundation is funded in part by Live Nation, which generates between $300,000 and $500,000 for the nonprofit through tacked-on ticket fees (50 cents) for events throughout San Francisco. The Bill Graham Foundation currently has an endowment of approximately $3 million, according to Barsotti.