Backbeat: Pianist Arthur Hanlon Plays Benefit for Cancer Research in Mexico

(L-R) Arthur Hanlon, center, and Jerry Bazua, right, with children who have undergone successful treatment at Una Nueva Esperanza.

(Photo credit: Leila Cobo)

American pianist and Universal Music Latino recording artist Arthur Hanlon (full disclosure: husband of Leila Cobo) performed a private concert in Puebla, Mexico, to benefit non-profit Una Nueva Esperanza (A New Hope), a foundation that provides medical treatment and services to underprivileged kids with cancer.

The gala, which took place June 26 at the Marriot Hotel in Puebla, raised funds for Nueva Esperanza’s new research center, set to open later this year. Hanlon performed repertoire from his latest album, Encanto del Caribe, a public television special that aired last year throughout the U.S. and on Televisa in Mexico. In the end, he invite to stage The Voice Mexico finalist Jerry Bazua to perform "The Drop of Life," a song Hanlon wrote to promote bone marrow donation among Hispanics and which was recorded by a slew of Latin stars, including Enrique Iglesias, Plácido Domingo and Gloria Estefan.

(L-R) Jerry Bazua and Arthur Hanlon. (Photo credit: Leila Cobo)

“I wrote this song specifically to spur bone marrow donation among Hispanics for cancer research,” said Hanlon, who kicks off his U.S. tour in September. “To be able to perform this song today, to raise funds for a similar project in Mexico, is so fitting. I’m so happy the song is fulfilling its purpose.”

Una Nueva Esperanza has provided treatment to over 700 children in the area since it was founded 13 years ago. So far this year alone, nearly 200 children have been treated at the center.

Among those in attendance was Mexican empresario Arturo Ruiz, who puts together the annual Harley Davidson Love Ride in Mexico, which this year featured rock star Beto Cuevas; Mexican concert promoter Noé Ramírez; and Bazúa’s manager Alejandro Barrales.

(L-R) Una Nueva Esperanza Founder Francisco Alvarez and Hanlon. (Photo credit: Leila Cobo)

Barrales, who also handles Shaila Durcal, says Durcal is currently at work on her new album, which will be released by Universal Music. As for Bazua (who is dating Paulina Rubio), following his new-found fame on The Voice, the singer has been performing throughout Mexico in support of his new regional Mexican album.