From Facebook to Twitter to YouTube, Zach Matari likes the response his music has been receiving.
Coming off of an "American Idol" adventure and having released his debut single, “What You Are To Me”, in January, the 18-year-old Pop, Rock and R&B singer/songwriter from Montville Township is grateful and excited about his musical future.
On Friday, Matari will join forces with Michelle Williams of the R&B group Destiny’s Child. The artists will volunteer their talent and time at Montville Township High School (MTHS) in a benefit concert for Lance Cpl. Adrian Simone.
Simone, a 2010 MTHS graduate, lost both legs in Afghanistan last August after encountering an Improvised Explosion Device (IED). Following an extended recovery at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD, Simone, a Marine, rejoined his unit at camp LeJeune in Jacksonville, NC.
Friday’s concert will raise funds for The Adrian Simone Foundation. According to a press release from Schure Media, organizers of The Adrian Simone Benefit Concert, the money collected will assist with ongoing rehabilitation needs, as well as necessary alterations to Simone’s family’s Montville home.
Matari, a MTHS senior, will open the concert. Several other local artists will also contribute, including Matari’s celebrated alternative pop band, Valhalla.
“We wanted to get the town involved and show [Simone] support,” Matari said. “And what better way than a concert?”
According to Matari, Williams volunteered to perform while visiting Schure Media in Montville. When she heard of Simone’s injuries and courage, she offered to help.
“She just came on board right away,” Matari said. “She’s as excited about the concert as I am.”
While the concert will feature many local Montville artists, including high school junior Salena Wilson, it is Zach Matari who will open the evening for headliner Michelle Williams.
“It’s going to be a great show,” Matari explained. “There’s a bunch of talent here. I hope we have a great turnout. All the proceeds go to [Simone]. For him to see how the community is coming together, I think it’s just nice.”
Matari and his band, Valhalla, will follow Friday’s benefit with their third appearance at Bamboozle Music Festival on Sunday in Asbury Park. Valhalla has competed annually against more than 100 bands to win three consecutive invitations to the renowned event. This year, Bon Jovi will headline and attendance is expected to exceed last year’s 60,000 mark.
In June, Matari will travel to California as a solo artist to open for New Edition. The lifelong Montville resident will also graduate from MTHS and prepare to enter William Paterson University’s music program in the fall.
The songwriter said he finds inspiration for his music all around him.
“I’ll just keep recording and keep on the grind,” Matari said about making music. “I like the response so far, and I hope it keeps going, and that I can make this thing really work.”
The Adrian Simone Foundation benefit concert will be held at MTHS on Friday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at businesses throughout Montville Township.
Montville Patch will also be taking photos at the event. To see photos from the event as soon as they are posted, sign up for our daily newsletter here.