Don’t Miss Cancer Can Rock’s 2024 NoVA MusicFest

Rocking And Rolling While Helping And Healing

5/26 NOVA MusicFest graphic. (courtesy CCR)

Alexandria, VA – In the case of stellar DC-area musician Jenny Langer, as well as with so many who have experienced Cancer Can Rock before and after her, it’s clear that this special VA-based non-profit organization gloriously helped this wonderful musician in some very caring and very influential ways.

One way was helping her deal amidst her own cancer with an incredibly reassuring and productive recording session, which is the core of CCR’s stellar presence. The other is it also helped her to unexpectedly launch a now-surging music career because of the high level of talent and production in the studio.

The Cancer Can Rock studio team at work (courtesy CCR)

But one thing is clear: whether it’s beginner-level musicians or professionally seasoned ones like Jenny, all who enter the beloved CCR realm are given their chance to shine during the most challenging times of their lives.

“It was the most incredible way to turn something so scary and heartbreaking into something productive and hopeful,” said Ms. Langer who, along with her trio The Honeylarks with regional gems Carly Harvey and Holly Montgomery, is part of the stunning plethora of sensational DC-area musicians – including 19th Street Band, Patty Reese Band, Laura Cashman, Jason Masi Band, Juliet Lloyd Trio, Gary Smallwood with Michael Fath, One Hot Mess, and The Greek and The Freak – who are all performing at the 2024 Cancer Can Rock NoVA MusicFest on Sunday, May 26th at 868 Estate Vineyards in Hillsboro VA, all to benefit CCR.

“Plus, the opportunity to record one of my original songs with CCR changed my life,“ Ms. Langer continued. “The reactions to that single gave me the confidence to put out a full-length album, which wound up winning awards and opening professional doors to me I never dreamed possible. I’ll forever be grateful to Jim, Rich, and the CCR team.”

The two men Ms. Langer is thanking are the seminal leaders of the hard-working team of CCR: founder Jim Ebert and CCR president Rich Forsen. Ebert is a multi-platinum-level record producer whose high-end skills launched Cancer Can Rock after his brain cancer experience. CCR not only comforts and motivates those who come in to record their songs, but it helps this main producer guy, too. “When we do Cancer Can Rock recording sessions for people, for a day, even I forgot I had cancer,” Ebert said. “They are the best days of my life.”

CCR president Forsen exudes similar feelings when it comes to both how the organization brings joy to people during distress and how the artists involved are a huge part of the readiness of the process. “I’ve always been amazed at the positivity and warmth of the ‘Featured Artists,’ which is what we call the musicians we support, all at a time when they are facing some really difficult stuff. I’m also constantly humbled by the grace and generosity of those masterful artists and video folks who participate, as well as their dedication and professionalism. It all makes whatever I’m dealing with seem small.”

DC-area musician Buddy Speir is a regular participant as a session musician for CCR, and his involvement clearly moves him as well, no matter what level of musicianship people are at. “One of the coolest things is to be in studio with people who maybe haven’t been in the studio before, and who maybe aren’t full-time artists,“ said Speir, “but watching them get to explore the whole experience and watch the whole thing come to life is a pretty amazing trip.”

Donations to CCR, which can easily be made online at or by purchasing tickets ( to the CCR MusicFests, go directly toward getting whatever type or level of musician it is into a studio with true pros, and producing a positive memory for them and their families during what is otherwise a very difficult time. As CCR says as part of its mantra, “These songs that have been recorded have provided both pride for those who have survived, and solace for those that survived them.”

Recent Cancer Can Rock participant Rio Scafone, an award-winning musician who’s battled colon cancer, also regarded her CCR experience as one that greatly helped subside the worry of what people go through, like it has done and will continue to do for so many.

Musician Rio Scafone and the Cancer Can Rock studio ensemble (courtesy CCR).

“I was welcomed with open arms, and my song was embraced with excitement and passion,” said Ms. Scafone on Facebook. “It was an entire vibe, a powerful antidote to the cancer mind…and hearing my track roar to life in the talented hands of such lovely, lovely humans felt like home.”

And for Ms. Langer, being able to play live for Cancer Can Rock again on May 26th is hugely gratifying given the truly unforgettable part of her life CCR has been and will always be. “It’s really nice to continue being a part of the CCR community and supporting their fundraising efforts so more artists affected by cancer can have the same opportunity I was gifted. I’ll be performing with my two best friends after being away touring in Europe for a month, so that is going to be a very happy day for me.”

Tickets for NoVa MusicFest Raising Money for Cancer Can Rock can be purchased at

ICYMI: Alexandria Choral Society’s Chamber Ensemble Perfoming April 20 at Westminster Presbyterian Church

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