When Atlanta blues prodigy Sean Costello slipped away from his earthly life April 15, 2008, a day before his 29th birthday, confusion and sadness gripped his fellow musicians. Outwardly, Sean appeared quite normal. Only after his passing did his family reveal Sean’s battle with Bipolar Disorder and his struggle to stay alive.

“Sean acted professionally and was as normal as a musician could be. I think this factor makes people want to look closer at the circumstances.” says Debbie Ann Smith, Sean’s Mom and President of The Sean Costello Memorial Fund for Bipolar Disorder. “Although Sean obviously was fighting some serious demons, some of his professional friends didn’t even know that he drank. A person like Sean can maintain a professional exterior while fighting to keep themselves alive, literally. Performers often wear a public face that belies their private angst.”

In the years since Sean’s passing, Atlanta musicians have rallied around his family and dedicated themselves and their music performances to raising funds for continued research into Bipolar Disorder and its impact on artists.

“We were very much waiting on the right time to do something unique in honor of Sean for the Foundation.” remarks Kris Gloer, leader of The Last Waltz Ensemble, a group dedicated to progressively playing the music of Bob Dylan and The Band. “When I mentioned the idea of an event for The Foundation, Dan Nolen, owner of Smith’s Olde Bar was adamant that we do two nights and feature lots of special guests to honor our friend.”

“Sean played the Last Waltz as one of the last gigs he did. He came home so full of joy. I know he would cringe at the use of the corny word, but I can’t describe it any other way.” says Debbie. “He loved Levon Helm like family and was thrilled to honor him with his brother musicians, The Last Waltz Ensemble.”

2 Nights! Friday & Saturday August 19th & 20th~ Smiths Olde Bar
They are trying to raise $3,000 or more for the memorial fund in his honor and to help raise awareness of Bipolar Disorder, a very real very dangerous condition that touches us all.

Friday August 19 2011
The Last Waltz Ensemble
Jon Liebman
Ike Stubblefield
Reverand Jeff Mosier
David Blackmon
Joe McGuinness
Rod Hamdallah
Aaron Trubic (Sean Costello Band)
Greg Baba (King Johnson)

Saturday August 20 2011
The Last Waltz Ensemble
Turtle Folk
Jon Liebman
Ike Stubblefield
Richie Jones (Donna Hopkins Band)
Preston Holcomb (The Grapes)
Daniel Hutchens (Bloodkin)
Charlie Wooton (Zydefunk)
Will & Lee Haraway (The Sundogs)
Lee Schwartz (Outformation)
Justin Brogdon
Randy Chapman
Skye Paige
Jessica Sheridan

Join The Backstage Beat in supporting this great cause and enjoying two nights of incredible music!

(information courtesy of jambase.com)