REGION — Disabled Marine Corps veteran Marc Devoe (stationed at Camp Pendleton from 1993 to 1997) founded Buddha Music Group to help artists express themselves and contribute positive messages to the world.
“I’ve always had a love for music, and I always found that music made me feel good, it motivated me either to be more focused or driven,” said Devoe, who considers himself a “serial entrepreneur.” When he realized that music has the power to “change the masses,” he decided to get involved with charities.
BMG’s upcoming event Radiance — to be performed on Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11 at the World Beat Center in San Diego — aims to raise $15,000 for the Travis Manion and Stan Lee foundations, to empower veterans and the families of fallen soldiers.
Radiance will also serve as a dual album launch for two artists: Kiyoshi, a conscious hip-hop artist, and DTO, whose work revolves around international yoga music. Dance and visual performances will all work in tandem with a theatrical performance depicting a fictional story that has a certain significance to Devoe.
Said story involves a soldier named Ian and his lover Diane. After the couple split due to Ian’s struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder, he goes on a journey of self-discovery that BMG calls “positive, encouraging and hopeful.” BMG hopes that the event will illuminate the struggle veterans endure in regard to PTSD; Devoe noted that elements of the story were based on trauma he has experienced in his life.
“The story is about finding hope in the midst of trauma, and that these types of trauma doesn’t just affect the veteran, it affects the families and the people surrounding them,” Devoe said.
While parts of the story are based on his experiences, the character of Ian is not a stand-in for Devoe. “It’s a kind of a combination of different stories that I know through other veterans and other active-duty military that have been through this process.”
The Travis Manion Foundation was founded on its namesake’s principle of “If not me, then who?” Manion was a marine killed in ambush in Fallujah during the Iraq War, and the foundation founded in his name teaches schoolchildren how to embody qualities of leadership through various workshops, as well as yoga.
Devoe explained that the Stan Lee Foundation generates money for Post 43 of the American Legion, which provides services such as rides to and from the VA and provides compensation to disabled veterans for their injuries. The foundation itself also raises money to provide for literacy and arts programs.
Devoe thinks that today, veterans who have received physical or psychological wounds need more help and support, citing a statistic he’s read that 22 veterans a day die by suicide. “That, to me, is unacceptable, that we can’t provide for these veterans coming back from serving our country.”
“I’d like to see more and more people and organizations stepping up to say, ‘Hey, yeah, we know that this is an issue,’” he said, saying that holistic methods of healing, such as music, ought to be at least considered.
Tickets for Radiance are $22.22 for general seating, and $33.33 for reserved seating with a gift bag. Tickets can be purchased at purplepass.com.
Alex Wehrung covers Rancho Santa Fe and theatre-related news in North County. He previously reported for The Daily Nexus in Santa Barbara, CA and the Escondido Times-Advocate in Escondido, CA.