Music and Food, A Carousel and the River

The Tasty Ingredients for Gourmet Melodies - A Benefit for Hospice of Cincinnati



Photography by Kirk Rhein Photography

Benjamin Luckhaupt is one of countless people in the Tri-State who have been touched by the work of Hospice of Cincinnati. As a young child, Luckhaupt remembers saying his goodbyes to his grandmother when she was cared for at Hospice of Cincinnati in Blue Ash.

“She was my first grandparent to pass away,” Luckhaupt says. “I was little, but I do remember it being as good an experience as it could have been at the time. I know my dad was happy with her care. I always got the feeling Hospice of Cincinnati did a wonderful job providing comfort for her.”

Flash forward several years and Benjamin, along with his two brothers, Titus and Joshua, will make music to benefit Hospice of Cincinnati with their bluegrass band, My Brother’s Keeper. 

The group is one of seven musical acts that will perform at Gourmet Melodies, which pairs a diverse lineup of live music with food selections. It is one of the largest held by Bethesda Foundation with proceeds benefiting Hospice of Cincinnati, which provides end-of-life care, grief and holistic services for more than 650 people a day in Greater Cincinnati. It will be held at Anderson Pavilion in Smale Riverfront Park.

My Brother’s Keeper, steeped in the bluegrass and front-porch music tradition, would seem well-suited to such a benefit, with its down-home, heartfelt music rooted in the hopes and trials of average folks. The group, which hails from St. Leon, Indiana, features the exquisite harmonies of the three Luckhaupt brothers, all in their 20s. The band is rounded out by Wyatt “Sawmill” Murray. 

The group is typical of the new trend among young bluegrass enthusiasts who are not shy about mixing contemporary alt-rock sounds with traditional bluegrass, adding some raved-up melodies and four-part harmonies in addition to the time-honored high lonesome vocals. 

Benjamin and Josh Luckhaupt have teaching jobs in Southeast Indiana and Tyler is currently at Northern Kentucky University studying for an education degree. “Our teaching schedule leaves the summers pretty much free to perform,” says Benjamin.

Luckhaupt says their music also draws heavily on their Christian upbringing and the gospel tradition of honoring a righteous end-of-life passage, a message that resonates with the Hospice of Cincinnati mission of creating the best possible and most meaningful experience for all who need care and support in our community. 

Hospice of Cincinnati is the fourth-oldest hospice in the country and the second largest in Ohio. It is the only broad-based nonprofit hospice in the region. It operates four inpatient care centers, but 90 percent of its patients are cared for in their homes. They have 540 staff members and 500 highly trained volunteers. Its medical and caregiving personnel are widely recognized as industry leaders in hospice and palliative care.

“Gourmet Melodies is our biggest fundraiser of the year and we are excited to invite guests to such a beautiful venue,” says Sandra Lobert, president and CEO of Hospice of Cincinnati.  “Proceeds from the event will allow Hospice of Cincinnati to continue to offer many extra services to our patients and families. Services such as massage, art, pet and music therapy provide comfort and help patients through very trying and sacred times in their lives.” 

The event is one of several annual fundraisers under the auspices of the Bethesda Foundation supporting its ongoing philanthropic efforts, which benefit a number of health care initiatives. 

“We provide philanthropic support for Hospice of Cincinnati, Fernside Center for Grieving Children and Bethesda Hospitals. We are proud to support the mission of Hospice of Cincinnati,’” says Andy Swallow, president and CEO of the Bethesda Foundation. “Gourmet Melodies is a unique and entertaining way to ensure that Hospice of Cincinnati can continue to provide superior end-of-life care for our community.”

“We are extremely thrilled to play at the Gourmet Melodies benefit,” said Luckhaupt. “Hospice of Cincinnati is a wonderful organization that has touched so many lives, including our own, and we are overjoyed to be able to give back.” 

My Brother’s Keeper has released a CD of original music, “Revival,” which showcases its sound that ranges from traditional gospel and mountain music to alt-rock inspired tunes, and the sibling’s memorable harmonies. The band plays a mix of church events, benefits, fairs, festivals and family outings during the summer. And, Luckhaupt says, they have played memorial services as well, including for their own loved ones. 

“We played at the funeral of our other grandmother, our mother’s mother, when she passed away,” Luckhaupt says. “She also had been in hospice care. They do such a wonderful job. I’m certain my mom still talks to some of the nurses that came to our home.”

For more information, contact Tammy Rasey at 513.865.1621 or visit www.bethesdafoundation.com/events/gourmet-melodies.