The Basics

Name of Cause: The Ben Schwartzman Project
Started By: Sweet Relief & Debbie Flanagan, Hayley Schwartzman, Ed Schwartzman
Who it Benefits: Music Recording Project & Musicians Assistance Programs

The Details

On October 15th 2007 a 19 year old musician named Ben Schwartzman took his own life.  Ben, like so many musicians and artists had struggled with mental illness and depression.  Sweet Relief is working with Ben’s mom, Debbie Flanagan, his sister, Hayley Schwartzman and his father, Ed to bring awareness to the challenges that so many musicians face in our country when battling illness and disability.
We hope you will contribute to help us achieve the following
  • Ben’s music being re-mixed and re-mastered.
  • New versions of Ben’s songs recorded by a multitude of significant artists.
  • Ben’s music and story being distributed world-wide
  • Gaining awareness to the challenge musicians and our nation faces with mental illness and depression.
  • Raising funds to assist ill, disabled and elder career musicians in need.Ben-Schwartzman-Project-Sweet-Relief

Ed Schwartzman, Ben’s father, had been reaching out across the country these past four years trying to get Ben’s music heard and recorded by a significant and sympathetic musician.  His hope being that the world would hear Ben’s songs and know his story.   Visit this link to hear Ed, in his own words sharing about his dream for his son’s music.

This past June Sweet Relief received an email from Ed.  The correspondence included Ben’s story, the pain, hope and strength of Ben’s family and friends and a link to Ben’s music.  We were greatly moved by the words we read.  Over the past 18 months two prominent musicians, Mark Linkous & Vic Chesnutt, who had supported Sweet Relief lost their battles with depression.  Mental illness and depression is one of our nation’s most difficult challenges.  The percentage ratio of musicians who face such ailments far exceeds the general populous

We had the opportunity to meet Debbie and Hayley this summer during their visit to California.  Connecting with these wonderful individuals, learning more about Ben’s life and music, gave us further proof that this project was very important and would be meaningful for many families.
When Sweet Relief heard Ben’s songs we were awestruck.  We sent the music to a successful and experienced producer in Los Angeles for his professional review.  He was enamored as well.  The response was ‘these songs are wonderful and this voice had the quality to be successful on a national stage”.  This producer, a strong supporter of Sweet Relief, has agreed to develop this project.
We included some of Ben’s songs, My Apology, Let Me Go, Down This Road, Big Man, and Which Way to Harlem, for you.  We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
My Apology
Let Me Go

Down This Road
Big Man
Which Way to Harlem

A young film maker named Andi Nakasone created a documentary that told the story about of a group of student’s and their amazing efforts to bring awareness to teen suicide and depression.  This film includes the story of survivors and their families, including the Schwartzmans.  Ben’s music was adopted as the soundtrack to this moving and heartfelt production.
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