Rick Wakeman will play a solo piano concert March 12, the latest in a series of benefit performances he is giving for ASSIST, a Christian organization based in Garden Grove.
The rock keyboard virtuoso, best known as a former member of Yes, will play in the main sanctuary of Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa at 3800 Fairview Road in Santa Ana. He will offer a career retrospective, drawing upon his rock years as well as his extensive recent catalogue of religious music.
Admission to the concert, at 7:30 p.m., will be free, although ASSIST will request donations. ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times) promotes Christianity in the former Soviet Union. Its founder, Dan Wooding, is a former British music journalist who wrote a biography of Wakeman. (714) 530-6598.
CONTEST: The Yamaha Corp. of America (based in Buena Park) wants contestants for "Soundcheck," its eighth annual national competition for unsigned rock and pop talent. Five finalists will get $3,000 prizes, musical equipment and a chance to perform in Hollywood in August before a judging panel of music industry experts. The winner will get an all-expenses-paid performing trip to Japan.
The contest is open to bands of two or more members who write their own music and are not signed to a nationally distributed label. Performers in all styles are eligible. (800) 451-7625.
A NEW HOME FOR D.I.: After six releases on Triple X, a label based in Los Angeles, D.I., the long-running hard-core punk band from Orange County, has signed a three-album contract with Doctor Dream Records of Orange. The band's first album for Doctor Dream, "State of Shock," is due in the spring.
D.I.--founding singer Casey Royer, bassist Fred Taccone, guitarist John (Bosco) Calabro and drummer John Knight--plays Feb. 25 at Club Mesa in Costa Mesa and March 18 at Club 369 in Fullerton.