Today, Trey Anastasio shared on Instagram a number of heartwarming photos from a past visit to Tortola with his wife Sue Anastasio. In addition to a number of pictures from the trip, Trey shared details about his time on the island, noting that he’d visited two schools as well as the Capoon Bay Clinic. He also noted that he ran into one of his many friends while there, including a woman named Claire who coincidentally saw Phish in 1999. The post comes on the heels of Trey’s highly anticipated collaborative “Concert For Island Relief” with Dave Matthews, Trey Anastasio Band, Aaron Neville, and more at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall last Saturday benefitting the U.S. and British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
Back in September, Tortola in the British Virgin Islands was devastated by Hurricane Irma, with the Category 5 hurricane causing widespread and catastrophic damage across the Carribean. Following the storm, Trey Anastasio established the Tortola Relief Fund and announced that Phish’s charitable foundation, WaterWheel Foundation, would match the donations for hurricane relief efforts. At the time, the Phish guitarist also illuminated his longstanding relationship with Tortola and its residents, noting he’d been visiting the island with his family since 1992.
In a statement on Phish’s website, he said, “I love Tortola. I’ve written so many songs there. It’s where I’ve gone in the winter to slow down, write, and to bring new song ideas to completion. Songs that were born as little germs of ideas elsewhere, often were crafted and came to life in Tortola. The bulk of ‘Mercury’ was written while sitting by the water in Tortola. Recently, ‘Breath and Burning’, ‘Tide Turns’, and ‘More’ were all written there. Loads of older songs were written there, too many to name, dating all the way back to the early 90’s. I remember writing the melody for ‘Lifeboy’ while walking with my little travel guitar in the hot sun on that first trip in 1992. I can still hear the pace of the island in that guitar riff. “
It’s common following natural disasters for an influx of aid and support to flow in from around the world. However, once disaster coverage falls out of the media cycle, frequently donations wane. This is a tragedy, as many times, it’s the long-term rebuilding process that needs the most financial support. You can donate to Charlotteville Area Community Foundation’s hurricane relief fund (the same non-profit who benefited from the recent Concert For Island Relief), and check out Trey’s Instagram post below.
Sue and I visited the Leonora Delville (Capoons Bay) and Isabella Morris (Carrot Bay) schools, as well as the Capoon Bay Clinic in Tortola, where we met with some incredible people from the local community. We also ran into our friend Claire, who was at the Phish show in 1999! We wanted to share some photos and a video of the kids running around and singing as we pulled up. The tents you see are the temporary classrooms, set up on the basketball court. Thank you so much again to everyone who participated in the fundraiser and the Concert for Island Relief!