Joan Jett Helps Raise $1.5 Million For Music Education At Little Kids Rock Benefit In New York City
October 27, 2014 at 6:53 AM (PT)
JOAN JETT was honored as "Rocker Of The Year" when LITTLE KIDS ROCK hosted its sixth annual benefit last THURSDAY night at HAMMERSTEIN BALLROOM at THE MANHATTAN CENTER, which generated approximately $1.5 million in donations to help support students and music teachers in public schools with donated instruments, curricular resources and training. JETT was cited for the impact that her career, influence, and music has had on the charity's 'MODERN BAND' music program, which helps facilitate the teaching of popular musical styles such as rock, hip hop, country, blues and funk to young people.
"For 12 years, LITTLE KIDS ROCK has supported over 320,000 teachers and students realize the true impact of music – inside and outside the classroom," said CEO/Founder DAVID WISH. "Thanks to the generosity of our partners and supporters, we're able to continue to bring this gift to thousands of kids each year, long after the benefit has ended."
MAUREEN VAN ZANDT formally welcomed the audience to the evening's festivities. She is an honorary board member of LITTLE KIDS ROCK alongside her husband, STEVEN VAN ZANDT, who also served as the producer of this year's musical production and oversees his own ROCK AND ROLL FOREVER FOUNDATION.
"The Sopranos"' VINCENT PASTORE and radio host RICH RUSSO then took the stage to serve as MCs, bringing on GUITAR CENTER's MIKE PRATT for his and the company''s support and partnership with the charity.
Ten-year-old ASHLEY NUNEZ, a student from PS 98 SHORAC KAPPOCK elementary school in MANHATTAN who performed an original song featuring E-STREET sax player JAKE CLEMONS, summed up the night best, saying "LITTLE KIDS ROCK gave me the chance to learn to play music, and now they are giving me the chance to play a song that we wrote in school in front of all of these people. This has been such an awesome experience, and a night I'll never forget."
The night then turned its attention to JETT, her legacy and the role she's played in advancing music education. Members of rock royalty paid homage, including ALICE COOPER, BILLIE JOE ARMSTRONG, CHEAP TRICK, TOMMY JAMES, DARLENE LOVE, GARY U.S. BONDS, KATHLEE HANNA and husband AD-ROCK, MIKE NESS, JESSE MALIN, BRODY DALLE, JAKE CLEMONS and LITTLE KIDS ROCK students from local schools.
Among the highlights": CHEAP TRICK performing "I Hate Myself For Loving You;" TOMMY JAMES joining the guest of honor for a take on "Crimson And Clover;" HANNA and AD-ROCK doing "Fake Friends;" BILLIE JOE and JETT on "Don't Abuse Me" and ALICE with JOAN performing "Be My Lover."
The night ended, fittingly, with an epic finale of JETT's classic "I Love Rock 'N' Roll."