NEW YORK, Oct. 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Rock and roll royalty filled the majestic Capitale Wednesday night as the national nonprofit, Little Kids Rock, hosted its eighth annual benefit in Lower Manhattan to support public school students and music teachers with donated instruments, curricular resources, and training. The sold-out event featured performances from musical greats led by Musical Director Will Lee and generated over one million dollars in donations.
"Music changes kids and kids change the world," shared David Wish, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Little Kids Rock. Those sentiments were echoed by Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Kenny Loggins who received the organization's Humanitarian Award. Loggins spoke about being able to express himself through music as a teen when words failed and how he has watched the same in his daughter. "Music speaks to the heart," Loggins said. " It taught her who she is, and it taught me who I am." Little Kids Rock students joined Loggins onstage and brought the crowd to their feet with a rendition of Mitch Ryder's "Devil With a Blue Dress" which segued into Loggins' toe-tapping hit "Footloose."
Loggins then joined the legendary Sam Moore in a fantastic duet of "I Thank You" after Moore drove the crowd wild with "Soul Man." High School senior Ian Ackerman joined Moore on lead guitar for the performance. "I can't believe I just got to play with him," Ian said. "That man is an icon. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity to be on stage with someone I have so much respect for."
Speaking of respect, 30 Rock star, Tracy Morgan was brought to tears when 12-year-old Little Kids Rock student Denaijah Pimentel performed an impromptu duet of "My Girl" with the one and only Smokey Robinson. Morgan shared his admiration for Smokey as he presented him with the "Rocker of the Year" award. In accepting the award, Robinson shared how important music education is. "I am an advocate for the arts in our schools," Robinson said. "Putting arts back into the schools where they have been eliminated from is something we all should be part of because music is the international language."
Following his remarks, Robinson performed some of his most beloved hits including "I Second That Emotion." And backed by Little Kids Rock students, he brought the crowd to a roar with the grand finale performance of "Get Ready," the last chart-topper he wrote for the Temptations.
The event's performances and festivities highlighted an astounding milestone Little Kids Rock had achieved this year: enriching the lives of more than 500,000 inner-city public school students through bringing them free instrumental music lessons rooted in the popular music that they know and love. Little Kids Rock provides music teachers with the training, curricula, instruments, and continuing support they need to teach their kids to be life-long music makers. Coinciding with the celebration, the event's title sponsor, The Hot Topic Foundation, challenged Little Kids Rock supporters to help reach the next half million music makers through the Half A Million Music Makers campaign. All donations received by Little Kids Rock through 12/31/2016 will be matched dollar-for-dollar by The Hot Topic Foundation, up to $500,000!
For more information about the title sponsor, The Hot Topic Foundation, please visit http://www.hottopic.com/customer-service/hot-topic-foundation/. To learn more about the Half A Million Music Makers campaign visit www.crowdrise.com/HalfMillionMusicMakers
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About Little Kids Rock
Little Kids Rock is a national nonprofit dedicated to transforming lives by restoring, expanding, and innovating music education in our schools. The organization partners with public school districts to train teachers to run its innovative Modern Band curriculum, and donates all the accompanying instruments and resources necessary to teach popular music in a way that empowers students to experience instant achievement. What began as a single after-school guitar class has since exploded into a national movement that brings free, weekly music lessons to over 250,000 public school children through the efforts of more than 1,700 teachers in 124 school districts nationwide. To date, Little Kids Rock has served more than 500,000 students.
About The Hot Topic Foundation
The Hot Topic Foundation is the charitable arm of music and pop culture merch retailer Hot Topic. The Hot Topic Foundation* believes the creative arts enrich lives – so we inspire and encourage young people to express their individuality through music and the arts. Since its founding in 2004, The Hot Topic Foundation has gifted nearly $10 million in grants to non-profit organizations – including Notes for Notes®, Little Kids Rock and the Grammy Foundation – that create music and arts programs for young people across the country, at schools and beyond. Give to The Hot Topic Foundation at all Hot Topic stores and at HTFoundation.org. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/HotTopicFoundation.
About Hot Topic
Founded in 1989 in a Southern California guest house, Hot Topic was the first retailer to make alternative apparel and accessories available to individualistic teens at malls across the country. Today, Hot Topic offers music and pop culture junkies exclusive pop culture and band merch, collectibles, and fashion apparel and accessories. Hot Topic operates 659 stores in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico and an online store at hottopic.com. Find Hot Topic on Twitter (twitter.com/hottopic), Facebook (facebook.com/hottopic), YouTube (youtube.com/hottopic) and Instagram (instagram.com/hottopic).
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SOURCE Little Kids Rock