LA's historic Palace Theater recently played host to the D’Addario Foundations “Back 2 School” benefit concert. Featuring performances by Jim James (My Morning Jacket), multiplatinum-selling recording artist and Emmy nominated actress Mandy Moore and film star and musician John C. Riley, the concert also included appearances by singer-songwriter Mike Viola, alternative country-rock folk artist Langhorne Slim, alternative pop-rock vocalist LP, singer-songwriter and guitar virtuoso Blake Mills, singer-songwriter David Garza, the Los Angeles’s based comedy duo Garfunkel & Oates and an impressive drum line of percussionists. The Watkins Family Hour, an institution in LA, served as the evening's house band. A cast of gifted musicians collaborated with Sara and Sean Watkins throughout the concert. The evening's grand finale was a lively rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow," featuring all the performers.
Produced in partnership with BGS and Kensington Presents, this is the first concert of it’s kind in Southern California. Proceeds from the event will enable the D’Addario Foundation to provide young musicians with access to music programs and educational scholarships, as well as encourage females to participate in the D’Addario Girls In Music Initiative.
“Music is the one thing that is truly universally moving and that can break down so many barriers,” says Suzanne D’Addario Brouder, D'Addario Foundation Director. “In terms of education, unlike any other form, it has a trifecta of impacts; cognitive, social/emotional and communal. It truly is one of the most effective ways to reach students and get them engaged in school. The D’Addario Foundation provides support to over 200 programs all over the US each year. In California, we currently have the largest number of programs, so we thought it would be appropriate to showcase our efforts there.”
“Our mission is very purposeful and specific,” adds Brouder. “We partner with the highest quality, most impactful music instruction programs in communities of need, providing monetary and equipment support, guidance, advocacy and development assistance through a very personalized approach. We believe in the power of music to unlock creativity, boost self-confidence and enhance academics. By making music education accessible, we positively affect social change and foster better citizens of the world.”
The world's largest manufacturer of musical instrument accessories, D’Addario utilizes up to 10% of their net earnings each year to fund over 200 nonprofit programs. Additionally, D’Addario absorbs all operational costs, ensuring 100% of every dollar supports music programs globally.
“It’s meaningful on so many levels, the most significant of which is seeing first-hand how our efforts are changing kids’ lives," says Brouder. "Some of those kids, now college-age and beyond, will be the greatest advocates for these wonderful community-based music education programs. It’s also exciting to partner with like-minded people who were touched by music in their lives, so much so that they dedicate their careers to giving back. It never ceases to amaze me how selfless some people can be, how much time and effort they put into running these programs and taking care of their students. It’s inspiring and so lovely to be around.”
With a deep, family-owned history that goes back 10 generations, D’Addario has long been committed to making an impact through socially conscious organizations like the D’Addario Foundation.
“The dream vision, through a combination of in-school and after-school programs, is to establish music-making as an enduring, attractive and easily accessible staple in children’s lives," says Brouder. "We simply want as many kids as possible to have music instruction in their every-day lives. We’d also like to greatly expand our College Scholarship program so we can encourage more kids to apply to and attend college. Of our first ten recipients this year, 7 are the first generation to go to college. That is pretty remarkable and a testament to the power of active participation in these programs. These are kids that live in districts where the high school graduation rate hovers at 50%. This is true social change.”
To stay up to date with The D’Addario Foundation visit daddariofoundation.org