Give Music Life Newsletter: July 2014

A monthly newsletter to keep you in key with the Fender Music Foundation.


Buzzworthy Event

Foundation to receive five percent of James Brown book sales

Daryl Brown, son of music legend James Brown, has written a book “Inside the Godfather“, a biography about the “Godfather of Soul”. The book was released on August 1 to coincide with the premier of the Mick Jagger produced movie “Get On Up”, a James Brown biopic that is receiving rave reviews. Buy your copy today to get a more in-depth view into the life of James Brown: available on Amazon for $15.26 plus $3.95 for shipping and handling, $16.10 plus $3.95 for shipping and handling, $8.95  for the Kindle edition, and through Barnes & Noble for $17.05 plus $3.99 shipping and handling. Waldorf Publishing is promoting ”Inside the Godfather” with a national book tour and Daryl has generously agreed to give 5% of the sales to the Foundation, so we may continue in our mission to GIVE MUSIC LIFE!

The Foundation and CharityBuzz are hosting a fundraiser which features a "meet and greet" with the Gipsy Kings.

Foundation fundraiser features Gipsy Kings & Córdoba guitar

For the Gipsy Kings 25th Anniversary concert at the Greek Theater on August 30th, 2014, enjoy 2 VIP concert tickets, a backstage meet & greet with the band, (Hurry, auction ends on August 14) and an autographed Cordoba Pro-R guitar signed and presented to you during your meet & greet.

It has been twenty-five years since the Gipsy Kings captured the world’s imagination with their self-titled debut album—a record that became a genuine phenomenon, certified gold and platinum around the globe, introducing millions of listeners to a unique, irresistible blend of traditional flamenco styles with Western pop and Latin rhythms. Since then, the band has toured virtually non-stop, to the farthest-flung corners of the planet, and sold almost twenty million albums, all the while retaining the same line-up of virtuoso musicians.

The funds raised from the winning bid will be used to support youth and music education programs that are provided by both the Boys & Girls Clubs – Carpinteria and The Fender Music Foundation’s nationwide reach.

Donated By: Cordoba Pro-R Guitar provided by The Boys & Girls Clubs – Carpinteria, Concert tickets (VIP seating), backstage meet and greet and signatures on the guitar provided by Gipsy Kings with the help of Cordoba Guitars.

Twilight Saga star supports FMF crowdfunding campaign via social media

Nikki Reed of Twilight Saga fame has put her considerable “social media” weight behind the “Give Music Life to 10,000 People” crowdfunding campaign to raise $10,000 for 200 guitars, with each instrument on average benefiting 50 people. Thanks Nikki!

Grantee News

Rootz of Music: Helping Bridge Gap Between Performance and Theory

A few years ago, a music man from Jamaica noticed musicians he performed with, although talented, often were not well versed in music theory. He wondered how to bridge the gap between musical performers and music education: he envisioned helping children deepen their relationship with music they loved by teaching them the historical aspects and origins of modern music.

Meet Eugene Grey, Founder and Executive Director of Rootz of Music in Tamarac, Florida. Founded in 2011, Rootz of Music’s mission is a dedication to the promotion and preservation of popular music; specifically through the innovative program, American Roots of Jamaican Music.

Rootz of Music needed help to expand their inventory of musical instruments. In their quest for instruments, Eugene’s wife Felicia, who is also the Co-Founder and President, searched on the web for music charities and was excited to find the Fender Music Foundation. “The website was easy to use and the application process was easy as well, so I applied right away,” she says. “Plus, Eugene has always loved Fender guitars and basses, so it seemed like a great fit.”

For a program without enough instruments to function properly and children eager to learn and play, receiving the grant from the Fender Music Foundation was the ideal solution. Rootz of Music received two Fender acoustic guitar packs, two Squier guitar starter packs, and two practice amps.

The joy in Eugene’s voice was practically tangible as he talked about the changes that he’s seen in his students. “I’ve seen young people who came into the program lacking focus, and then change into disciplined musicians.”

A 12-year-old student reflected, “I have learned discipline and patience. You have to keep your mind set on things and you have to concentrate.”

Eugene shared how learning about music theory has inspired his students to want to learn more about the world. As they learned music theory vocabulary, they became curious about where the words came from, sparking discussions and lessons on world music.

“I’ve seen music – and the way we incorporate music from different cultures – inspire their interest to want to learn more about music and the cultures which coined the musical terms,” he said with a smile.

They have also started to see how much of their beloved rock music infamously derived from the American Blues music which preceded it. Eugene went on, “Their appreciation of music has changed. The way they hear rhythm and tones has changed, and its fun to watch and listen to as they grow.”

CoachArt delivers music lessons with help from the Foundation

We all enjoy music for one reason or another but do we actually think about how music  may heal? For some of us it’s just something to enjoy while at work, and for others it’s a temporary antidote for a life of day-to-day illness and pain.

As a nonprofit organization with locations in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, CoachArt‘s mission is to improve the quality of life for chronically ill children and their families by providing free lessons in the arts and athletics. Many kids would otherwise miss out on everyday activities because of their special medical needs, if not for CoachArt stepping in where the public school system leaves off.

One in of every six children living in California is afflicted with some form of  chronic illness and in parts of Los Angeles, it’s one in five. Beyond statistics, CoachArt’s is clearly filling a need and according to its Grants Supervisor, Cassie Riger, the support from the Fender Music Foundation has been vital in reaching their goal.

“The Fender Music Foundation understands the importance of music and the arts, especially for chronically ill youth from underserved communities,” she says.

One of the methods in which this very important need is addressed, CoachArt volunteers provide in-home music lessons to children who may be recovering from post-transplant surgical procedures, chronic illnesses such as cancer, HIV, or arthritis. Today in excess of 1300 kids are offered training in the arts and athletic exercises by hundreds of qualified volunteers.

In 2013, CoachArt applied for a grant and was awarded two Jackson electric guitars, a Córdoba ukulele and various accessories, of which were used in its music program to the joy of many children. The CoachArt staff and volunteers know the value of their in-home lessons provide but sometimes just hearing and seeing the enthusiasm of a child is its true reward.

“Every week is different and each week I learn a different skill. I really like my CoachArt mentor because he is different from all the music teachers I’ve had,” says 15-year-old CoachArt student Athalia. “I’m looking forward to learning how to play a full song and mastering this instrument!”

Music Matters

 For some music matters to them more than most. And for Facebook user Crystal Edgell Hawn, the Foundation’s commitment to supporting music education and therapy programs meant so much, she decided to have a tattoo of our slogan adorn her arm. Now that’s dedication and we feel inspired!

New Team Members

Boneth Ahaneku

Summer intern Boneth Ahaneku wanted to combine her desire in understanding the human mind and her love of music. Majoring in Neuroscience and having a pref cosleeperence for Grunge Rock, Boneth sought out internships that would marry the two interests. As happenstance would have it, she stumbled upon the Fender Music Foundation website: “It seemed like the perfect opportunity!”  Seeing the peculiar combination of music and science, she believes this will help in the Foundation’s pursuit and assisting music therapy programs.

Foundation Highlights

  • We have increased our Facebook Likes to nearly 30,000 followers, and now expanding posts on Tumblr, Instagram, and Twitter. This significant growth is the result of the hard work of our staff and interns sharing meaningful posts about the Foundation and the industry.
  • Foundation has a new partner “Royalty Exchange” which has agreed to donate a portion of company proceeds along with significant fee reduction for royalty rights donated to the Foundation.
  • A collaborative crowdfunding event involving the Foundation, Steve Perry, and The City of Hope is in its final stages of development.
  • The Foundation is completing the details for a crowdfunding event with Reggie Calloway.
  • Ray Parker Jr. and the Foundation are working on a collaborative crowdfunding event, which is in its final developmental stage.
  • The Foundation and Mexican rock band Mana are planning a collaborative crowdfunding event and it’s near final development.