On September 22, Grammy-nominated producer, songwriter and guitarist Blake Mills led an all-star cast of musicians for a special night of music that raised $160,000 in support of music education. One of the many highlights from “Music Makes You,” the benefit concert put on by the D’Addario Foundation, included an impromptu performance by Jackson Browne, who joined Mills and Brooklyn’s Lucius for a special rendition of “Willin’.” Jackson also joined Mills, Lucius, Smokey Hormel, Marc Ribot and Julian Lage for “Take It Easy.” Comedian Seth Herzog earned laughs throughout the night with his charming and high-energy performance as host.
Unlike many foundations, 100 percent of every dollar the D’Addario Foundation raises goes directly to programs on the front lines, translating to thousands of children gaining access to the impact of music education. Not only did the audience help ensure thousands of kids have access to quality music instruction, but they were also treated to an inspiring performance by Lucius, who brought down the house with “Dusty Trails.” In addition, Karen O and Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs performed beautiful acoustic versions of “Gold Lions” and “Hideaway.”
Other high points included an all-star performance by Hormel, Ribot, Lage and Mills, who turned in one-of-a-kind versions of Lonnie Johnson’s “Tomorrow Night” and Duke Ellington’s “Blues In Blueprint,” wowing the audience with their skillful harmonization and synchronized guitar work. Grammy winner Janis Ian, who performed her number-one hit single “At Seventeen,” also treated the audience to an exceptional rendition. So did Kaki King, who performed “Tiny Pan,” which served to back up Rolling Stone’s decision to list King as one of the “New Guitar Gods.” King is the only woman, and the youngest artist, on that list.
Big congratulations to Suzanne D’Addario Brouder, Executive Director of the D’Addario Foundation, for overseeing a hugely successful evening.