Alice Cooper, Joan Jett, Billie Joe Armstrong, Steven Van Zandt, and Cheap Trick were just a few of the legendary musicians who took the stage at the 6th Annual Little Kids Rock Benefit honoring punk icon Joan Jett as "Rocker of the Year" and E Street Band member, Jake Clemons as "Big Man of the Year."
As fashion designer Betsey Johnson said, it was “everything rock and roll for the kids,” at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, Thursday October 23.
The event raised money for Little Kids Rock, a non-profit organization that aims to establish lasting music programs in public schools across the nation by training school teachers, donating instruments, and providing necessary course resources for students.
The funds raised could buy everything needed to set up a “School of Rock”-style band, Teddy Reiser, Curriculum Design Specialist said before the show, referencing the music-focused comedy starring Jack Black.
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“I’m just so excited to see all the instruments the kids are going to get, and seeing everybody so dedicated to the cause. People who are in this room tonight are really just people who care about the children,” Reiser added.
Some of the students from the Little Kids Rock program gave free music lessons to guests, including 14-year-old Marcos Vasquez from Franklin L. Williams Middle School in Jersey City, New Jersey, who has been playing guitar for three years.
“Since Little Kids Rock, I’ve been getting better and better,” said Vasquez, who took the stage for multiple performances later in the evening.
The benefit also featured a live and silent auction which included unique donated items, such as various autographed guitars, a dinner with Maureen and Steven Van Zandt, Royal Caribbean cruises, limited edition Citizen watches, and a chance to play onstage with all the evening's performers at the end of the show.
The 2014 Rocker of the Year, Joan Jett, performed duets with Tommy James, Billie Joe Armstrong, and Alice Cooper.
The rock n’ roll filled event ended with all the artists performing alongside Little Kids Rock students to “I Love Rock N’ Roll” in honor of Jett.