SOURCE: Guitar Center

Guitar Center

Guitar Center

September 16, 2014 09:00 ET

Little Kids Rock Will Honor Joan Jett at Annual Star-Studded Benefit

Alice Cooper, Tommy James, Billie Joe Armstrong, Darlene Love and Other Special Guests Will Join Jett at the Sixth Annual 'Little Kids Rock Benefit' Presented by Guitar Center and Hosted by Hammerstein Ballroom at The Manhattan Center to Raise Funds to Support U.S. Public School Music Programs

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Sep 16, 2014) - To ensure the continuation and revitalization of music education in economically challenged public schools across the country, non-profit organization Little Kids Rock will host its sixth annual Little Kids Rock Benefit, honoring Joan Jett and her music. The annual event, this year presented by Guitar Center and produced by Steven and Maureen Van Zandt, will take place on Thursday, Oct. 23 at New York's iconic Hammerstein Ballroom at The Manhattan Center, a longstanding supporter of Little Kids Rock and a 2014 event sponsor. Alice Cooper, Tommy James, Billie Joe Armstrong, Darlene Love, Glen Hansard, Jesse Malin, Brody Dalle, Jake Clemons and other special guests will make up the all-star roster of musicians that will pay tribute to Jett with musical performances, produced by Steven Van Zandt.

Little Kids Rock will honor the hardest-rocking Blackheart, Joan Jett, as the "Rocker of the Year" for the impact that her career, influence, and music have had on the charity's 'Modern Band' music program, which equips public school music teachers with the instruments, training, and curricular resources they need to teach popular musical styles that kids know and love, like rock, hip hop, country, blues and funk. More than 300,000 kids have benefited to date. Annually, this event raises enough funds to bring music education and instruments into the lives of tens of thousands of additional public school children who otherwise would not have access due to school budget cuts.

Jett joins past honorees such as Lady Gaga, Steven Van Zandt, Darlene Love and Clarence Clemons, and performers such as Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Brian Wilson, Tom Morello, Dion and many others devoted to giving public school children access to music education. The biggest stars of the evening will be the Little Kids Rock students who will share the stage with some of rock and roll's biggest names.

"Joan Jett's music and ability to continually do things in her own way have inspired so many fans, fellow musicians, and kids across the world," says David Wish, Little Kids Rock's Founder and CEO. "We love rock and roll and we love Joan!"

Guitar Center CEO Mike Pratt will also be honored during the evening, which will include musical performances, speeches and appearances by special guests to be announced. The annual Big Man of the Year Award, in honor of early Little Kids Rock supporter and E Street Band member Clarence Clemons, will also be presented during evening, but that honoree is yet to be announced.

A focal point of the evening will be a live and silent auction featuring unique donated items like dinner with Maureen and Steven Van Zandt, autographed musical memorabilia, cruises from Royal Caribbean, limited edition Citizen Watches, and the opportunity to play onstage with the evening's performers. All proceeds raised during the live and silent auction will enable Little Kids Rock to bring free lessons and instruments to over 135,000 disadvantaged public school students in 13 states.

RESERVE YOUR SEATS: or call 973-746-8248.

About Little Kids Rock

Little Kids Rock is a national nonprofit that seeks to build a world where kids can live rich, purposeful lives, and won't rest until all children have the opportunity to unlock their inner-music makers. The organization partners with economically disadvantaged public school districts to train their teachers to run innovative Modern Band music programs. This includes donating all of the instruments, curricula and resources necessary to run rockin' music programs rooted in popular music, with a heavy emphasis on improvisation and composition. To date they have served more than 300,000 students in 13 states. More info at

About Joan Jett

Joan Jett is an originator, an innovator, and a visionary. As the leader of the hard-rocking Blackhearts, she's had eight platinum and gold albums and nine Top 40 singles, including the classics "Bad Reputation," "I Love Rock 'N' Roll," "I Hate Myself For Loving You," and "Crimson and Clover." She sits at the head of her own independent label, Blackheart Records. Jett has acted in movies and television, including 1987's Light Of Day, and in a Tony-nominated Broadway musical, The Rocky Horror Show. She has appeared on such acclaimed television shows as Oprah (the last season) and Law and Order. As a producer, she has overseen albums by Bikini Kill, Circus Lupus, as well as the Germs' LA punk masterpiece, GI.

Since co-founding the Runaways, the pioneering all-girl punk quintet, at age 15, Jett's determination and drive have kept her in the public eye. Jett and the Blackhearts continuously tour across the globe to throngs of adoring fans. Joan Jett has spent her lifetime breaking barriers and challenging expectations -- this is, after all, a woman who is both a spokesperson for PETA and a devoted supporter of the US Military. She's fought hard for all of her historic accomplishments, yet she remains humble and appreciative.

About Guitar Center

Guitar Center is the world's largest retailer of guitars, amplifiers, drums, keyboards, recording, live sound, DJ, and lighting equipment, with more than 260 stores across the U.S. 2014 marks the milestone 50th anniversary of the Guitar Center Brand as we continue to help people make music from coast to coast. In addition, the Music & Arts division operates more than 120 stores specializing in band & orchestral instruments for sale and rental, serving teachers, band directors, college professors, and students since 1952. With an unrivaled in-store experience and passionate commitment to making gear easy-to-buy, Guitar Center is all about enabling musicians and non-musicians alike to experience the almost indescribable joy that comes from playing an instrument. All we sell is the greatest feeling on earth. For more information about Guitar Center, please visit

About The Manhattan Center

Centrally located in the heart of New York City, The Manhattan Center ( is the city's premiere, mid-size venue and a celebrated destination for extraordinary performances and unforgettable special events. The world-class media and entertainment facility houses the famed Hammerstein and Grand Ballrooms, boasting elaborate architecture, hand-painted ceilings, ornate woodwork and beautiful balconies. Fully integrated with HD control rooms and a full service production company, the Manhattan Center provides unparalleled service and complete event services. Manhattan Center has been the venue of choice for corporate galas, charity fundraisers, award shows, rock concerts, and fashion shows for more than 75 years.

Contact Information