The Guitar Center Music Foundation (GCMF), a non-profit charity organization focused on granting instruments to music education and music therapy programs, held its fundraiser gala on March 30 at The Canyon in Agoura Hills, California.
The event honored the career of percussionist Pete “Pops” Escovedo, as well as the efforts of local music teachers. A capacity crowd was in attendance, enjoying the evening’s festivities and helping the Foundation raise thousands of dollars in new funds. GCMF executive director Myka Miller and GCMF chairman of the board David Helfant served as co-hosts for the event.
GCMF presented a Lifetime Achievement Award to Escovedo, a Grammy award-winning percussionist, as he is retiring from touring this year. Pete and other members of the Escovedo family performed at the event, along with several other special guests, including Macy Gray, Robby Krieger of The Doors, Judith Hill and Brian O’Neal of The BusBoys. John “JR” Robinson, musical director for David Foster, served as musical director for the evening, leading an ensemble of musicians. Before the event kicked off, guests enjoyed additional performances from student musicians from the Teen Music Workshop in San Bernardino, California, a GCMF grantee. Aside from live music, the evening included a gourmet dinner for VIP guests, a photo booth, and live and silent auctions.
The event began with opening remarks from Miller and Helfant, welcoming and thanking the attendees and special guests, as well as sponsors DW Foundation, ASCAP, Blackwing Foundation, Get Together Foundation, Donor360, Eastman, Sony Music Publishing and Guitar Center. Ron Japinga, Guitar Center’s president and CEO, and GCMF board members and grantees also received special acknowledgement.
Throughout the evening, those in attendance were able to bid on several silent auction items, including a “Light My Fire” painting by Robby Krieger; a Fender Precision Bass with original artwork by Jerry Garcia; a trip to the Virgin Islands; a pair of Los Angeles Dodgers box seats; a Fender 60th Anniversary Classic Player 1950s Stratocaster signed by Mana; a day-long studio session with Grammy award-winning producer and engineer Val Garay; a painting by Pete Escovedo; and more.