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The Guitar Center Music Foundation hosts a who’s-who of L.A.’s music industry at third-annual benefit concert

The Guitar Center Music Foundation hosts a who’s-who of L.A.’s music industry at third-annual benefit concert

The fundraiser and concert event honoring Ernie Isley took place on April 4, 2024, at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., April 17, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The Guitar Center Music Foundation (GCMF), a nonprofit organization that advances the healing, transformative power of music by granting instruments to music education and music therapy programs in need, held its Third Annual Benefit Gala and Concert on Thursday, April 4, 2024, from 7-11 p.m. at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles, Calif. This year’s event honored Ernie Isley, a key member of The Isley Brothers, who have been inducted into both Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Guitar Center’s Rock Walk. A who’s-who of the Los Angeles-based music community showed up to take part in this Event, pay tribute to music icon Ernie Isley, and support GCMF.

The Isley Brothers have been making musical hits for over 60 years, including “Twist and Shout,” “Shout,” “That Lady,” and “For The Love of You.” Ernie Isley’s distinctive lead guitar has been a key element of the group’s unique sound, and he continues to be one of the most respected living guitarists today. At this star-studded event, GCMF presented Ernie Isley with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Addressing the attendees, Isley regaled the crowd with the tale of how he arrived at the iconic tone for his solo on “That Lady” – by testing out gear (Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Fuzz and a Maestro Phase Shifter) in a Guitar Center store! All proceeds from the Event benefit the Guitar Center Music Foundation to aid in their mission to keep music alive and accessible for all through donations of musical instruments and grants for music education throughout the country.

Produced by Hammond Entertainment, the evening also featured red-carpet arrivals, cocktail hour, dinner, special live performance, and silent and live auctions. Before the award presentation, Isley was celebrated musically by a diverse lineup of artists, accompanied by a band led by the evening’s musical director, keyboardist, and arranger Greg Phillinganes. Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid delivered a spirited rendition of The Isley Brothers’ 1975 funk anthem “Fight the Power, Part 1,” with Phillinganes taking on vocal duties.

Later, Ray Parker Jr. garnered enthusiastic applause as he joined the band for a soulful rendition of the Isleys’ 1978 hit “Groove With You.” Toto co-founder Steve Lukather also electrified the audience with his dynamic performance on the Isley Brothers’ 1974 cover of the Seals and Crofts classic “Summer Breeze.” Then, Melanie Faye impressed the crowd with her contemporary guitar skills on the group’s 1977 slow jam “Footsteps in the Dark,” a song written by Ernie Isley, who also contributed guitar and drums to the original recording. Upon taking the stage, Ernie’s daughter Alex Isley, herself a GRAMMY®-nominated singer-songwriter, affectionately referred to her father Ernie as “my favorite writer ever” before delivering a heartfelt rendition of another of his compositions, the timeless 1976 track “(At Your Best) You Are Love.”

The Event was further enriched by video tributes from a plethora of esteemed artists and musicians, including Chaka Khan, Sheryl Crow, Nile Rodgers, Narada Michael Walden, Carlos Santana, and H.E.R., who cited Ernie as a true trailblazer and inspiration. Percussionist Pete Escovedo, recipient of The Guitar Center Music Foundation’s lifetime achievement award in 2023, also extended his congratulations. The evening was rounded off with a silent and live auction, featuring prizes such as a guitar signed by Bruno Mars and a day-long studio session with GRAMMY-winning producer/engineer Val Garay.

David Helfant, Chairman of the Board at The Guitar Center Music Foundation, remarks, “This event was a huge success, in terms of paying tribute to the living legend Ernie Isley and raising funds and awareness for The Guitar Center Music Foundation. Ernie Isley and his brothers have left an immeasurable legacy in music history, and we were so proud to have honored him at this year’s Gala. This annual event has been building real momentum and visibility for the goals of the Foundation, and we plan on next year’s celebration being bigger than ever!”

Event producer Bill Hammond adds, “It is a true honor to be the producer for The Guitar Center Music Foundation tribute to honor Ernie Isley. To assemble all these talented performers to honor Ernie was a blessing and a vision, and it all came together. I am happy to have contributed to such a wonderful evening, which helped support The Guitar Center Music Foundation and its mission of advancing the cause of music education. Big thanks to my music director Greg Phillinganes, and a heartfelt thank you to Myka Miller, the Executive Director of the GCMF, and David Helfant, the Chairman of the Board, in sharing their vision.”

Ernie Isley stated, “Many thanks to everyone involved with the Guitar Center for creating such a memorable evening. My sincere hopes and best wishes are with the future generations of musicians.”

To learn more, visit http://www.GuitarCenterFoundation.org, or follow @GiveMusicLife on Twitter for more news or to discover ways to support The Guitar Center Music Foundation. Also, follow GCMF on Facebook and Instagram.

SOURCE Guitar Center Music Foundation

Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-guitar-center-music-foundation-hosts-a-whos-who-of-las-music-industry-at-third-annual-benefit-concert-302118859.html
Some images courtesy of https://pixabay.com

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