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Cedar Grove, U.S.A. – Before his passing in 2011, legendary E Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemons helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for Little Kids Rock, a leading nonprofit provider of free musical instruments and lessons to underprivileged public school students across the United States.
In an effort to honor his legacy and continue supporting the charity, The Jean Shop has been selling leather “Big Man” bracelets online, raising more than $12,500 this summer. The funds will allow Little Kids Rock to serve at least 750 new children with free instrumental music lessons this school year.
“We are overwhelmed by the generosity of Mr. Clemons’ fans,” says David Wish, Little Kids Rock’s founder and executive director. “It is a privilege to be able to honor the ‘Big Man’s’ legacy each year while also providing music education to our nation’s disadvantaged youth. Adding his fans’ support to that equation makes it all the more special.”
Little Kids Rock honors Clemons annually at its Right to Rock Celebration by presenting the “Big Man of the Year Award” to an artist who embodies the values of generosity and service that reflect the “Big Man’s” legacy and Little Kids Rock’s ideals.
Last year, his E Street band mate Steven Van Zandt and his wife Maureen introduced Clemons’ wife Victoria, who presented the award to Lady Gaga. The pop star’s presence was a complete surprise to the crowd of more than 300 guests and donors.
This year, Little Kids Rock will celebrate its 10th anniversary at the Manhattan Center Grand Ballroom in New York City at its fourth annual Right to Rock Celebration on Tuesday, October 16, 2012. The “Big Man of the Year” has not yet been announced, but that has not stopped fans from going online to show their support by purchasing a bracelet. The bracelets bring fans closer to their departed hero, who wore one throughout the promotion of his book, “Big Man, Real Life & Tall Tales.”
Proceeds from the bracelet sales and the Right to Rock Celebration will go toward providing free instruments, curriculum and lessons to thousands of students in disadvantaged public school districts nationwide that have seen their music programming decimated due to budget cuts.
“More than 50 percent of kids who play an instrument go on to college, yet music education programs at the inner city public schools who need them most continue to be hit hard with budget cuts,” Clemons once noted. “Little Kids Rock has responded to this problem in a really big way and made a positive impact on the lives of literally thousands of low-income students who wouldn’t have otherwise had the opportunity. I strongly encourage those who are in a position to do so to support their cause and spread the word about this inspirational program.”
Buy your Big Man bracelet while supplies last at littlekidsrock.org/bigmanbracelet
About Little Kids Rock
Little Kids Rock is a nonprofit organization that transforms children’s lives by restoring and revitalizing music education in public schools. Little Kids Rock was founded in San Francisco in 2002 by David Wish, an elementary school teacher who had grown frustrated with the lack of music education funding at his school.
Today, Little Kids Rock is one of the leading nonprofit providers of free lessons and instruments to underprivileged children in US public schools, and has served more than 200,000 students at over 1,600 schools in 25 cities nationwide. Little Kids Rock Honorary Board Members include Bonnie Raitt, Slash, Paul Simon, B.B. King, Slash, Ziggy Marley and other famous friends in the music industry.