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Little Bit of Rock, Little Bit of Demin & A Lotta Fun

May 3, 2012

The Jean Shop, NYC

The room smelled like leather, the walls were draped with denim and Jake Clemons evoked his late uncle, “The Big Man” Clarence Clemons, as his saxophone blared the solo in Lady Gaga’s “The Edge of Glory.” But here’s the kicker – the band playing was comprised of 12 and 13 year-old students that benefit from a national nonprofit called Little Kids Rock, and the venue was a trendy retail store in the Meatpacking District of NYC called The Jean Shop.

Quick backstory – Clarence was a big supporter of Little Kids Rock, which has donated free instruments and curricula to over 200,000 kids across the US for ten years. In his honor, the charity began giving an annual “Big Man of the Year Award” and last year, Clarence’s widow Victoria presented the award to Lady Gaga, whose song “The Edge of Glory” featured Clarence on sax. Jake performed the song with a band of Little Kids Rock students at the gala event last October and gave an encore presentation Thursday night at a charity event at the Jean Shop.

Jake has followed in his uncle’s enormous footsteps by touring with the E Street Band as their new sax player, but also by becoming a supporter of Little Kids Rock’s mission to restore and revitalize music education in disadvantaged public schools. Little Kids Rock founder and executive director David Wish presented Jake with a plaque and guitar signed by dozens of students as he welcomed him to the charity’s honorary board of directors, which puts him in the esteemed company of artists such as Bonnie Raitt, B.B. King, Slash and The Big Man. “I’m so proud and honored to be a small stone in the monument that is Little Kids Rock, as we continue to set a precedent in musical passion through education,” Jake said.

Photos: ©MatthewCarasella/SocialShutterbug.com

Feature Story by Keith Hejna/ Communications & Outreach Coordinator “Little Kids Rock”