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Michael McDonald and Ambrosia Headline Benefit Concert for Youth Interactive

Santa Barbara-based non-profit Youth Interactive is excited to announce the 2nd Annual Santa Barbara Rocks for Youth Interactive concert, headlined by five-time Grammy Award-winner Michael McDonald, at the Lobero Theatre Sunday, Oct. 11, at 6 p.m.

The concert will also include a special performance by five-time Grammy nominees Ambrosia.

All proceeds from the fundraiser will go to support the Youth Interactive Entrepreneurship Academy in Santa Barbara, whose mission is to bridge the opportunity divide for at-risk, low-income teenagers by providing tuition-free after school enrichment programs.

“Growing up, I was lucky enough that I was able to pull in just enough money through music to keep my mother off my back. It was such a gift being able to support myself doing something I loved, and it motivated me to keep going,” shared Michael McDonald.

“There are a lot of kids that want to turn their lives around and contribute to this world, but they just need someone to show them how, which is where Youth Interactive comes in, with mentoring and helping them set up sustainable businesses. And if they can do it through an art form they enjoy, it makes it that much more gratifying for them,” stated McDonald.

Michael McDonald began his career singing back-up vocals with Steely Dan. He was a member of the Doobie Brothers from 1976–1982 and recorded some of the band's best-known songs such as "Takin' it to the Streets,” "It Keeps You Runnin,'" "Minute by Minute" and "What a Fool Believes," which was a #1 single in the U.S.

McDonald released his first solo album, If That's What It Takes, in 1982 and featured the hit "I Gotta Try," a song co-written with Kenny Loggins.

His duet “Yah Mo B There" with James Ingram won the 1985 Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo. "On My Own," a duet with Patti LaBelle, reached #1 on the U.S. charts in 1986.

In 2000, McDonald, along with partners Chris Pelonis and actor Jeff Bridges, founded the independent recording label Ramp Records. In 2003, he earned two Grammy nominations for his album Motown, a tribute to the motown sound.

In 2008 McDonald released his SoulSpeak album, featuring his interpretations of 11 soul-inspired songs. In the summer of 2010, he began a tour with Donald Fagen and Boz Scaggs, known as The Dukes of September Rhythm Revue.

This year, McDonald appeared on the finals of American Idol and is touring throughout the country. He and his wife Amy are Santa Barbara residents. 

In the year 1970, four young musicians from the South Bay of Los Angeles, came together to create a new invigorating style of music. Exploring the possibilities of progressive, classical and world influences, yet rooted with the soul of the blues and R&B, Joseph Puerta, Christopher North, David Pack and Burleigh Drummond created a new sound that was defined and recognized as Ambrosia.

Originally labeled as America’s answer to the progressive invasion of such English acts as “Yes” and “King Crimson”, the group quickly proved it was all that and much more as it’s albums painted aural landscapes covering the gamut of musical styles and attracting the collaboration of such cultural icons as, Leonard Bernstein, Kurt Vonnegut Jr. and Alan Parsons.

In it’s brief recording history, Ambrosia garnered five Grammy nominations, five hit singles, heavy FM airplay and the admiration and respect of the musical community.  

Proceeds from this benefit concert will provide critical support for Youth Interactive’s programming that serves Santa Barbara’s at-risk, underserved youth.  

Based in Santa Barbara’s vibrant Funk Zone, Youth Interactive fosters the development of youth-led entrepreneurial businesses and provides educational support to ensure students graduate from High School, while developing the life skills needed to lead a productive life.

To purchase tickets, click here or call 805.963.0761. 

General admissions tickets cost $75 and are subject to a $7.50 facility fee. The best seats are available on first come first served basis.

Premium seats to the concert and a back stage pass to a pre-concert reception with Michael McDonald and Ambrosia on the Lobero Terrace can be purchased for $175. Complimentary wine, beer and hors d’oeuvres will be served, and a participation in a silent auction and a concert poster are provided.

For $500, join the artists after the concert for an intimate dinner. Enjoy a multi-course meal by Wine Cask’s renowned chef David Rosner, paired with Santa Barbara County’s finest wines. Seats are extremely limited, so to reserve, please contact Nathalie Gensac, President of Youth Interactive at [email protected].

Founded in 2012 Youth Interactive is a creative entrepreneurial academy that empowers and employs youth in Santa Barbara County who are most in need, offering an intensive program of arts, creativity and enterprise.  

YI partners with local schools, the city and the county to provide a path to life success. Its approach is to create youth led businesses based on entrepreneurial arts. Mentors from the arts and business guide their development, but the students drive the process by creating their own companies, designing and making their own products and taking charge of sales and marketing.  

Their rewards are two-fold: they keep the profits they generate while also earning high school credits. Along the way they learn teamwork and discover through trial and error what works and what doesn’t in the real world, an approach that builds confidence and self-esteem and shows the students a path to success beyond school.

— Jennifer Zacharias is a publicist representing Youth Interactive.


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