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Sunday, February 17 , 2019, 11:20 pm | Fair 47º


Seymour Duncan Stages Benefit Concert to Support Notes for Notes

For the fourth year in a row, guitar pickup pioneer Seymour Duncan threw a live concert to support Notes for Notes, the nonprofit organization that builds, equips and staffs after-school recording studios where youth get completely free access to explore, create and record music.

Joe Bonamassa
Joe Bonamassa was among the musicians who performed for the Seymour Duncan Benefit Concert. (Steve Kennedy / Noozhawk photo)

Following the resounding success of previous benefit concerts that featured the Steve Miller Band, Los Lobos, Slash and Robert Randolph, the fourth annual Seymour Duncan Benefit Concert brought Jimmy Vivino and the Basic Cable Band (from Conan O’Brien’s late night show) and Joe Bonamassa along with special guests Rich Robinson, Robben Ford and Laith Al Saadi to the Lobero Theatre on Friday.

"We are so proud of the partnership with Notes for Notes and the impact we’ve had on the youth they serve locally and abroad,” said Cathy Duncan, co-founder and CEO of Seymour Duncan, which has built the world’s most coveted guitar pickups in Santa Barbara for the past 37 years. “Plus I'm really looking forward to hearing the youth perform, especially the young man who is coming out from Nashville. That'll be an experience they remember for the rest of their lives."

Founded in 2006, Notes for Notes runs two studios inside Boys & Girls Clubs in Santa Barbara, two more in Nashville, Tenn., and one in Los Angeles with another one on the way. As part of a growing partnership with the CMA Foundation in Nashville, Notes for Notes will be expanding the program nationwide, with plans to open studios in Detroit, San Francisco, Ventura, Brooklyn, Austin and Atlanta by the end of 2015.

Notes for Notes co-founder and CEO Philip Gilley is thrilled that Seymour Duncan is again using its industry clout to benefit musical opportunities for youth as the organization grows.

“Joe Bonamossa brought something very special to this show and the organization in 2012,” Gilley said of the guitar virtusoso’s first visit to the benefit concert. “His mind-bending musicianship was a very powerful message to our kids about what happens when you start exploring music at a young age.”

Gilley’s goal for the benefit is to produce something that entertains, supports and inspires, and he believes Jimmy Vivino and the Basic Cable Band is the best supporting act in the business.

“The generosity of Seymour Duncan, Jimmy and Joe never ceases to amaze and remind us of the profound power of music," he said.

In addition to this incredible night of music, which was presented by the New Noise Music Foundation, there was a silent auction of signed guitars and other rock-'n'-roll memorabilia, a VIP reception before the show, and appearances by Notes for Notes musicians from Nashville, including Myles Slay, who Gilley said has “one of the most amazing voices we’ve ever heard.”

Already looking forward to next year's show!

— Steve Kennedy is a Noozhawk contributor. The opinions expressed are his own.

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