From up-and-coming music scene newbies to classic rock icons, giving back through charity strikes a major chord with these five bands, each passionate about drumming up awareness and funds for a noteworthy cause.
Bon Jovi and Charity, Jon Bon Jovi SOUL Foundation
Bon Jovi, iconic American rock band founded by Jon Bon Jovi (John Frances Bongiovi, Jr.), with chart-topping hits like Livin’ on a Prayer, includes guitarist Richie Sambora, David Bryan, drummer Tico Torres, and bass player Hugh McDonald.
According to the celebrity charity database LookToTheStars.com, the band supports 12 charities and foundations, a number of which work to better the lives of children and combat homelessness, including Habitat for Humanity, City Hearts: Kids Say Yes to the Arts, The Tico Torres Children’s Foundation, Jon Bon Jovi SOUL Foundation, and Project Home.
The band’s founder and lead singer, Jon Bon Jovi, founded the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation to find solutions for tackling issues that plunge families into economic despair. The organization’s goal is to find long-lasting solutions to rebuilding pride in self and community – “One SOUL at a time” – through innovative community efforts and programs that provide permanent and affordable housing, job training and social service programs.
The Band Perry and Charity, ACM Lifting Lives
This country music band, famous for the hit song If I Die Young, is composed of siblings Kimberly Perry, who sings lead vocals and plays guitar and piano; Reid Perry on bass and background vocals; and Neil Perry on the mandolin, drums, accordion and background vocals. Raised on a blend of rock and country music, The Band Perry’s music is truly a group effort, Neil tells Great American Country, with Kimberly handling the melodies and lyrics, Reid bringing the big musical ideas and Neil cementing the formula with his sense of humor.
The sibling trio believes firmly in giving back, and, according to Look to the Stars, supports ACM Lifting Lives in an effort to improve lives through the power of music through grants that support music therapy and music education programs. The band also supports Save the Music Foundation, a non-profit that strives to improve the quality of education in America’s public schools through the restoration of music programs, as well as raising public awareness about the importance of youth participating in music programs.
Most new bands, consumed with promoting their music and brand, find that they have little in the way of time and resources left over to give to charity. These next two up-and-coming bands, however, have made philanthropy a priority from the get-go.
Melodime and Charity, Now I Play Along Too
MELODIME, a self-proclaimed piano-driven roots rock band that calls its melodies “haunting bittersweet,” and filled with “emotionally rich vocals atop a bed of Southern-flavored alt rock,” strives to do something with their lives that transcends music, to “show people that you don’t have to be famous to make an impact in this world.”
Through the sales of their new album, Where the Sinners & the Saints Collide, which features the single Halo, the band, featuring Brad Rhodes on vocals and guitar, Sammy Duis on keys and bass, Tyler Duis on drums, and Jon Wiley on guitar and background vocals, the band is well on their way to achieving their goal.
The album is their sixth release that was fully funded by fans through their Make an album, change a life campaign using the fundraising platform, Start Some Good. The Virginia-based band is determined to make a difference by donating 100% of the record sale profits from Where the Sinners & the Saints Collide to a foundation they created called Now I Play Along Too, which was founded to provide musical instruments into the hands of children who couldn’t otherwise afford them and to provide education to orphans, victims of disasters, and underprivileged children throughout the world.
Anomaly and Charity, The Lenny Martelli Foundation
Anomaly, a four-piece band out of Philadelphia, connects with fans through music they dub “Melodic Rock,” a combination of pleasantly enduring melody and heartfelt, honest lyrics inspired by their own experiences. With the February 2014 release of their first album, Different Shade, Same Color featuring The Art of Storytelling, Anomaly is determined not to miss a beat when it comes to making a difference in the lives of others, according to the band’s drummer, Caleb Weiler told Believe.com. Within a couple of months of founding Anomaly in December of 2012, Weiler and fellow Anomaly members Lenny Martelli (vocals, piano and guitar), Andrew Lamsback (vocals and bass), and Kevin Murray (Guitar), committed to lend their combined talents to budding charity organization, The Lenny Martelli Foundation, a cause very near and dear to their hearts, and very personal to band-mate Lenny Martelli.
In the winter of 2010, Martelli, a 15-year-old NCAA football prospect, was paralyzed in a tragic snowboarding accident. Refusing to accept his prognosis of life in a wheelchair, Marelli says that it was the overwhelming love and support from family, friends and even strangers who rallied behind him throughout his grueling therapy to beat the odds. He did exactly that one year from his accident, walking triumphantly onto the basketball court of Saint Joseph University alongside the college’s head coach, Phil Martelli, who, although no relation, took the younger Martelli under his wing, coaching him through recovery. Motivated by his faith and inspired by the outpouring of support during his recovery, Martelli determined to do the same for others, and in February of 2013, with his family, friends and newly-formed band at his side, he launched The Lenny Martelli Foundation. The organization, still in in its infancy, is poised to raise awareness for other adolescents facing adversity.
Celebrity cover bands, like the Lt. Dan Band, founded by Gary Sinise, are wonderful vehicles for raising fund for worthy causes.
The Lt. Dan Band and Charity, the Gary Sinise Foundation
The Lt. Dan Band is a cover band founded by Kimo Williams and Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning actor and director Gary Sinise. The band is named for Lieutenant Dan Taylor, the character Sinese played in Forrest Gump, and undoubtedly the role Sinise is most recognized for. A passionate supporter of US troops, Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band play all over the United States and abroad, frequently visiting military bases and performing for charities and non-profits like the USO and Sinise’s foundation as well as Operation International Children, also co-founded by Sinise.
The Gary Sinise Foundation honors United States servicemen and women, including veterans and their families, through programs that were created to educate, inspire, entertain and strengthen individuals and communities. The foundation is committed to making sure that the sacrifices of the brave are not forgotten, and among its programs is Building for America’s Bravest, which supports severely wounded veterans through the construction of custom Smart Homes with fully-automated amenities to help restore their independence.