September 27, 2023

Chatting with Dave Wish: Founder and CEO of Little Kids Rock

Little Kids Rock CEO Dave Wish at Chaparral Middle School in Diamond Bar, CA

Little Kids Rock CEO Dave Wish at Chaparral Middle School in Diamond Bar, CA. Photo Credit: Little Kids Rock

Dave Wish, the founder and CEO of Little Kids Rock, chatted about this year’s upcoming event on May 17 in Manhattan.

“We have so much to celebrate after bringing free music lessons and instruments to more than a million students across the country over the past two decades,” Wish said.

Little Kids Rock is the national nonprofit on a mission to transform lives by restoring, expanding, and innovating music education in public schools across the country, today unveiled the lineup of honorees and musical guests for its 20thAnniversary benefit taking place on May 17 in New York City.

Presented by Hot Topic Foundation, the event will be emceed by Nicole Ryan, SiriusXM Hits1’s host of The Morning Mash Up.

“Little Kids Rock is so grateful for artist involvement at our benefit event and all year round — it lets the kids know that they are the real stars and that their musical heroes support them,” Wish elaborated.

“Looking ahead, our growth plans are even more ambitious as we embark on a brand refresh, certify more teachers and engage new partners to support our mission,” the CEO added.

Music Industry Icon Mavis Staples will receive the Peace and Freedom Award at the event. Staples is a Blues and a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer; civil rights icon; Grammy award winner; chart-topping soul/gospel/R&B pioneer; and a Kennedy Center honoree. She marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., performed at John F. Kennedy’s inauguration, and sang in Barack Obama’s White House.

Johnny Rzeznik, best known as the guitarist, frontman, and a founding member of the rock band Goo Goo Dolls, will be recognized as “Rocker of The Year.” With over 30 years together as a group, over 15 million albums sold, and 16 Number 1 and Top 10 hits, the Goo Goo Dolls remain at the top of their game.

Musical Director Michael Bearden, currently Lady Gaga’s Musical Director, will lead this year’s extravaganza featuring performances by music luminaries Darryl McDaniels, Warren Haynes, Cassadee Pope, and Jon Secada.