April 21, 2012:
Barnum Hall at Santa Monica High School, Santa Monica, CA

 

The AFTA Foundation’s 2012 benefit show at Santa Monica High, was a blending of old and new, in both song selection and participating artists.  AFTA was so happy to welcome back to the Samohi stage, Jackson Browne. Jackson is not only a Grammy winning, legendary Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame inductee but one of the seminal organizers, performers, and supporters of the first 5 years of this annual event. Jackson was joined on the bill by 90’s icon, singer songwriter Glen Phillips (Toad The Wet Sprocket) and, of course, by student musicians of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District.

AFTA was thrilled to welcome Los Angeles rock radio icon, DJ Cynthia Fox (KLOS, KMET) on board as host for the show. With true enthusiasm and passion, she added a classic rock pedigree to a night full of classics. Musically hosted, as always, by house-band VENICE, there were many highlights along the way.

They include:

The night beginning with VENICE joined by a string quintet of Samohi musicians performing a mix of VENICE tunes and the Beatles favorite, “Eleanor Rigby” featuring students Finn Bordal, Erin Wells, Caitlin Smith, Niall Ferguson and Taylor Safrit. Then VENICE being joined by the incredible horn section from Santa Monica High on Steely Dan’s “My Old School” and Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition”. 

Singer/songwriter Glen Phillips performing an infectious and heart-warming set including his Toad The Wet Sprocket 90’s radio staples “Walk On The Ocean” and “All I Want”, Glen was joined by more Samohi musicians and Olympic high guitarists.

Joni Swenson and the Samohi Orchestra being showcased next performing (with VENICE) rousing, powerful versions of Elton John’s “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” and the Beatles “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”.

VENICE closing out the first half of the show with the high energy funk of Sly and the Family Stone’s “Sing A Simple Song” featuring the smoking horns of Malibu High.

Throughout the evening, longtime AFTA supporter and auctioneer, Jeff Tannenbaum of Rock The Gavel auctioning off drums donated by DW Drums as well as guitars provided by West LA Music and other auction items.

Jackson Browne, bringing the crowd to it’s feet showcasing more student musicians while performing many classic hits including “Doctor My Eyes”, “Running On Empty” and “Late For The Sky”.

The power and skill of Joni Swenson’s Samohi orchestra being featured once again in a trio of big arrangement numbers  Paul McCartney’s “Live And Let Die”, Queen’s “Somebody To Love” and the Beatles “Golden Slumbers” medley. The Samohi choir under the direction of Jeff Huls taking on the daunting challenge of recreating Queen’s wall of vocals on “Somebody To Love”, deservedly receiving one of the great ovations of the night.

The evening finishing up with the all the entertainers and students performing a rousing rendition of Jackson Browne’s “Take It Easy”.

And, of course, many thanks to our generous sponsors,
without whom this show could not take place!

Verizon
City National Bank
MISYS
AT&T
Bob’s Market
DW Drums
95.5 KLOS and Mark & Brian
The Victorian
Sheraton Delfina
Duck Duck Mousse
Calamigos Ranch
Basement Tavern
West LA Music
ACI
Temenos
Microsoft
Lexington
SIGMAnet
RK Consulting
Morley Builders
Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC)
Fidelity Information Services (FIS)
Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel
Software Management Consultants, Inc. (SMCI)
Pacific Park
 
 




   

 March 5, 2011:
Barnum Hall at Santa Monica High School, Santa Monica, CA

 

The 2011 edition of the AFTA Foundation’s annual benefit show at Santa Monica High was one of the most memorable and powerful AFTA shows to date. Classic music and artistry from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s was represented by DAVID CROSBY, AMERICA and RICHARD PAGE (MR. MISTER). These generous artists performed with perennial host/house band VENICE and over 90 student musicians from the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District to a sold out crowd of enthusiastic fans and supporters.

Hosted once again by longtime AFTA friend and supporter MARK STEINES of Entertainment Tonight, highlights of the evening included:

Samohi Orchestra violinist, Nick Kennerly starting off the night as a shining example of the best of what music programs can do, accompanying VENICE as featured soloist on “Back To The Well”.

Malibu High trumpetist Wynne Jacobson-Galan soloing with VENICE on “Too Late For Me Now”.

The Samohi Orchestra (under the direction of Jodi Swenson) performing a number of VENICE tunes and joined by the Malibu Horn Section (who re-dubbed themselves the Sax Pistols for the evening).

RICHARD PAGE from MR. MISTER electrifying the crowd and showing everyone why he is considered one of rock’s premiere vocalists of the 80‘s as he powerfully performed iconic hits “Broken Wings” and “Kyrie”, the latter featuring a huge performance by the Samohi Choir.

FM radio legends AMERICA performing a 6 song set of their iconic hits including “Ventura Highway”, “Sister Golden Hair” and “Horse With No Name” accompanied by the Samohi Orchestra and Choir and various guitarists from Samohi and Olympic High.

The one and only DAVID CROSBY making a return performance at the AFTA show, bringing the crowd to it’s feet with 6 legendary CSN classics including a stirring rendition of “Ohio” featuring Samohi & Malibu Marching Drum Corps, Samohi Orchestra and Samohi Choir.

DAVID CROSBY and VENICE joined by all the students and artists for the grand finale of the evening, a raucous sing-along version of “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes”.

Once again, the event also featured an exciting live auction hosted by auctioneer JEFF TANNENBAUM of Rock The Gavel.

The following items were generously donated and contributed to the proceeds of the night.

  • 3 signed Fender Squier Stratocaster Guitars, donated by longtime AFTA supporters West LA Music.
  • A beautiful set of DW Drums, donated by longtime AFTA supporters DW Drums.

And, of course, many thanks to our generous sponsors,
without whom this show could not take place!

City National Bank
Bob’s Market
Loews
Sheraton Delfina
The Victorian
95.5 KLOS and Mark & Brian
Basement Tavern
Santa Monica Place
DW Drums (& DW Gon Bops)
West LA Music
Morley Builders
Bencivengo Family
Smmcta
Software Management Consultants, Inc. (SMCI)
SIGMAnet
 
photo credits: Mark Steines
 




   

 June 5, 2010:
Santa Monica High School, Santa Monica, CA

  It was an evening of classic 1980‘s music and much more as the host band VENICE along with very special guests COLIN HAY (MEN AT WORK), CURT SMITH (TEARS FOR FEARS) and FEE WAYBILL (THE TUBES) performed with over 80 student musicians from the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. This was the sixth consecutive year that Venice and AFTA Foundation have helped fund programs in the SMMUSD.


Highlights of the evening included:

The Samohi Orchestra (under the direction of Jodi Swenson) performing powerfully and beautifully with Venice on their songs "Too Late For Me Now" and "Baby’s Calling".

Legendary Rock and Roll showman Fee Waybill performing powerhouse classics from the Tubes (“Talk To You Later” and “She’s A Beauty”) joined by Samohi Jazz Band members. Keyboardist Steven Gordon was featured.

Curt Smith singing beautiful renditions of Tears For Fears hits “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” and “Mad World” plus a special version of Coldplay’s “Yellow” (featuring the Samohi orchestra).

Colin Hay performing ing some of the most popular songs from the Men At Work songbook such as “Overkill”,  “Who Can It Be Now?” and “Land Down Under” and featuring Santa Monica High Alto Sax player Andrew Ohanian. Colin also performed a powerful acoustic solo version of  “Waiting For My Real Life To Begin” that for many was one of the true highlights of the evening.

Some of the other highlights of the show were:

Santa Monica High Jazz band guitarist Jake Noveck burning up the famous Brian May solo on “Bohemian Rhapsody” and the Santa Monica High Choir singing the “opera” section.

The Samohi Orchestra (under the direction of Jodi Swenson) performing a powerful medley of “Live And Let Die” and “Kashmir” with Venice.

Santa Monica High’s Jane Kivnick and Malibu High’s Sophie Galate sharing the stage and vocals with Fee Waybill on a raucous rendition of the Motown classic “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”.

The event also featured an exciting live auction hosted by auctioneer JEFF TANNENBAUM of Rock The Gavel.

The following items were generously donated and contributed to the proceeds of the night.

  • 2 Fender Squier Stratocaster Guitars and 1 Yamaha Natural Acoustic Steel Guitar, donated by West LA Music.

  •  A beautiful set of DW Drums, donated by DW Drums.

Many thanks to our additional generous sponsors!

City National Bank
Lexington
Morley Builders
Bob’s Market
Loews
Smmcta
Fidelity Information Services (FIS)
Software Management Consultants, Inc. (SMCI)
SIGMAnet
Congnizant
Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC)
Novell
RK Consulting
Software House International (SHI)
Sprint
Sheraton Delfina
DW Drums (& DW Gon Bops)
West LA Music
 
photo credits: Mark Steines
 




   

May 30, 2009: 
Santa Monica High School

 

BILLY IDOL, very special guest DAVE MASON and the band VENICE performed with over 80 student musicians from the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District in KEEPING THE ARTS ALIVE!  This was the fourth consecutive year that Venice and AFTA Foundation have helped fund programs in the SMMUSD.

Check out what KLOS's Mark & Brian and Kelli Gates had to say about the show!

Highlights of the evening included:

The Samohi Orchestra (under the direction of Jodi Swenson) performing powerfully and beautifully with Venice on their songs "Baby's Calling" and "One Quiet Day".

The Samohi Jazz combo performing a smoking version of Stevie Wonder's "I Wish".

The Samohi Horns (newly named, Unprotected Six for our show) performing a medley of rock and soul hits with Venice.

Rock and Roll Hall of famer, Dave Mason performing a rocking, powerful set of his classic songs ("Only You Know And I Know", "Let It Go, Let It Flow", All Long The Watchtower") with Venice and finishing up with the smash hit "We Just Disagree" backed by the Samohi Orchestra.

The one and only Billy Idol taking the stage with an amazing, high energy version of the Beatles "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" accompanied by Venice, the Samohi Choir and the Samohi orchestra, then jumping right in to "Dancing With Myself".  With his high energy performance and true passion for the cause, he held the audience in the palm of his iconic clenched fist and never let go as he barreled through hit after hit. "Eyes Without A Face" (again, featuring the orchestra) , "Rebel Yell", "White Wedding" "Mony Mony" and more.  Billy called Dave Mason back out for the encore medley which started and ended with Mason's classic Joe Cocker hit, "Feeling Alright" with stops at "You Can't Always get What You Want", "For What It's Worth" and "Walk On The Wildside" along the way.  It was a concert that Santa Monica will never forget and will certainly add to the legacy of these benefit shows for the arts programs in the SMMUSD and the For The Arts endowment.

The event also featured an exciting live auction hosted by our emcee, actress TERI POLO (Meet The Parents, West Wing) and auctioneer JEFF TANNENBAUM of Rock The Gavel.  The following items were generously donated and contributed to the proceeds of the night.

  • 2 Fender Squier Stratocaster Guitars and 1 Yamaha Natural Acoustic Steel Guitar, donated by West LA Music.  Each signed by Billy Idol, Dave Mason, the members of Venice and our host, Teri Polo.
  • A beautiful set of Tumbao Pro Congas and Bongos (by Gon Bops), donated by DW Drums.  Signed by Billy Idol, Dave Mason, the members of Venice and our host, Teri Polo.
  • 2 Gold and 2 After-Party Tickets to the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards, donated by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

Many thanks to our additional generous sponsors!

City National Bank
Lexington
Intelli-Tech
Sheraton Delfina
95.5 KLOS and Mark & Brian
K-Earth 101..1 and Gary Bryan
Acey Decy Lighting 
DW (Gon Bops)
Microsoft
Morley Builders
ServiceMesh
SIGMAnet
Showrig
Touring Video
West LA Music
 
photo credits: Mark Steines
 




   

 February 27, 2009: 
Fred Kavli Theater - Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza,
Thousand Oaks CA

Funds raised for the arts programs: $108,000 and still counting!

 

Michael McDonald (formerly of the Doobie Brothers), Tommy Shaw (of STYX), special guest Christopher Cross, and the band Venice, performed with over 70 student musicians from the Las Virgenes Unified School District in their very first “Benefit For The Arts!”

Highlights of the evening included:

Tommy Shaw performing high energy, rocking versions of his Styx hits "Renegade", "Blue Collar Man" and "Fooling Yourself" along with Venice and the Calabasas High Choir, Unstrumental. The vocal break during "Renegade" nearly brought the house down.

The Calabasas Horns (newly named, The Coyote Six Pack for our show) performing a medley of rock and soul hits with Venice. Christopher Cross doing his huge hits "Sailing", "Ride Like The Wind" and "Think Of Laura" with old friend Michael McDonald.

The powerful, iconic voice of Michael McDonald performing Doobie Brothers classics and Motown medleys accompanied by soloists from the choir, the Agoura High Orchestra, the Calabasas horns and all the artists. A rousing, gospel-tinged version of "Taking It To The Streets" was the perfect theme song for the grass roots level cause of the evening. It brought the whole audience to their feet, clapping and singing along. By the end of the finale, there wasn't a person in the theater who didn't feel the afterglow of great vibes and the comfort of knowing they supported a worthy cause and were part of a very special evening indeed.

The event featured an exciting live auction hosted by our emcee John Schneider and auctioneer Jeff Tanenbaum of Rock The Gavel.  The following items had generously been donated and have contributed to the proceeds of the night, which totaled over $100,000!

  • A Les Paul Custom Epiphone electric guitar, donated by Gibson Guitars. Signed by Michael McDonald, Tommy Shaw, Christopher Cross and members of Venice.
  • 2 Fender Squier Stratocaster guitars, donated by West LA Music. Each guitar signed by Michael McDonald, Tommy Shaw, Christopher Cross and members of Venice.
  • A beautiful set of Alex Acuna Congas and Bongos (by Gon Bops), donated by DW Drums.  Signed by Michael McDonald, Tommy Shaw, Christopher Cross and members of Venice.  

Many thanks to our additional generous sponsors!

Brent's Deli
Cinelease, Inc.
DW Drums (DW Gon Bops)
Durham School Services
Ed Natan
G.I. Industries
Gibson Foundation
JILL-FM
K-Earth 101..1 & Gary Bryan
Laura’a Wholesome Junk Food
Padri Restuarant
The Acorn
Westlake Village Inn
WLC Architects
Wolfgang Puck
 
photo credits: Mark Steines
 




   

 May 31, 2008:   Barnum Hall, Santa Monica High School, Santa Monica, CA
Sponsored by City National Bank and Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel
Funds raised for the arts programs: $100,000 and still counting!

 

Singer/songwriter Jackson Browne and Very Special Guests HEART, along with international recording artists Venice performed with over 70 student musicians in this years concert! A few highlights of the evening included Jackson Browne performing The Next Voice You Hear with the SaMoHi Jazz class; Venice performing Baby's Calling with the full SaMoHi Orchestra; Heart & Jackson Browne performing Something Fine; Heart & Venice performing Crazy On You with 2 Olympic High guitar students and Venice & Ann Wilson (of Heart) with the SaMoHi Girls Choir singing Bohemian Rhapsody!

The event once again featured a live auction hosted by Mark Steines, of Entertainment Tonight, and included the following items:

  • 3 Fender Squier Stratocaster guitars, donated by West LA Music. Each guitar signed by Jackson Browne, Heart and the four members of Venice.
  • A beautiful drum kit, donated by DW Drums, , along with cymbals donated by West LA Music...one of which was signed by Jackson Browne, Heart and every member of Venice.
  • The Recording Academy generously donated 2 Gold and 2 After Party tickets to the 51st Annual Grammy Awards.

Many thanks to our additional generous sponsors!

photo credits:
Luigia Martelloni and Mark Steines
 




   

 JUNE 2, 2007:  Barnum Hall, Santa Monica High School, Santa Monica, CA
Sponsored by Yahoo! and Intel
Funds raised for the arts programs: $150,000

 

Singers/songwriters Jackson Browne and David Crosby, along with international recording artists Venice and multi-Grammy award winning arranger/composer David Campbell performed along with more than 50 student musicians in this years amazing concert!

This years event at Barnum Hall also featured a live auction, hosted by Mark Steines. The additional funds provided by this auction helped offset the production costs for the evening, allowing Artists For The Arts Foundation to follow our mission of Giving 100% of the evenings ticket sales to the district! 

  • 3 Fender Squier Stratocaster guitars, donated by West LA Music, sold for a combined total of $12,000. Each guitar was signed by Jackson Browne and David Crosby and the four members of Venice.
  • A beautiful drum kit, donated by DW Drums, was grabbed up for the bargain price of $9000 and included cymbals, donated by Paisteone of which was signed by Jackson Browne and his band, David Crosby, David Campbell and every member of Venice.
  • The Recording Academy generously donated 2 Gold and 2 After Party tickets to the 50th Annual Grammy Awards, taking place February 10, 2008, which sold for an amazing $4500.
  • Additional sponsorship provided by City National Bank
 




   

 OCTOBER 16, 2005:    Canyon Club, Agoura Hills, CA
Funds raised: $3,750
 

Venice, along with many students from Agoura High School, performed at the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills, CA.  The money enabled Agoura High School to purchase new timbale drums for their Music Department.

 




   

 JUNE 5, 2005:  Greek Theater, Santa Monica High School, Santa Monica, CA
Funds raised: $63,000
 

Jackson Browne, Ozomatli and Venice, performed at the outdoor theater with several students from the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District and the Olympic High School Guitar program.

 




   

 APRIL 8 & 9, 2005: Arcadia, Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA
Funds raised: $30,000
 

Venice and student musicians from the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District performed at Arcadia on the Santa Monica Pier. At the second show on April 9th, Venice and students were joined by special guest Jackson Browne.

 


   
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