Former 2008 presidential primary contender Mike Huckabee will headline at “Rockers, Suits, the Kids Jam,” a Music Aid Northwest benefit concert in support of music programs in the schools.
The concert is at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 22 at Redmond’s Old Fire House Teen Center, 16510 NE 79th St. Music teachers, students and parents are encouraged to attend. Suggested donation is $20 at the door.
“Rockers, Suits, the Kids Jam” will promote “Music Plates,” a Music Aid Northwest Washington State specialty license plate project to fund school music programs. The event also will serve as the launching point for the Music Plates Web site, www.musicplates.org.
Music Aid Northwest (MAN) president Bob Tomberg explained that MAN is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and the event is not political in nature. However, he also noted that the license plate endeavor will require legislative approval, as well as collection of 3,500 signatures and raising $35,000 in Washington State Department of Licensing start-up fees before lawmakers will even consider the proposal. Signature sheets are available for download at www.musicplates.org.
According to Tomberg, “As Governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee successfully passed legislation guaranteeing a music and art education for all students. We hope to see the same thing here in Washington.”
In 2007, Huckabee was presented with the Music for Life Award by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) for his commitment to music education.
Tomberg said, “Our goal in holding this event is to bring people from all walks of life together to make music. It’s truly going to be a cross-cultural event with national politicians, international rock stars, students, as well as journeymen musicians, melding their talents to promote music education in the schools. We are grateful that Mr. Huckabee has agreed to support our project.”
Tomberg is the guitarist and manager of the pop/rock band Shelley and the Curves. He is also a dentist with a private practice in Bellevue.
Huckabee has been playing bass since he was 12. He is so convinced about the benefits of music, he doesn’t think he would have made it to the office of governor had it not been for music in his life.
According to Huckabee, “Music students do better at math, language studies, (and) every other field of studies and they are better equipped for life. Music teaches the discipline to study and helps students gain self-confidence and learn about teamwork, as they realize every piece of the band is important. Music kept me focused and provided me with the disciplines to be a successful governor. It’s something I’m very passionate about.”
Huckabee formed his own rock band in 1996 called Capitol Offense.
In addition to a line-up of resident youth musicians, Huckabee will be joined on stage at the Old Fire House Teen Center by Tomberg; Alan White, who is a MAN board member and best known for his legendary drumming with the band Yes; Shelley Tomberg, MAN board member and singer from Shelley and the Curves; Reek Havoc, MAN board member known for electronic percussion and studio electronics; and Seattle club DJ Dave Airborne.
For more information, visit www.musicaidnorthwest.org or call Ken Wong, Redmond teen programs director, (425) 556-2320.