Published on November 16th, 2018 | by Darren Paltrowitz0
Lake Street Dive’s Bridget Kearney On Working With Little Kids Rock, Upcoming Projects & More
Founded by David Wish, Little Kids Rock has presented more than 850,000 underserved schoolchildren with access to instruments and music education. Working on this mission since 2002, Little Kids Rock founder David Wish has made an impact in over 5,000 schools across 45 states. According to Way, the goal is for it to have served over 1 million students by the year 2020.
As music education is a cause that speaks to many high-profile people, the annual Little Kids Rock benefit in New York City is known to be a star-studded event. This year’s event, which took place at the PlayStation Theater in Times Square, was no exception. Paul Shaffer served as host, while the evening’s honorees were Trombone Shorty and Lake Street Dive. Other attendees included actor Bernie Williams, Grace Kelly, Jon Batiste and Will Lee. Honorees and guests for the annual benefit through the years have included Lady Gaga, Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt, Smokey Robinson, Steve Miller, Steven Van Zandt, Graham Nash, Joan Jett, Mike Myers, and David Letterman.
This year’s event raised over $1 million and I had the pleasure of interviewing some of its celebrity attendees. Below are highlights from Q&A with Lake Street Dive. More information on the worthwhile organization, including how to get involved and where to donate, can be found at www.littlekidsrock.org, while Lake Street Dive can be visited online at www.lakestreetdive.com.
How did you first get involved with Little Kids Rock?
Bridget Kearney: This is our first event working with Little Kids Rock. They identified us as possible collaborators thanks to our previous work with other arts education programs and non-profits. We’ve done a lot of work with the Institute of Musical Arts in Goshen, Massachusetts, which is a rock camp for girls.
What do you like most about the Little Kids Rock cause?
Bridget Kearney: Little Kids Rock focuses a lot on teaching children popular styles of music. We like this approach — it’s a great way for students to experience playing music in a way that they connect to on an emotional level and enjoy, which creates a long term bond with music.
Little Kids Rock aside, what are you currently working on?
Bridget Kearney: We’re on tour right now in the Northeast. We just played 2 nights at the gorgeous Beacon Theatre in New York, which is really special for us because a lot of us live in New York. We also have a new EP coming out later this month called Freak Yourself Out. It’s comprised of 5 bonus tracks from our recording sessions for the album we put out earlier this year, Free Yourself Up. These songs are a little zanier and a little more experimental than the songs we put on the album. I’m excited for our fans to hear us getting freaky!
Is there a career accomplishment you are most proud of?
Bridget Kearney: I’m most proud of staying a band for 14 years — and counting! Maintaining a healthy creative relationship and friendship with a group of people that you also sleep on a bus with has inherent challenges! And we’ve seen bumps along the way but we have learned to communicate really well and maintain positivity under stress. I love my bandmates!
When not busy with your career, how do you like to spend your free time?
Bridget Kearney: I like to run and to travel, which is lucky for me because those are things I get to do while we’re working too! I love being in a new place and going for a long run to check out the sites.
As Little Kids Rock is a music-related cause, I must ask: What was the last concert you attended for fun?
Bridget Kearney: I saw Steely Dan playing The Royal Scam recently at The Beacon. It was a great show and made me extra excited to get to play my own show in the same room a few weeks later.
Do you have a favorite album of 2018?
Bridget Kearney: Recently I’ve been really into Could U Be by Julian Allen and Friend by Rozi Plain.
Finally, any last words for the kids?
Bridget Kearney: Practice, practice, practice! And practice music that you love, and it will never feel like work!