Red Bank, N.J. — They range in age from 9 to high school, playing classics from the '50s, '60s and '70s.
The songs they perform were hits long before they were alive and these young rockers are learning a valuable lesson in music and teamwork, thanks to the guidance of Rockit Live Foundation.
"They call it a hobby, but it’s really not like that. Music is with you forever. I didn’t set out to do this. I just felt that I had something that I could share with the kids," said Bruce Gallipani, founder of Rockit Live Foundation.
Gallipani said he was just like these kids, playing the drums at 3 years old then studying music at the High School of the Performing Arts.
But it wasn’t until he helped with his daughter’s school talent show that he thought of sharing his gift with the younger generation.
A student said Gallipani is always there to push them to do better.
"I think I love that Bruce puts me on every single instrument that he possibly can. 'Oh Rob, you can do harmonica on this? Alright, do it.' 'But Bruce, I don’t know how to play harmonica.' 'Learn it!' 'OK, I will,'" the student joked.
Rockit has the support of famous local rockers, including The Young Rascal’s Eddie Brigati and E Street Band’s Steven Van Zandt.
"I think what he saw was how we worked. We’re very meticulous about the original parts and records, and we were doing his songs and he was giving us the nod, like, 'OK, all the parts are there,'" Gallipani said of his partnership with Van Zandt.
The nonprofit’s graduates are already seeing music success. Vocalist Jacquie Lee was runner up on season five of “The Voice.”
For more on how to get your child involved with Rockit Live, click here.