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The core of any charity organization is the people.  People that exhibit the passion of the cause and carry its torch every day.  The Hard Rock Heals Foundation, through its work with Musicians On Call, celebrates Jeremy Bar-Illan who, after losing his young son to cancer, turned his pain to passion and now brings joy to hospital patients year round.  Below is an excerpt from People.com’s human interest story featuring Jeremy and how volunteering with Musicians On Call results in healing of patients and volunteers, alike.    

Musician Jeremy Bar-Illan spent over a year watching his 17-year-old son, Zachary, suffer from osteosarcoma — a type of cancer that starts in the bones. After his tragic death, the grieving father vowed to always keep his son’s memory alive…

“Music was always my passion,” says Bar-Illan, himself a life long musician. who is from New York City. “The shock of losing my son was the incentive to say that life is too short and I can’t keep on doing something I detest. I needed to really find where I belonged.”

The last thing he expected was for that passion to bring him right back to the hospital.

After meeting a fellow guitar player, he learned about Musicians On Call, an organization that has been bringing live music to patient’s bedsides since 1999.

All it took was one visit and Bar-Illan was hooked.

“I was completely blown away by not only the experience of what music could do for the patients, but also by how much it filled me up and helped me go forward,” Bar-Illan says. “Instead of feeling like I couldn’t be there, it felt like I belonged there.”

Read full article on People.com

Hard Rock Heals Foundation supporter given the Leonard Bernstein Lifetime Achievement Award!

We’ve talked about Vijay Gupta before on this blog, and for good reason.  Ted Talk veteran,  killer violinist, humanitarian, and co founder of one of our favorite music charities,  Street Symphony, Vijay is an advocate for the power of music to improve lives.  Kudos, friend! 

Learn more

If you’ve  ever seen “The Soloist,” starring Jamie Foxx, you are already familiar with Nathaniel Ayers’s story. The 2009 film was based on the life of Ayers, a Julliard-educated musician who has struggled with schizophrenia and homelessness throughout his life.  After a chance meeting with Los Angeles Times columnist, Steve Lopez, Ayers was introduced to Adam Crane and Vijay Gupta of the LA Philharmonic.  This relationship placed Nathaniel on the road to recovery and led to the creation of Street Symphony, a charity focusing on bringing music to the disenfranchised community of Los Angeles’s Skid Row. 

Read more about Nathaniel, Street Symphony, and listen to a recent NPR story that includes the story of soldier returning home from Desert Storm and how music has helped him heal. 

When you stay at any Hard Rock Hotel, be sure to ask about the opportunity to stay in the our exclusive Hard Rock Heals Suite! The suite is decked out with all things chill, from an iPad® loaded with our curated relaxation playlist and a state-of-the-art JBL speaker to play it on, to a meditation class to take you back to center and a renowned Manduka® yoga mat, fit for your practice.

One Hard Rock Heals Suite is available at each Hard Rock Hotel location worldwide and a portion of the cost of your stay will go to our Hard Rock Heals Foundation efforts to heal lives and promote wellness through the power of music. Learn more

We’re excited to congratulate William Graves, student at Stax Academy, on earning a full scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston.  Keep rocking William!!!!!!

Read more about William and the Stax Music Academy

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