Jeff DeModena and Jacqueline LoGiudice are giving aspiring youth bands the opportunity to perform on stage at area venues and receive compensation through their aptly named business venture, Next Generation Concerts.
DeModena, a former Savio Prep sports star and musician with rock star good looks, and LoGiudice, a stunning singer and actress from Revere, perform together in Sun In Flight, a popular rock band. After the bandâ€™s appearance at a fundraiser at Zumix in East Boston in 2011, they founded Next Generation Concerts.
â€œWe held a fundraiser and invited kids and their parents and everyone had a fun time,â€ said LoGiudice. â€œWe decided that we wanted to give kids in youth bands a place to showcase their talents and play on stage. So we started hosting events at a venue in Cambridge.â€
Then as a result of their own ongoing booking arrangement with the Hard Rock CafÃ© Boston and the cooperation and support of Jordan Rosenblatt, manager at Hard Rock, LoGiudice and DeModena moved their youth events to the well-known restaurant located across the street from Faneuil Hall Marketplace.
“We told Jordan about our project and he was pumped up about it,” related LoGiudice. “Jordan had been involved in a similar project called Youth on Stage in Washington, D.C. at a Hard Rock CafÃ©. He had wanted to incorporate Youth in Stage [with Next Generation Concerts] at Hard Rock CafÃ© Boston.”
LoGiudice said their mission is to create events for kids who want the experience of performing on stage while creating a communicative network for youth bands and solo performers.
â€œMusicians always help each other out and I feel that with kids, they often only know the kids with whom they perform in bands,â€ said LoGiudice. â€œOur plan is to open up a network in which youth bands can correspond with each other.â€
Some of the youth bands involved in Next Generation Concerts are from government-funded youth programs while others are privately trained musicians.
â€œYouâ€™re getting different levels of instruction and talent – some youths have been playing music their whole lives and others who have learned music a couple of years ago,â€ said LoGiudice.
Next Generationâ€™s shows extend the full spectrum of the music sphere, from full rock bands to ensembles to solo acts. â€œAcoustic, classical, rock music, hip hop, it doesnâ€™t matter â€“ as long as theyâ€™re still in high school, they can perform.â€
Attendees at Next Generation events pay $10 for a ticket. From those admission proceeds, the company donates one-third to non-profit organizations, gives one-third to the youth performers themselves, and keeps one-third for company expenses.
â€œWe book regular shows [for adult bands] and we understand ticket sales are a very important component,â€ said LoGiudice. â€œWe donâ€™t want the youth bands to have this pressure of having to sell tickets. We want them to understand that they deserve to be paid for their performances. Itâ€™s their work and they deserved to receive money for it.â€
The youth bands will also have their performances professionally videotaped and photographed by Dave Larkin, a well-known writer, editor and videographer at Dirty Water News.
LoGiudice said Next Generation’s upcoming shows at the Hard Rock CafÃ© Boston will be held Sunday afternoons (noon-4 p.m.) in the month of June. “People should visit our Web site, nextgenerationconcerts.com, for the schedule. They can also email us.” The business is going really well,” said LoGiudice. “But we need to get the word out. We want families to come to the Hard Rock CafÃ© on Sundays and enjoy the shows and help these talented young musicians build their confidence and poise.”