Encino, CA – October 2014… The First Annual Bob Moog Foundation Ignite Gala is one for the history books, exceeding even the most optimistic expectations.
Held to benefit the Foundation’s hallmark educational initiative, Dr. Bob’s SoundSchool, the event brought a full house of the best and brightest in music, recording, science, and technology to the splendid Encino, California home of Michael and Edie Lehmann Boddicker. In attendance were supporters from Yamaha, Casio, Line 6, Spectrasonics and more.
Guests were treated to an intimate candlelight dinner, capped by an amazing performance by a star-studded house band that included keyboardists CJ Vanston (Prince, Tina Turner, Toto, Joe Cocker, Spinal Tap) and Steve Porcaro (Toto), bassist Leland Sklar (James Taylor, Jackson Browne, Toto), drummer Joe Pusateri (John Lee Hooker, John Entwistle, the Muppets “Animal”), guitarists Jeff “Skunk” Baxter (Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan) and Tony Valenziano (The Stand, Smash), and singers Joseph Williams (Toto) and Rob Giles (Circa Zero, The Rescues), as well as a guest performance by theremin virtuoso Michael Gough. The set list included Dreamweaver, Higher Ground, Everybody Wants to Rule the World, Human Nature (written by Porcaro) You and I, and Good Vibrations.
Above: Moog foundation director Michelle Moog-Koussa with Steve Porcaro of Toto. Photo: Jon Moyer Photography.
Proceeds from the event will go to benefit the Bob Moog Foundation’s hallmark educational initiative, Dr. Bob’s Soundschool, a 10-week experiential curriculum teaching children about the science of sound through the magic of music. Now in its fourth year, Dr. Bob’s SoundSchool currently serves more than 1,000 second-grade students in 55 classrooms. Executive Director Michelle Moog-Koussa, shared with guests the Foundation’s plans to expand Dr. Bob’s SoundSchool, including an upcoming pilot program in Southern California. Moog-Koussa was introduced by Dominic Milano, former editor of Contemporary Keyboard Magazine. [That was the original name of this very magazine, and Bob Moog himself wrote a monthly column called "On Synthesizers." --Ed.]
Visitors were welcome to see and play an array of Boddicker’s vintage instruments from his extensive collection including a rare, custom engineered Moog modular synthesizer, Bode Vocoder, Polymoog, Minimoog Model D, Moog Drum Controller, Big Briar theremin signed by Bob Moog, Moog String Filter, Moog Poly Pedal and a custom Multiple Resonance Filter Array-24 designed by Moog himself. Boddicker, a legendary sessions synthesist and film composer, has used the instruments in work ranging from Michael Jackson to the soundtrack for Apocalypse Now. All of the instruments were in pristine condition, a credit to Boddicker’s stewardship in preserving rare pieces of synthesizer history.
Within the rooms of Michael Boddicker’s studio, guests were treated to exclusive previews of new inventions in the Inventor’s Corner including the new Vo-96, a revolutionary acoustic synthesizer for guitars, the Jambé, a new electronic percussion instrument, and Center Point Stereo monitor, which delivers a 300 degree sound field from a single cabinet.
The evening also included a silent auction of musical instruments, including custom autographed guitars and keyboards, as well as music and Hollywood memorabilia, travel packages, and other donations.
Right: The house band, L to R. Joseph Williams, Joe Pusateri, Steve Porcaro, CJ Vanston, Jeff Baxter, Tony Valenziano, Leland Sklar. Photo: Jon Moyer Photography.
“We were absolutely overwhelmed by the attendance at our first Ignite Gala, and by the tremendous support we have received,” remarked Michelle Moog-Koussa, Executive Director of the Bob Moog Foundation. “This is just the first in a series of events we have planned to raise awareness for the Foundation, and it is clear that Dr. Bob’s SoundSchool is a program that resonates with educators and parents nationwide. We’re looking forward to our next event.”
“It was a tremendous honor for me and the band to pay tribute to Bob Moog’s pioneering legacy by performing at this event for the Bob Moog Foundation,” stated musical director CJ Vanston. “What a great way to honor the legacy of a man whose innovations have brought so much to contemporary music.”
Below: Renowned keyboardist Michael Lehmann Boddicker and spouse Edie hosted the Ignite Gala in their home. Photo: Jon Moyer Photography.