New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

Kids Rock For Kids: Showcasing young musicians and performers for a good cause

Kids Rock For Kids is a nonprofit organization that provides support and resources to young musicians while raising money with local and global charities.
Kids Rock For Kids features young artists to raise money for children in need. (Courtesy photo by ​​Maxwell Sky)

Kids Rock For Kids, a nonprofit producing rock shows for up-and-coming musicians, is adding credence to the power of music. The organization features young artists — including NYU students — to raise money for children in need.

Julia Miranda, a singer and CAS first-year, met her band Collidescope through KRFK after co-creator of the organization Dave Miller reached out to her and suggested she perform at The Bitter End, a music venue in Greenwich Village.

“I’m not majoring in music and it’s hard to stay in the music scene when I’m trying to pursue something academic,” Miranda said. “But KRFK created a web of connections from people across the world. It’s a really extensive network that brings people together for incredible causes.”

For each show, the organization works with local and global charities to raise money. 

“By inviting global performers, the shows shed light on issues in a way that other charities might not,” CAS first-year and saxophonist Samuel Shteerman said.

The idea for KRFK was formed in 2017 by Miller and Lisa Schorr, whose sons met at preschool in Brooklyn. Their sons joined the same band in second grade, and played at carnivals and community events. Shortly after, the shows began fundraising for charities, and KRFK was born.

“They were really good, especially for their age,” Schorr said. “Crowds would form when they performed, and you could see the joy on people’s faces watching these kids play music at a high level with such passion and enthusiasm.”

Just as the organization was beginning to grow and sell out bigger venues, COVID-19 hit. KRFK transitioned to virtual performances, and started Six Continents, a band consisting of musicians from around the world.

Now, KRFK is playing live shows again.

“Even if I’m not playing, I’m going to the show because there are so many talented people to see and meet,” Miranda said. “I’m really grateful for the community it created for me and my band.”

While there are many young performers, the organization also works with 18-to-20-year-olds. “It’s a lot of pre-professional bands and people who are looking for a career in music,” Miller said. “People see them perform before they’re big in an intimate setting.”

Still, there is a mix of ages included in the shows. One notable participant is a 9-year-old guitar player, The Only Bay, who raised thousands of dollars for KRFK through his birthday parties.

“He’s tiny and adorable, but once he picks up a guitar your mind is blown,” Schorr said. “For two years in a row, The Only Bay has thrown birthday parties where he asks for donations to KRFK instead of gifts … I don’t know many kids who would be open to having their birthday party be a fundraiser.”

Shteerman agreed, “It’s a very positive environment. Kids can get a lot of the best parts of performing without a lot of the hassle. They can perform with crowds without it being overwhelming.”

For Miranda, the ability to meet people with similar interests and aspirations shaped her goals as a musician.

“The people that I play with at KRFK are my greatest friends,” Miranda said.

Last Sunday, KRFK hosted an event titled “Music From Around The World” at Drom on Avenue A. From instruments such as an oud and tablas in one set to a 25-plus piece Latin ensemble in another, the artists collaborated using a variety of instruments and performed songs in several languages.

One of the featured singers of the event, Sunbul Reha, founded the first national women’s orchestra in Afghanistan when she was 16 — but had to escape from Kabul once the Taliban took over.

KRFK connected with Reha after a harrowing journey to New York City and helped her start performing again, creating a safe space to create music.

“Everyone wanted to put time into supporting her,” Schorr said. “Most are well-versed in other styles of music besides rock, but had to learn her new style of music with new time signatures and languages.”

Whether hosting a 9-year-old guitarist or an up-and-coming NYU vocalist, the organization remains dedicated to helping them achieve their musical goals while making a difference for those in need.

Contact Clara Scholl at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Clara Scholl
Clara Scholl, Arts Editor
Clara Scholl is a Gallatin junior studying philosophy, politics and economics. She’s from New York City and hosts a radio show on the Riot Grrrl movement. You can find her on X, formerly Twitter, @scholl_clara or on Instagram @cllscholl.

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