Hanging with The Black Keys

Q: What does one of the biggest bands in the world do (Besides rock your socks off!) when they come to the Santa Barbara Bowl (for their sold out show)?

A: What is INSPIRE the next generation of musicians for… (Priceless amount)!

We were honored to be able to hang out at the Santa Barbara Bowl for the Keys’ sound check and be treated to a few tunes before their sold out show on October 2, 2012 . Even though our crew didn’t make it to the actual concert they may have gotten something way more special…“a personal mini-concert” and they were front row for it! Special thanks to Drew and Jim from the Key’s team for helping arrange everything. In addition to seeing there favorite band sound check our youth were treated to a learning experience most don’t get… the pre-show prep and operations of a tour. After their sound check Dan and Pat came down and snapped a few photos and chatted with the our youth. 

THANK YOU TO THE BLACK KEYS for your music and inspiring the next generation of musicians!

Alvaro (Their biggest fan) on the right!

Studio Update-MusicBox West Oct 2012

MusicBox Studio Monthly Studio Report

 Month/ Year: October 2012    Studio Location: SB West
Program Director: Taylor Hurtado

CLICK HERE to view report

Videos, Pictures, & Music:

Notes for Notes with The Black Keys!


MusicBox Studio Reports

Read, watch and listen! Get the scoop on the MusicBox Studios through these totally accessible reports on notesfornotes.org

As an organization that prides itself on transparency and constant improvement we have begun uploading monthly studio reports to notesfornotes.org to help us in our own evaluation of our programming as well as provide our audience with in-depth recaps of the studio’s activities.

So please read, watch and listen to the magic that happens every day in the MusicBox Studios. Here are a couple of reports to give you an idea…

Nashville South- November 2012

Nashville North- September 2012

MusicBox East- October 2012

MusicBox West- December 2012

Studio Update- MusicBox West Sept 2012

MusicBox Studio Monthly Studio Report

 Month/ Year: September 2012    Studio Location: SB West
Program Director: Taylor Hurtado

In-Studio Highlights:

This month the studio has seen some pretty cool stuff. The Notes band, who meets on Wednesdays, has been working a lot more on writing original material. I’ve also come notice the band members becoming more than just a band, they have become close friends and now spend time with one another outside of practice and gigs. This is something I’ve been hoping to see more of and it is finally happening!!! Ever since they opened for Los Lobos and Joe Bonamassa at the Lobero I’ve noticed everyone in the band start to take things a little more seriously.

In other news we’ve had some of our daily visitors step it up and sing on some tracks by their favorite artists. Big thumbs up to Leslie Zepeda, Julie Velasquez and Marissa Eberhard!!!!


This month has been a little mellow but that’s not to say that there hasn’t been any cool jams, lessons or recordings going on. The Notes band learned how to play “Yellow ” by Coldplay and then actually performed it two days later at an outdoor event at the club. Coleton Chard started writing a new original song entitled “Sand Lover” and began recording scratch tracks the very same day!

Leslie Z., Marissa E. , Julie V. singing “Call me maybe”

Coleton Chard “Sand Lover”

Cross‐Country Collaborations:
Youth this past month have just started to show interest in cross-country collaborations. We are working on a few tracks here that when ready will be sent out to Nashville.

Outreach/ Outside Collaborations:
Jaan attended Bonnie Raitt, CSN, and La Cumbre Junior High open house. He set up a booth at the SB Bowl for Bonnie Raitt’s show, where she mentioned N4N in her live set, and conversed with concertgoers about N4N, informing them of our services, with very positive reactions.

He also went to La Cumbre Junior High and connected with youth and parents about N4N. La Cumbre will be a great school from which to pull youth and direct over to MusicBox West.

Other Cool Stuff worth Mentioning: 

Right now I’ve been working with Jesse the Teen Program Coordinator on a grant that is giving teens the chance to learn about business and event managing skills and if all goes well we could end up with $500-$4,000 to put towards purchasing sound and lighting equipment so that they can continue to run youth lead organized dances at the Boys & Girls Club!!!!


2011 Rewind

2011 RewindA look back at an epic year

Whether you are just joining us or have been following from the beginning let me recap the amazing 2011 year Notes for Notes had…it was a BIG ONE! We opened two studios, grew to a national organization and threw some incredible events with the Steve Miller Band andMartin Gore.

Westside MusicBox Opens!

February saw the completion and opening of the newest MusicBox to the Notes for Notes arsenal inSanta Barbara. We began talks on this studio in 2009 and active development later that year, however it would take almost two years before we would strum the first guitar and spin the first record in this new studio. Our mothers always told us…” All good things come to those who wait” Agreed! The new MusicBox also meant we needed to expand the team and we were lucky to find our new Program Director inTaylor Hurtadoand Booking Agent in Dakota Gartner. Check out some press from the Grand Opening! Click to Play (will open video in another window)






P-Nut rocks the studios!

The folks over at Seymour Duncan do so much for us from outfitting all our guitars to the big show to some amazing introductions. Our good friend Evan Skopp reached out to P-Nut (bass player for 311) considering SD endorses him and asked if he might be interested in stopping by the Notes’ MusicBox Studios when he had time. That time was in May of 2011. P-Nut came up from LA specifically to hang in both studios, jam and offer his words of wisdom on music and life! He is also one of our newest Advisory Board members. Thanks to Evan Skopp,Peter Rasplerand P-Nut for hooking up an amazing experience! Check out the video recap!

Steve Miller Band and Seymour Duncan Rock it for Notes for Notes

There were about 600 of you that had the opportunity to experience what was perhaps one of the most special concert events Santa Barbarahas seen. In commemoration of Seymour Duncan’s 35th Anniversary of making the world’s best pickups a benefit concert was conceived to support Notes for Notes and celebrate SD. Thanks to Cathy Duncan and Maricela Juarez (MJ) they were able to secure The Steve Miller Band as our headliner…Yes THE Steve Miller Band. Steve is a big supporter of youth music and stepped up to kick start what will be an annual concert with Seymour Duncan to benefit Notes for Notes. Keep your eyes out for announcements of this years show and check out the recap of the 2011 show including performance by N4N participants who opened for Steve.

Nashville Bound

Still whirling from the success of the Seymour Duncan Steve Miller Band show, Notes for Notes began the final leg of the Nashville expansion. After 3 very successful trips to Nashville over the past 8 months I packed up a Uhaul trailer and made the drive along a south bound route through Austin andNew Orleans. Now a national organization, this is only the beginning. Call it the Notes for Notes Tour, can anyone guess where the next stop is? After a few months of painting, carpeting, wall postering and equipping we opened the first of two (possibly 3) Nashville MusicBox Studios in collaboration with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee. The first is located at the Andrew Jackson clubhouse and is made possible by some really great folks and organizations including the Hot Topic Foundation, Gibson Foundation, KRK/Stanton, Seymour Duncan, KVB S.A.C.K Foundation, Peavey, Propellerhead, Avid, Thirdman Records and Jack White, Sheryl Crow, MV Pro Audio, SM Pro Audio and Line 6. Check out some of the pics and video from the Grand Opening (even though the official opening was in Feb 2012) Click to play (will open in another window)





Martin Gore spins the 1,2’s for Notes for Notes and New Noise again

We ended the Year as we should with a party… a fundraising party which was also especially celebratory for us considering the huge year we have had.Martin Gorewho remains one of our most influential and active Advisory Board Members (as well as a close friends) came back for round 2 to DJ the Holiday Soundcheck to benefit Notes for Notes and New Noise Music Foundation! It was another great event thanks to Jeff Theimer and the New Noise and Notes for Notes’ teams. We raised great support and awareness. Can’t wait to see what 2012 brings for this event! Thanks to Martin, Jonathan Kessler and all of the folks and businesses who donated to the silent auction. Check out the video recap!

N4N Participants Rock it… Everywhere!

2011 also provided opportunities for our next generation of musicians to hit the streets and pay LIVE! From opening spots at our big fundraiser with Seymour Duncan and The Steve Miller Band and Zion I at Velvet Jones to Santa Barbara’s Fiesta celebrations. One of our goals is to provide outlets for our musicians to perform, get out there and show the world the skills they have been honing in the MusicBox Studios.  Check out some footage from the Fiesta performance.

You can imagine that if I were to list every amazing thing that happened in 2011 you would have to take a few days off from work to read the full recap. I realize that you don’t have that kind of time (and that this has already eaten the better part of a lunch break) so feel please checkout the N4N Facebook for the daily updates and the video page for loads of cool vids HERE. A very special thank you to everyone that supported us in 2011 and continues to support us; The Hot Topic Foundation, The Wood Claeyssens Foundation, Santa Barbara Foundation,Matthew FisherFoundation, Johnson Ohana Foundation, Towbes Foundation, Gibson Foundation, Seymour Duncan, KRK/ Stanton, Numark/ Alesis/Akai, and our dedicated Board of Directors (Rod, Michael, Anna, Ian, Matt, Eric, Jeff and Natalie) as well as our Advisory Board including now members in 2011-P-Nut and Alan Parsons.  Thank you all for a great year and here’s to looking forward to a great 2012!



Studio Update: August-September 2011

The last couple of weeks in the studio have been awesome! We’ve had the Notes for Notes band practicing some killer songs like, “Pumped up kicks” by Foster the People, “Scar Tissue” by Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Abracadabra” by Steve Miller Band, and ” Heartbreak Warfare” by John Mayer. The tunes are really starting to come together and they’re sounding great. The kids are having a lot of fun with the songs by adding a little bit of their own touch and taste to the parts making the songs have an overall organic feel. As for the recording projects in the last two weeks, can you say “RAD!!!” We’ve had some pretty amazing experiences with recording these past couple weeks, and you can also check out the progress of these tracks on this site.
About two weeks ago i started recording Kevin, a 19 year old kid who happens to play an instrument said to have been created in Persia over 2,000 years ago, called a “Hammered Dulcimer.” Kevin was introduced to this instrument at a renaissance fair in San Luis Obispo just a few years ago. Since then, the Dulcimer has become his passion. We started recording a few tracks that are period authentic to renaissance times, but after recording a particular piece called “Winter’s Wren” We came up with the idea to mix this medieval music with something more along the lines of today’s West coast hip hop, and in turn ended up stumbling upon something very intriguing(this track can also be found on this site). In other studio works, we’ve also been working on a cover of a song called “Where I stood” by Missy Higgins featuring our very own 17 year old Dalia Khan on lead vocals and 15 year old Courtney Weiners doing back ups. The track by itself is a very soothing peaceful piece of music but, with the voices of these two young ladies added to the mix I think we can all agree that these are two talented young artists to keep an eye on. In short we’ve also got a few tracks coming your way from our very own Jamey Geston who has written quite a few originals of her own, now hungry to get them all recorded. Be on the lookout for more studio updates complete with video and audio segments from the latest works in the MusicBox!!!!!!

Dulcimer Hip Hop… just a sample by notesfornotes

Studio Update: September 2011

This month at Notes for Notes has been very productive, I had the opportunity to work with a lot of really awesome kids and it made me extremely excited for the future. We started off the month by having a meeting with our Notes for Notes band to figure out this school year’s plan of attack. In doing this we taught the kids that being in a band isn’t always just jamming out, sometimes you need to sit down and figure out where everyone’s head is at. We came to the conclusion that the band needed a basic practice schedule and a plan of how we could incorporate different musicians/techniques to make the band stronger. After doing so the kids obviously got some good jam time in which shredder Parker, taught the group a sweet guitar warm up!!!
The next week I was able to sit down with Connor, a 17 year old guitar/vocalist of the local band, Jaded Cloud. Connor and I spoke about multiple things regarding his band and how to go about booking concerts the right way. I was able to express to him the importance of spacing out local shows and promotion. Along with this we spoke about different creative ways of marketing the band such as recording a tune at Notes for Notes to set up kind of a role model situation for the kids at the club.
One of my most awesome moments that I experienced this month occurred when hanging out with Rico, Luis and a couple of others during a beat making/songwriting session. During this time I was able to sit back and witness some young guys who are really excited about being able to have the luxury of Notes for Note’s high quality equipment. They had a really good beat together and I was able to give them some melodic hints to make synth/vocals melodies a little catchier. Along with this I was able to help them come up with a chorus and discuss different lyrical techniques and ways to make things your trying to say sound more intelligent. Overall it was awesome and at the end we had a good 4-5 younger kids in a group as an audience for the process.



Waiting for that Day by notesfornotes

Studio Update-Summer Recap

MusicBox West

Summer Recap:


Looking back we’ve had a pretty rockin’ summer!! The N4N’s Band has been really busy with practices and performances like, Fiesta, (soon to come) the 2nd AnnualSanta BarbaraYouth Battle of the Bands and Avocado Festival. In between practices and performances we’ve managed to have some other great Summer activities going on in the studio like, our week long rock n’ roll songwriting camp. This camp gives kids an introduction to understanding the basic structure of a song and how to go about writing and recording it. By the end of the week not only have they gotten a substantial amount of knowledge from the experience but, they get a disc with their song on it as well. You can listen to the track “Waiting for that day” (feat. our very own Dalia Khan on vocals) on this site. More fun jams and recording sessions coming up, looking forward to wrapping up a session with a N4N band member named Ian. The track is a complete remake of a song called, “My mistakes we’re made for you” by a band called ” The Last Shadow.” It sounds great so far and we’re not stopping once its done. I believe Ian’s got a few more tunes up his sleeve.

Head on over to the Music player on the Media Page and listen to some of the tracks from the summer.