By Shannon Frost Greenstein
Arena musician Lanny Cordola has played guitar with some of the biggest names in music…Guns N’ Roses, Slash, and the Beach Boys, to name a few…during his career in Los Angeles. In a world of musicians desperate to make it big, his path is enviable. He “arrived.” And at 56, his years of making music are by no means behind him.
However, the American rock scene is not what makes him passionate these days. Now, he has devoted himself entirely to the Miraculous Love Kids music school, a nonprofit of his own founding which focuses on bringing music to the children of Kabul, Afghanistan, living in poverty or war zones.
The entire nonprofit is based on the principle that, ” “it shouldn’t hurt to be a child.”
The idea was born in 2014, after Cordola and some musical friends staged PEACE JAM 2014, designed to raise funds for an Afghani family befriended by Cordola which lost three family members to a suicide bombing. Miraculous Love Kids achieved nonprofit status in 2016, and continues its work to assist vulnerable children in perilous situations.
Surprisingly, most of the school’s 60 students are female. It’s atypical, of course, for young women to be playing Western Rock and Roll, especially out in public. However, according to Cordola, the families of his students did not object to the cultural anomaly. This is most likely due to the fact that the foundation is paying for education for many of the school’s attendees. Funding is obtained through benefit concerts, a GoFundMe page, and private donations from generous philanthropists.
Says Cordola, “What we’re trying to do with music is not singing and dancing and fancy stuff. You know, these are songs of compassion and hope and healing. Because these people suffered a lot here. And continue to.”
Cordola’s students now have a repertoire of around 20 songs, including tunes by U2, Coldplay and the Foo Fighters.
“Fragile”, by Sting.
Proving once again that, regardless of where we live or what we believe, music is universal. Regardless of gender, age, or location, a classic song is just that…a classic. And that’s something which we can ALL appreciate.
Check out NPR’s story on Lanny, this wonderful organization, and the young student who inspired it all.