DAMON MARKS | GUITARIST / VOCALS
While it appears as though an increasing amount of rock guitarists had become “one dimensional” circa the early 21st century, there were exceptions to the rule, such as Damon Marks. To prove this claim, all you have to do is inspect the varied artists he has played with over the years, including R&B/gospel singer Jermaine Paul and rocker Bret Michaels, among others.
Marks has also made it a point to give back to others - beginning in 2010, he founded the Traveling Guitar Foundation, which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works to ensure that school children have access to high-quality musical instruments and instruction during a time when school systems across the country are facing budgetary restraints. Such artists as Alicia Keys, Swizz Beatz, Daryl “DMC” McDaniel, Heart, Melanie Fiona, Leon Thomas III, Ariana Grande, Mike Reid, Victoria Justice, Mariah Carey, Michael Bolton, and Rick Springfield have donated their time to the organization
In 2010, Marks joined Terry Ilous (XYZ / Great White) to perform “Heaven and Hell” live to a sold out crowd at the Mohegan Sun Casino, a get-well concert to the late Ronnie James Dio. Also in 2010, Damon played guitar for R&B recording artist and winner of NBC’s Season Two of "The Voice", Jermaine Paul, and Alicia Keys on her "Freedom Tour". As a part of the tour, Damon played in numerous world-renowned arenas such as Madison Square Garden.
In 2013, Damon went on a celebrity USO tour to Ramstein Airbase in Germany where he performed for and donated twenty new Schecter guitars to wounded warriors at seven military installations and military schools.
In 2010, Damon founded the Traveling Guitar Foundation. The Traveling Guitar Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works to ensure that school children have access to high-quality musical instruments and instruction during a time when school systems across the country are facing budgetary restraints. Damon a New Jersey native has shown special interest in the school systems in and around the state of New Jersey. Through the Traveling Guitar Foundation he has funded over twenty schools in his home state most recently funding twelve schools in the city of Elizabeth, NJ where Damon was raised and did all his schooling. Initially, the Foundation established a substantial presence in the New York tri state area. However, the Foundation's profile has grown to an international level, with in school musical equipment donations and clinics taking place all over the country and abroad. Due to its extreme importance, the artists Damon has relations with and played guitar for have given major support to Traveling Guitar Foundation. Artists like Alicia Keys, Swizz Beatz, Daryl "DMC" McDaniel, Heart, Melanie Fiona, Leon Thomas III, Ariana Grande, Mike Reid, Victoria Justice, Mariah Carey, Michael Bolton and Rick Springfield. Moreover, superstar athletes such as Allan Houston, David Tyree, Alonzo Mourning and Dikembe Mutombo have also taken notice of the Foundation’s mission and work. To date the Traveling Guitar Foundation has donated over 400 new Schecter guitars, Blackstar Amplifiers, Mogami Instrument Cable and various types of percussion positively impacting over 40,000 students in over 100 schools throughout the USA and abroad.