Monday, April 30, 2012

A Meaningful Event for Children's Musical Futures

Last evening, the Secret Agent Foundation hosted their annual tribute dinner at the lovely Victoria Beau Jolie restaurant in Schiller Park. Our friend Phil Vaughan, the group's founder, went to great lengths to make us all welcome and very honored to be there. Phil's brother, Tony, served as emcee and introduced a musical lineup of entertainment, including the wonderful band Hip-Noz, and music by Tony Ocean, Rick Lindy, Mark Inlow as "Roy Orbison", and Star David Brooks as "Jerry Lee Lewis" direct from Branson, MO.

Music philanthropist Lester Trilla, who has been key in supporting the Northern Illinois University Steel Drum Band for more than 10 years, surely sets the pace for support youth and education. We had a wonderful evening from start to finish. It was an honor to be named their 2012 Man of the Year and be surrounded by so many people expressing love and best wishes.

As I said last night, the focus of the evening, and rightly so, is the fund-raiser that makes it possible for children to have musical instructions and lessons, early in their lives so they might be excited enough to want to continue in the future, maybe even on toward a career in music. I want to thank everyone for their e-mails, calls, as well as financial contributions to the Secret Agent Foundation in my honor. As Nick said when he was honored, and I have said, especially of this event, it's not about us, it's about the children.

Who knows--your donation of financial support and even musical instruments that are in your basement, not being used, could truly make a difference in the future of Chicagoland's brightest young musicians, just waiting for a chance to learn, grow, and shine. Donations are accepted year-round (see

Again, thanks to everyone for making it an unforgettable evening and celebration,


Cross-posted on Facebook at:

Monday, April 9, 2012

A Note from Nick about a Special Honor for Carl

Two years ago I received was surprised and honored to learn that I'd been named Man of the Year, by the Secret Agent Foundation in Chicago. This charity organization was started by Phil Vaughn of Nation Records, who produced our "Terra Firma" CD in 1998 when we first met him.

The Foundation has one mission--to make sure musical instruments are available for free to children who can't afford to buy their own, but who want to play music. You might remember how long you had to wait or save up for your first guitar, or piano, or drums. This foundation also accepts donations of musical instruments, in addition to raising money to buy them.

This year, I'm proud to announce that my music partner, Carl Giammarese, has been named the 2012 Man of the Year by the Secret Agent Foundation and they're holding their annual awards banquet in Chicago on Sunday, April 29th, at the Victoria Beau Jolie restaurant on Schiller Avenue. If you're a Chicago-area Buckinghams fan and would like to be there on a night when Carl is being honored, I'd encourage you to buy tickets today. The info on how to get tickets is in the attached poster here.

Wish I could be there in person myself, but I've got commitments that night here. Also, if you'd like to donate one of your music instruments that's sitting around in your basement or attic, do that in Carl's name and they'll let him know that you did that. It's all about helping children who need our help.

We've been lucky to be musicians all of our careers and yet we had to save up for our first instruments too. I'm very proud of Carl and it's been a great honor that both of us have been recognized by Phil Vaughn and the Secret Agent Foundation because we all care greatly about children and their futures. Take care and see you on the road soon,

Nick To Order Tickets: Buy online at or call 773-308-6120. All tickets must be purchased by April 27th.

Cross-posted on Facebook here.