Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) today announced the appointment of Aarash Darroodi as the new President of Fender Play Foundation (FPF), the brand’s 501(c)(3) public charitable organization. Darroodi succeeds Co-Presidents Evan Jones, CMO and Ed Magee, EVP Operations who have moved to new roles on FPF’s Board of Directors. Effective immediately, Darroodi will be supporting the organization in its mission to expand access to music education, putting instruments into the hands of students and empowering self-expression using the power of music.
“We are fortunate to have worked alongside Aarash for many years, most notably as we developed the Fender Play Foundation,” said Evan Jones, CMO and Ed Magee, Fender EVP of Operations. “We are thrilled to see him take his personal commitment into the role as president to further our mission to equip, educate and inspire the next generation. A seasoned leader across the FMIC organization and legal industry, Darroodi’s extensive knowledge, deep understanding of the Foundation and vast cultural expertise will provide invaluable support to make music education accessible to all.”
In his current role as Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Darroodi is responsible for all global legal matters across FMIC – whose portfolio of owned and licensed brands includes Fender®, Squier®, Gretsch®, Jackson®, EVH®, Charvel®, Bigsby® and PreSonus® – including mergers and acquisitions, compliance, litigation, intellectual property, corporate governance, advocacy and risk management. In addition, Darroodi serves as an officer on the Board of Directors for FMIC.
“I’m honored to step into the role as President of the Fender Play Foundation and continue the great work that was started by its incredibly dedicated team,” said Darroodi. “Music is a universal language that empowers creativity, community-building, and self-expression and through the Fender Play Foundation, we aim to place instruments in the hands of youth who aspire to become the next generation of influential artists. We are committed more than ever to building upon our original mission and expanding the program so that thousands of new students – across Los Angeles and beyond – can experience the joy of music.”
The centerpiece of Fender Play Foundation is its music education partnership within two key programs with Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), the 2nd largest school district in the US. The virtual middle school music enrichment program provides equipment donations, a teacher-led curriculum with access to the Fender Play® app and artist experiences. The elementary school ukulele program, supported and championed by Billie Eilish and her brother, FINNEAS, provides instruments and weekly in-school music instruction at 10 schools in Highland Park with the goal of creating a robust 3rd – 8th grade music pathway for nearly 2,500 students over the next 3 years. Fender Play Foundation launched in Los Angeles in 2019 and has since placed instruments and Fender Play® app subscriptions in the hands of more than 10,000 students, donating over $1 million in resources and equipment. The goal is to give more than 35,000 students the opportunity to learn a new instrument by the end of 2025.