Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora will play a one-of-a-kind crystal Kantor Guitar during his performance at the Barnstable Brown Kentucky Derby Eve Gala on Friday. The guitar will then be auctioned to benefit the Barnstable Brown Gala’s diabetes charity.
The celebrity packed gala, known for its musical extravaganza, has raised and donated approximately $9,600,000 to the Barnstable Brown Diabetes and Obesity Research Center at the University of Kentucky over the past eight years. Founded by twin sisters Patricia Barnstable Brown and Priscilla Barnstable, along with Patricia’s late husband Dr. David E. Brown, this year’s gala will be held on Friday, May 2 at 8:00 p.m.
The instrument is a custom, handmade Austrian Crystal Kantor guitar celebrating the running of the 140th Kentucky Derby. Sambora personally designed the guitar. The American Diabetes Association’s symbolic colors of black and red were incorporated into the guitar’s design.
“This is hands down the most beautiful guitar I have ever seen,” said Sambora. “With the combination of this worthy cause and the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby, this should add some serious funds to help fight diabetes.”
Sambora will put the guitar to good use at the gala, playing some of the biggest hits he wrote and performed while with Bon Jovi.
“We were thrilled when we learned that Ritchie wanted to attend and perform at our party, said Patricia Barnstable-Brown, co-host of the Barnstable Brown Gala, “but we couldn’t believe it when he told us about his generous donation to help in the fight against diabetes. We couldn’t be more excited.”
Sambora has sold more than 130 million albums worldwide as a founding member of multi-platinum, Grammy-winning rock band Bon Jovi and as a solo artist. He has co-written more than 20 top 40 hits and 11 top 10 hits, including Livin’ on a Prayer, You Give Love a Bad Name, and Wanted: Dead or Alive. Sambora was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2009.