Jason Gittinger

Jason Gittinger is an avid community builder and entrepreneur. Through his music school, The Detroit School of Rock and Pop Music® he goes out of his way to educate and nurture young and aspiring musicians about being a professional in music and in life. Their foundation, The Live The Music Foundation, provides scholarships, support to many students in need, community activities and events. Gittinger supports causes that teach people that being a success in life is not a singular pursuit but a team endeavor. He is a Past-President of the board of the Royal Oak, Michigan Chamber of Commerce; also receiving their “Business Person of the Year” award in 2019, and is the chair of The Royal Oak Commission for the Arts for the City of Royal Oak, Michigan. As an arts leader in the region, he has served on the community relations board of The Detroit Institute of Arts and has even curated music exhibits for The Detroit Historical Museum. He started his career spending many years playing music for recordings, events and activities all over the world. In addition to his own music career, he now spends a lot of his time helping other music entrepreneurs and artists make their passions their full-time careers through his consulting work with his boutique event consulting firm The Detroit Retro Society. He resides in Royal Oak, Michigan with his wife Sherry and two daughters.

1. Why did you get involved with the art commission, why do you stay, how do you want to see it grow in the future?

The art form of music has given me purpose since I was very young. It’s ability to take people from all walks of life and get them to sing together, work together, live life together, celebrate together, cry together, mourn together, and worship together was always mystical to me. I wanted to help everyone come together. As I have become older, my only wish has been to create more music and more musicians in our community. When asked to join the inaugural Royal Oak Commission for the Arts in 2012, and help encourage and support not only music, but all the myriad forms of arts in our community, I jumped at the chance. We have progressed quite a lot from in initial inception of the commission, but each year I see the things we still need to accomplish, so I stay on in the hopes that we can inspire and activate others in our community to pick up the mantle of unifying our sense of community through the arts.

2. What is your favorite art?

Currently, my favorite form of art would have to be the art of storytelling through documentary filmmaking and television. While music has and will always be my passion, the pandemic (and app based on-demand digital television) has brought the ability to learn and grow my mind and vision of the world through these films. And… sweeping drone shots of the pyramids in Egypt look amazing too. ;) 

3. Why is art important to you and needed in the city of Royal Oak?

The arts connect us… to each other… to our community… to leadership… to products and services… and to the heavens above. Each community in the history of the world has used some artistic expression to connect. Even written language and alphabets are someone’s graphical artistic representation of our thoughts, ideas, hopes and dreams. Royal Oak, like every community, needs organizations, people, and teams dedicated to using these forms of expression to connect us. 

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