Local Teenager Takes Stage With National Artists

Local Teenager Takes Stage With National Artists
Gavin Hades, a local teenager, took to the stage late last month at Florida’s Thunder Beach Motorcycle Rally. Pictured, from left, are Jonah Ridgely, Norman Voss, bass player for Bret Michaels Band, Jeremy Brink, Hades, Meri Schaefer, drummer for Bret Michaels Band and Nicole Charvat. Submitted Image

OCEAN CITY – An Ocean City teenager, known locally for his musical talent, was recently given the opportunity to play alongside national acts in a Florida-based concert series.

Late last month, 15-year-old Gavin Hades made his way to Panama City Beach, Fla., to perform at the Thunder Beach Motorcycle Rally. With his guitar in tow, the aspiring musician spent the week performing the National Anthem and opening for major acts such as Bret Michaels, 3 Doors Down and Shinedown. He also joined Michaels and his band for a performance of “Nothin’ But a Good Time.”

“It was absolutely phenomenal,” Hades said in an interview this week. “Being there and feeling this sense of belonging, like knowing this is what I want to do in life, and having people in the audience cheer me on, it was incredible.”

While he had always messed around with his father’s guitar, Hades said he first started learning to play the instrument when he was 11 years old. Starting out on a ukulele, Hades soon transitioned to guitar.

“There’s nothing more amazing than sharing my love of music with Gavin,” said Jeremy Brink, Hades’ father and member of the local band Side Project. “Whether we’re finding new music together, playing live music together, or just discussing music, it’s just the best feeling. It’s a dream come true for me to see Gavin so passionate about playing and learning. I couldn’t be more proud of him.”

While he has been playing guitar for the last four years, Hades rose to local prominence when he was asked to perform alongside Michaels and his bandmates at the 2021 OC BikeFest.

Since that time, Hades said he has been busy.

In addition to performing at local venues throughout much of the summer season, he was invited back to this year’s OC BikeFest to perform the National Anthem.

“I was then asked to go to Panama City Beach, Florida, and open all four days with the National Anthem there,” he explained.

And when he found out that Michaels would also be performing at the Thunder Beach Motor Rally, he said he decided to reach out.

“I contacted their guitar player to see if I could jam with them again …,” he said. “His whole band is fantastic. They treated me with such kindness.”

Hades said he was also able to spend time backstage with Jasmine Cain, Jared James Nichols, the lead guitar player and drummer for 3 Doors Down, and the bass player and drummer for Shinedown.

He also met country music singer Dierks Bentley.

“I was pretty much there with all of my idols,” he said.

Since his return from Panama City Beach, Hades said he has started focusing on forming a band of his own and creating original music. When asked about the experiences he’s had over the last year, Hades summed it up into one word – surreal.

“Even in the beginning, being asked to go down to Florida and people recognizing this was something I was serious about … it’s been absolutely incredible,” he said.

Hades said community members can follow his music journey by visiting his Facebook page, Gavin Hades, or his website, gavinhades.com.

“Gavin is exceptional in more ways than I can count,” said Nicole Charvat, Hades’ mother. “He is as humble and kind as he is insanely talented and driven. Watching him perform is an indescribable joy — he was truly born to entertain … I cannot wait for what the future has in store, he is going to set the music world on fire — that’s for sure.”

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.