Alec Glasser

Sway Calloway

Alec Glasser, Executive Board Chairman, University of California, Irvine – Center For The Power Of Music, Founder, The Drake in Laguna, Founder, The Drake Gives

Alec Glasser, a native New Yorker, first became passionate about music while attending public school band programs in Queens, NY. He was fortunate enough to receive both musical instruments and instruction in junior high and high school, where he learned how to play the saxophone, clarinet, and flute. As a result of these publicly funded programs, he was able to earn some spending money performing at bar mitzvahs and sweet sixteen parties. Eventually he secured gigs in teen bands at upscale summer resorts in the nearby Catskill Mountains.

Enter The Drake Hotel at the swanky address of 440 Park Avenue in New York City. It was here that Alec spent his teenage summers working the night shift as an elevator operator and bellman, while attending college at State University of NY, Buffalo, where he earned a BA degree in Political Science/Russian Language Studies, and graduated Dean’s List and Phi Beta Kappa.

Instead of living at home and commuting between the two boroughs, management allowed him to stay at the hotel in exchange for being on-call 24/7 if needed. As a result, between school years, Alec literally lived at, absorbed, and enjoyed the experience and music of The Drake during these very formative years meeting the likes of John Coltrane, Sammy Davis Jr, Judy Garland and Jimi Hendrix —The Drake experience never left him.

After spending three summers at The Drake, Alec left New York City bound for college in California, and armed with enough cash earned to put himself through law school at the University of Southern California, where he graduated Order of the Coif (top 10%) and was an Editor of the Law Review. After passing the California Bar, a long career later followed. First, as a practicing lawyer (specializing in real estate and securities law), then, as a faculty member at the USC Law Center, and later as a commercial real estate investor/developer.

Alec attributes much of his success professionally to the many invaluable lessons learned and wisdom gained from his early experiences while working and living at The Drake Hotel. While Alec’s time at The Drake Hotel is long behind him— it was demolished in 2008— the memories remain present and strong in his heart and soul. And, decades later, he reinvented an updated version of The Drake experience in his longtime home of Laguna Beach.

When The Drake restaurant opened in Laguna in 2019, Alec had a primary goal: to establish a “give back” initiative dedicated to supporting music education, particularly for underserved children in public schools. The culmination of this commitment came to fruition in 2021 with the launch of The Drake Gives, a public nonprofit 501(c)(3) foundation, and the formation of the partnership with Save The Music.

Since its inception, The Drake Gives has successfully raised over $500,000 for Save The Music programs. These funds have facilitated music instruction and provided instruments to more than 12,000 underserved kids, with over 7,000 students benefiting in local Orange County public schools alone.

The Drake Gives has also partnered with University of California Irvine, to create a Center for The Power of Music to use transformative energy of music to educate and mobilize efforts for social wellbeing and change. The Center is currently working on projects which include a new and novel curriculum offered at UCI teaching the multiple diverse uses of music to improve people’s lives through applications such as medicine, sports, emotional well-being, and activism. Other projects include creating a directory of non-profit entities relating to music, and collaborations with for profit and non-profit organizations utilizing the power of music for societal advancement.


View all Save The Music Board of Directors