Jazz Band performs at the Knitting Factory

Jazz Band students from both campuses performed in the Second Annual Independent School Jamfest – A Benefit for MusiCares on Sunday, March 9 at the Knitting Factory.

Bridges Academy contacted Starr Wayne, middle school instrumental music teacher, and invited Harvard-Westlake to the benefit concert. Wayne also took students to perform last year.

Bridges Academy organized the whole event, and also asked Oakwood School musicians to participate. Harvard-Westlake Middle School was the only middle school invited to play.

The concert’s purpose was to raise money for Musicares, the fundraising arm of the Grammy Awards. The organization funds school music education in the United States and “provides a safety net of critical assistance for music people in times of need,” according to the concert program.

The whole event was underwritten by the Al Sherman Foundation, allowing for proceeds to go directly to the education cause instead of paying off costs.

The Knitting Factory on Hollywood Boulevard was chosen for its reputation as a hip and upcoming jazz club to attract top people, Wayne said

Wayne and Shawn Costantino, upper school instrumental music teacher, prepared a select number of jazz students to perform a couple of combos for the concert.

Students who were chosen to perform were Chase Basich ’11, Jordan Bryan ’11, Lily Einstein ’11, Chris Freedman ’12, Jason Garfinkel ’11, Evan Jackson ’11, Sam Ruddy ’11, Alex Scharch ’11, Kevin Schwarzwald ’11, Ernie Zaferis ’11, Nicole Rafidi ’08, Max Druz ’10, Gaby Leslie ’10, Michael Richardson ’09, Jimmy Shaw ’09, and Julia Steinberg ’08.

Genres varied from 50’s rock ‘n roll to jazz, along with some “indie style” vocals.

The students sold raffle and admittance tickets prior to the event in order to acquire school community service credit.

In attempts to “step it up” this year, Bridges chose a variety of prizes for the raffle portion of the concert.

Guitar Center, My Chemical Romance, Maroon 5, Sound City Studios, and the Grammy Organization donated raffle prizes. They ranged from autographed band items to an electric guitar.

Around a couple hundred people attended the fundraiser. $2,500 was raised in total.

“Everyone seemed to have a really great time. The musicians sounded excellent,” said Wayne.