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Ridgefield Playhouse to Host 'BANDJAM', 4/27

Ridgefield Playhouse to Host 'BANDJAM', 4/27

The best middle and high school bands around will rock out at The Ridgefield Playhouse before a panel of industry pros to compete for the title of "BandJam 2014 Winner". What began as a fundraiser for the not-for-profit performing arts center has become a much-anticipated annual competition. Middle school bands that have made the cut to compete in the finals on Sunday, April 27, at 4 p.m. are Dysfunctional 4, The Next Generation, Ulterior Motives and Marmalade Sky. In the high school category, the bands will be Juice, Birdwalk, Apollo's Legacy and Plethora of Nothing. This year's celebrity judges include Paul Pesco, a masterful guitarist whose list of credits reads like a "who's who" of the entertainment industry, as Paul has recorded and toured with Madonna, Annie Lennox, Steve Winwood, Chaka Kahn, Hall and Oates, Jeff Lorber, Whitney Houston, George Benson, Joan Baez, Celine Dion and more top artists. Broadway star Linda Eder, who showcases one of the greatest contemporary voices with a range that spans the standards, pop, country and jazz. DJ Ethan Carey of i95fm radio will also judge. Comedian Christine O'Leary will emcee. BandJam 2014 is underwritten by Pepsi, The Guitar Center, Enchanted Gardens Studios, Ridgefield Music Studios and The Music Shed, which is also providing musical direction for the bands.

Ridgefield BandJam was the brainchild of some enterprising students, some musicians themselves -- Cole Butchen, Michael Rosamalia and Tucker Hearon. After learning that The Ridgefield Playhouse was struggling in the economic downturn (2008), the students created a benefit event that would satisfy their love of music plus provide support to the Playhouse, hence "Ridgefield BandJam" was born. RidgefieldBandJam.com, a Web site developed by the kids, has all the details of how it works.

For tickets ($20, $15 students), call the box office at 203-438-5795, or go to ridgefieldplayhouse.org. The Playhouse is a not-for-profit performing arts center located at 80 East Ridge, parallel to Main Street, Ridgefield, CT.

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