February 24, 2018 | Belly Up
The 7th Annual Banding Together Benefit Concert will feature popular local musicians teaming up with aspiring students for an incredible afternoon to raise money for Banding Together. The nonprofit organization’s mission is to provide music therapy scholarships, mentorships, and instruments for youth with special needs. Taking place from 1-4pm, the event will feature a live auction, musical performances, and a surprise, highly anticipated headline appearance. Tickets are $18 in advance (bellyup.com) or $20 at the door. For those unable to attend, donations on behalf of Banding Together are accepted at email@example.com.
The afternoon will kick off with The Grinnell Trio, a jazz group from San Diego featuring Melonie Grinnell, a parent of a Banding Together participant with special needs. She has collaborated with Joe Garrison, regularly accompanies the Steph Johnson Trio, and is the director of piano studies at Grossmont College.
The unique two-man group, Dr. Seahorse, will captivate the audience with fresh beats, quirky dance moves, and catchy melodies. Trevor Davis (who participated on NBC’s The Voice Season 4) brings a strong soulful voice, while Mark Suhonen (producer and drummer) wraps it up with energetic beats.
The event will also feature a performance by Jungle Poppins, an animated troupe that performs favorite movie soundtracks and quirky originals. Anything but average, they prove music upstages autism as they move your head, heart, hands and feet. The band includes Reid Moriarty (keys and vocals), Ethan Marr (drums), and Steven Crowle (guitar).
Launched in 2009 by certified neurologic music therapists Julie Guy and Angela Neve Meier, Banding Together provides music opportunities to young people with Autism, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, and other developmental disabilities. The duo initially created Banding Together to offer scholarships for music therapy and free community music programs, such as their Jam Session program. According to Neve Meier, “The purpose of the Jam Session program is to help develop critical life-long social skills and friendships. The best part of it all though, is seeing the smiles on faces as they leave each night.”
Since 2010, Banding Together has tripled in size and has awarded 134 scholarships totaling $72,500 and has 150 artist ambassadors (professional musicians who have participated in fundraisers and events) including: Ziggy Marley, Jason Mraz, Michael Franti, The English Beat, Elvin Biship, Dan Hicks and The Hot Licks. bandingtogethersd.org
Special guest Jason Mraz with Banding Together participants
Header image: Photo courtesy of Chuck Lapinsky Photography