DSA's Jazz Workshop Orchestra heading to Savannah -- with your help

The Denver School of the Arts Jazz Workshop Orchestra is among the twelve top high school jazz bands in the country - and the only one in Colorado -- chosen to participate in the eighth annual Swing Central Jazz Band Competition & Workshop in Savannah, Georgia. From March 27 through March 29, the young musicians will work with jazz masters, then play in competition rounds for $13,000 in cash prizes. "It was a difficult process to select our twelve high school bands from a very strong group of applicants," says Savannah Music Festival associate artistic director Marcus Roberts. "We look forward to hosting talented young musicians from as far away as California while welcoming first-time participants from the Savannah Arts Academy." See also: - Chef and Tell with Drew Hardin of Lola - First Lady of Denver announces eight finalists in Bringing Back the Arts competition - MTV showcases Denver School of the Arts

But first, Colorado's young musicians need to get to Georgia. DSA is part of Denver Public Schools, which doesn't exactly have spare cash, and the cost of the trip per student is estimated at $1,200. "The dedicated and talented young musicians in Jazz Workshop Orchestra are beyond excited to represent Colorado in the competition, and we are committed to finding the funding necessary to allow every student in the band to participate," says director Dave Hammond.

And so DSA supporters are scrambling to raise money for the trip. One particularly tasty way for you to help out: From 2:30 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 16, Lola, the restaurant/bar at 1575 Boulder Street in LoHi, will host a benefit for the program. A combo featuring several of the Jazz Workshop students will be playing live jazz, and Lola bar manager Jimmy Zanon and chef Drew Hardin will offer drink and dish specials - with all proceeds from the sale of those items benefiting the DSA students.

To learn more about the Savannah Music Festival, which runs from March 20 through April 6, go to www.savannahmusicfestival.org; for more on the DSA Jazz Workshop Orchestra, contact Hammond at dave_hammond@dpsk12.org.

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