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Local jazz band wins fest, will play California gig

| Monday, April 2, 2012

The Center of Life Hazelwood Jazz Band took first place in the Monterey Jazz Festival combo competition at the end of March and will perform at the California festival in September.

The band of young jazz players bears the name of a community empowerment group at the Keystone Church in Hazelwood run by executive director Tim Smith.

It is made up of young musicians who are shaping their jazz careers at schools and institutions here and elsewhere. It features Upper St. Clair's Benny Benack III, the West End's Anton DeFade, Aspinwall's George Heid III, Hampton's Brett Williams and Mike Stephenson from Philadelphia.

Besides the performance at the festival, the band will lead a jazz camp here in July and August and is arranging performances in this area, Smith says.

Details: or 412-521-3468.

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