Marywood jazz ensemble raises money for a good cause

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Afton Fonzo, Social Media Editor

Marywood’s jazz ensemble held a jazz dancing night to raise money for Kenny Brader, former Marywood trumpet instructor, on February 9.

According to Thomas Heinze, jazz ensemble director, the band tries to host a free dance night once a month. This event, however, was a bit different.

The jazz ensemble asked patrons to make a donation of $5, which would be donated to Brader.

“Life has dealt him a tough hand with his diabetes and so we’re trying to help out and respect him. Every little bit helps when you have no health care at all,” said Heinze.

Along with the students, many Marywood alumni came back to play with the band and raise money for Brader.

John Andrews, Marywood student and guitar player for the jazz band, reflected on his favorite part of the night.

“Playing with Kenny Brader, the guy that we featured, who’s out of this world incredible, playing the tunes that we played with him [was the best part of the night],” said Andrews.

In addition to the performance by Kenny Brader, the jazz ensemble performed as well. They played everything from renditions of Glenn Miller, the sounds of the big band from the ‘30s-’50s, to current music.

“The band sounded great. A lot of the tunes [from] that night we sight-read, which means we’ve encountered them before. Sometimes it’s a new tune, but they’re general dance tunes, so we throw them together really fast. It’s an impressive bunch of guys in the ensemble, too,” said Andrews.

Older guests showed off their best swing dancing moves while teaching the younger attendants  all of the dances. People of all ages came out to dance.

“Our main outcome with this one is to give this guy a little help with a trying time in his life,” said Heinze. “With our talent, which is God-given, we can do good.”

The Feb. 9 event raised almost $1,000 for Kenny Brader.

The jazz ensemble will be host the Cole Porter Jazz Festival on April 5, 6, and 7 in the Sette La Verghetta Center for Performing Arts.