By Natasha Brown
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Keeping the beat: That’s the mission of a special jazz band in South Jersey. They’re trying to make a difference in the lives of students who enjoy playing music, but don’t have anywhere to perform.
Meet the M-Town Jazz Jam band. It’s made up of five guys … and students! Yes, they invite middle and high school kids to play alongside them for performances in public.
Student Eme Eskaros said, “I get to learn what performing is really about. It’s a lot of fun.”
David Bermingham, another student, said, “It’s a great experience.”
The idea came about when David’s dad, band director Dave Bermingham, and other members saw a lack of opportunity for kids to play for audiences.
“Usually we feature three or four students at each show, and they each get to play a few numbers,” said Bermingham.
The Medford School District cut out some of its band programs, so students like trumpet player Carl Hauser didn’t get to play in 4th and 5th grade.
“I’m really mad because I was really looking forward to it,” said Carl.
The group practices weekly in Medford and performs at South Jersey festivals and coffeehouses.
Eme Eskaros is going into 7th grade. “I love that they’re trying to get other kids into music,” she said. “Music is so much fun.”
M-Town Jazz Jam is working on recording an album. They say all the money raised will fund scholarships for local students who plan to study music in college.
“I think it’s very important for those kids who have those skills and those ability to be able to have that experience,” said Bermingham.
If you’re interested in their mission, you can find them here: mtownjazz.com