The guitars are tuned, the voices warmed up, the finalists selected, the songs rehearsed–– it’s time for the area’s hottest musical competition when BandJam 2018 rocks the stage at The Ridgefield Playhouse on Sunday, April 22nd at 4pm. Eight high-octane middle and high school bands will compete before a panel of celebrity judges. Doug Wimbish, the bassist for Living Color; Tony Award-winner Debbie Gravitte; and i95fm’s Ethan Carey will make the call on who is the hottest new local band of 2018! Come root for: 2 Minute Minors (Ridgefield), Band2 (West Hartford), Skybandits (Stamford), The 7’s (Orange), Abby & the Roadsters (South Salem, NY), Gilbert (Katonah, NY), Orbit (Weston) and Sound Beacon (Wingdale, NY) as they compete for your attention and some terrific prizes. Sponsored by Mountain Dew with Musical Direction by The Music Shed and powered by Guitar Center, with support from i95fm, Hal Prince Music & Entertainment, Ridgefield Music and Bach to Rock, this is the most exciting regional band competition going. The show is hosted by Christine O’Leary and Jay Prince. Visit The Hideaway (30 Grove Street • Ridgefield) for dinner the day of the show and enjoy a complimentary draft beer or glass of wine with your entree when you show your ticket. Media sponsor for this event is i95 The Home of Rock n’ Roll.
What began as a charity event for The Playhouse has become a much-anticipated competition where middle school and high school students perform before a panel of industry professionals for the title of BandJam Winner! 100% of all proceeds from this event will go directly to support The Playhouse.
The band competition could not be in better hands than with this group of seasoned professionals: Connecticut native, bassist Doug Wimbish is a highly respected and sought-after master of his instrument, who records and performs with a diverse roster of talent. From his early days with Sugarhill Records, to his pioneering work in TackHead and Living Colour, Doug has performed and recorded with a virtual who’s-who of Rock, Pop and Hip-Hop; The Rolling Stones, Mos Def, Depeche Mode, Madonna, and Jeff Beck, just to name a few. Morning Drive radio personality, Ethan Carey has been waking up Connecticut audiences as host of the morning show for over twenty years on i95 which everyone knows is The Home of Rock n’ Roll. Debbie Gravitte knows a thing or two about stage performance and showmanship having won the Tony Award for best actress in Jerome Robbins Broadway and performing in a multitude of Broadway musicals, including: They’re Playing Our Song, Little Mermaid, Chicago, Les Miseables as well as with 175 symphony orchestras around the world.
The BandJam competition is open to area middle school and high school bands. You do not need to attend Ridgefield schools to participate. Bands are grouped into two categories: high school (grades 9-12) and middle school (grades 6-8). Bands must include at least three members and no more than eight. Finalists will be judged by a panel of celebrity and industry professionals whose decisions are final based on the following criteria: Sound, Stage Presence, Technical Ability. See Official Rules for details. Prize Packages (Subject to change) include a $500 Guitar Center Gift Certificate, a Rock Show Membership for a five piece band which includes (4) 2 hour sessions for 1 month (ARV: $660), a $50 Ridgefield Music Gift Certificate, YOUR Band’s name inscribed on the Ridgefield BandJam Plaque displayed in the lobby of the Playhouse, and more! For complete details and rules please visit RidgefieldBandJam.com. Come support your favorite young, local talent and The Playhouse with BandJam 2018! If you didn’t get a chance to compete this year, be sure to come check it out, then get ready for next year’s competition!
For tickets ($20 adults, $15 students) call or visit the box office, 203-438-5795 or go online at ridgefieldplayhouse.org.The Ridgefield Playhouse is a non-profit performing arts center located at 80 East Ridge, parallel to Main Street, Ridgefield, CT.