Jazz brunch great way to raise funds

Local residents on Sunday will have the chance to participate in an interesting event while helping to raise money to help create a big band that Steubenville can call its own.

The Jazz Brunch at the Marina that is planned by the Mary, Seat of Wisdom Catholic Community and the Harmonium Project will offer a chance to enjoy a special brunch, prepared by the Stetson Food Co. of Desperado Dogs fame, while listening to the jazz that comes from the trumpet of Matt Hill.

The setting will be right along the Ohio River, in the shelter houses that sit on the upper level of the Steubenville Marina.

While it figures to be an enjoyable afternoon for those who attend, it also will serve as a way to raise money organizers hope to use to provide instruments for the Steubenville Big Band. Once launched, the band will be available to play at events around town and will serve as a way to teach jazz to junior high and high school students, as well as those who have graduated.

Making sure there are enough instruments available to get the project started is a concern, organizers said, and for that reason, they’ve set up a couple options for those attending the brunch — they can pay the $25 -per-person charge, with a family maximum of $75, or donate an instrument and receive two free tickets.

Driving the event are Marc Barnes of the Harmonium Project and the MSWCC, and Dan Merritt, a professional musician and New Orleans native who volunteers with the Harmonium Project. They agree that including a youth band as part of the project would help to educate young people about jazz and swing music and, in the process, develop future players for the big band.

One of the goals of the Harmonium Project is to make Steubenville “a place to be.” Members of the group continue to show their commitment to that objective with events such as the monthly First Fridays on Fourth, which featured a Celtic Fest theme last night, and Sunday’s Jazz Brunch at the Marina.

Dedicated organizers, a chance to help the community while enjoying a good meal served up along the Ohio River and the cool sounds of a jazz trumpet — it sounds like a relaxing way to enjoy a late-summer afternoon.