July 13, 2006
Spectator - Teens Band Together in Music Battle
There is nothing like a battle to bring a people together.
At least this is the hope of Brian Greene, executive director of the Westside Jewish Community Center (JCC), as he plans the Los Angeles area's first citywide Jewish Battle of the Bands.
"I believe that there needs to be a place where Jewish teens from various schools and denominations can gather ... music is a way that that can happen," he said.
The Nov. 4 event, which Greene describes as "an effort to make the Westside JCC a relevant part of Jewish teen life in Los Angeles," is scheduled for 7 p.m., at the community center.
Any bands with Jewish members are encouraged to submit demos before Sept. 1 in order to be considered for the battle lineup. The event is geared toward embracing any and all forms of "the musical expression of Jewish teens," Greene said.
Competing bands will be evaluated by a panel of judges expected to include music industry insiders, and winners will be awarded prizes including Sam Ash music merchandise gift certificates. Sam Ash Music Corp. is sponsoring the event, along with the Jonathan and Faye Kellerman Foundation.
Greene has motives that go beyond the music: He hopes the battle will bring together teens from all denominations and schools, fostering the kind of Jewish unity that the JCC has already kindled in its preschool and senior citizen patrons.
"Teens by their nature are not denominational," he said. "I hope [this concert] is creative way to spark an interest among teens as to this being a place that can host events for the teen community."
Similar citywide musical battles have met with much success in the Jewish communities of Vancouver and Miami, among others. Such an event, though, seems tailor-made for Los Angeles, the entertainment capital of the world.
So grab a microphone -- and rock on.
The event will be held Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. at the Westside JCC, 5870 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles. $5. Only five bands will be able to compete. Send demos to: Battle of the Bands c/o Westside Jewish Community Center 5870 West Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036 For more information, visit www.westsidejcc.org or www.myspace.com/wjccbattleofthebands.