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Greenwich Jazz Benefit To Support Bridgeport Camp

GREENWICH, Conn. – The Greenwich-based music organization Backcountry Jazz is raising funds through its fourth annual benefit concert June 16 to support a summer music camp for underprivileged children in Bridgeport.

“The benefit has grown each year,” acclaimed jazz musician Bennie Wallace said in a statement. “Our concert sold out last year, and we hope to do so again.”

Backcountry Jazz is a nonprofit organization started by Wallace, a Greenwich resident, to bring the art form into schools and to audiences of all ages.

Wallace and the Disorder at the Border All Star Jazz Orchestra will perform at a private estate in Greenwich. The group includes 11 of the finest soloists and ensemble musicians in the jazz world, he said. This year will mark the first Greenwich appearance of award-winning jazz diva Rene Marie, whose style incorporates elements of jazz, soul, blues and gospel. The event is open to the public, and tickets can be purchased in advance.

Backcountry Jazz sponsors the Bridgeport Summer Music Camp as well as educational programs, free instruments and teacher training in communities with underserved children. In 2011, Backcountry Jazz fully funded and re-established the cancelled Bridgeport summer music camp. It was awarded grants this year from the Fairfield County Community Foundation and Newman’s Own. Backcountry Jazz needs to raise additional funds to bring the camp up to last year's success and continue outreach into the school year.

Backcountry Jazz is also working with John Yoon and the Greenwich High School Jazz program. On May 21, the organization held an interactive performance and workshops at New Lebanon School.

“We are grateful that our community support has deepened, and our benefit committee has been instrumental in this,” said Wallace. “The barn and saloon at Bright Brook Farm, is extraordinary.  It has wonderful acoustics in an intimate and relaxed setting. It’s a concert to have a good time for a good cause.”

The benefit concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will start at 6:30 p.m., with dessert to follow. Ticket levels are $250 and $500 per person. Patron levels start at $1,000 to $20,000. All tickets should be purchased in advance by contacting Backcountry Jazz at 203-869-9454 or jeanette@backcountryjazz.org .

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