Jeff Coffin of the Dave Matthews Band has called Utah's Crescent Super Band the best youth Great American Songbook band in the world.
So it makes sense that the band has been invited to headline a concert in one of the best venues in the world: Carnegie Hall. Now, the musicians need a little help from their Utah friends to make it to the Big Apple.
With $100,000 already pledged, the band, based in American Fork, is seeking $200,000 more to cover travel and expenses so it can play at the famed New York City music venue on May 21, said Caleb Chapman, band director.
The band doesn't want these tax-deductible donations to go unacknowledged, so the 23-member ensemble's eighth full-length album, "A Crescent Christmas," will be available at local stores and online. For each $20 CD, $13 will go directly to the young musicians, said Gaylen Rust, head of R Legacy Entertainment, which is releasing the album on its label. "When they hear the music, it's worth every penny," Rust said.
While they hope local music fans will buy the albums, Rust and Chapman suggest the music would be good stocking stuffers for Utah businesses and corporations.
Sam Bennett, 17, of Magna's Cyprus High School, plays trombone in the band. He said his idol, the late Buddy Rich, once played on the stage of Carnegie Hall, along with "the biggest bands we've heard of." "To play on the same stage as him is a dream come true," Bennett said.
The high tab for travel expenses also includes about 50 other young Utah musicians who will open for the Crescent Super Band: the Voodoo Orchestra (performing jump swing and rockabilly) and La Onda Caribena (Latin and salsa music), both led by Chapman.
Chapman launched the Crescent Super Band in 2001, and its high-school-aged instrumentalists and singers come from as far south as Cedar City and as far north as Davis County for rehearsals and performances.
Dreaming of a new holiday classic
The Crescent Super Band's new album, "A Crescent Christmas," will be released Nov. 9. It can be ordered at http://www.legacymusicalliance.org.