A local duo decided that making music is more fun with talented friends. They call it Band Together and play to support local charities.
Photographs by Ron Kovis
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A large silver SUV is idling outside the Hi-Ho Motel, a landmark for those used to driving along the Merritt Parkway. Sitting casually behind the wheel, one arm stretched over the steering wheel and the other folded on the window frame, Jerry Vigorito leans forward and answers the question about its make, “It’s American.” This statement has nothing to do with the cost or status of the vehicle and everything to do with aligning personal decision-making with life purpose: Why just buy a truck when you can also help create jobs at home? This is the first insight into the philosophy of Band Together: Why just make music when you can also help your neighbors?
Vigorito and his lifelong friend and fellow musician Rob Fried cofounded and co-direct Band Together, a local group whose shows benefit local charities. “In order to play harmonica successfully, I had to learn all kinds of music—blues, jazz, funk, and dance. How do you fit a harmonica into that?” he asks, playfully, now driving the long and winding road from Fairfield through Easton to a private, professional rehearsal studio in quiet backcountry Redding. “I enjoy the variety of what I do, and I’m in awe of the talent I am privileged to play with.” He talks passionately about the group’s mission and is currently preoccupied with Brentapalooza. The benefit concert supports Team Brent, which helps fund research for treating childhood cancer. This is the reason for tonight’s rehearsal, and the musicians participating in this one show are nearby and traveling to the same destination.
If lesson one in understanding Band Together is purposeful good works, or charity, then lesson two is enlisting talented musicians—better than you think you can get. Band Together is an ever-changing entity. The musicians in one gig might be on the lineup for only that one show; next time, the roster could be completely different. Anchoring the waxing and waning are Vigorito and Fried, as well as Ron Kovis (photographer and promotional material maven).
Blending musicians means blending musical styles; Vigorito propels this part of the indoctrination by popping a CD into the player.
Check back every week for a new profile on each performer: