“Come support incredible teen artists, entrepreneurs, and musicians, and hear wonderful music,” said Evan Neidich, Coordinator of the Westport Youth Film Festival (WYFF). The organization is hosting a Battle of the Bands fundraiser, scheduled for Friday, January 20 at Two Boots Pizza of Bridgeport, 281 Fairfield Avenue. From 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., guests can hear four bands compete for the coveted prize of a spot to perform at the annual Film Festival, scheduled for June 2, 2012 at the Bijou Theatre in Bridgeport.
Supporting teen artists has always been at the core of The Westport Youth Film Festival’s mission. High school students from across the state run every aspect of the festival and are branching out to highlight teen musicians, artists, and dancers, as well as filmmakers this year.
Many bands submitted by the December 20th deadline to perform at the Battle. The final four bands were selected by Battle Judge Nick Abraham. Abraham has been the Lead guitarist and backup vocals in bands such as Modern Hearts Break Faster. Abraham gushed about the teens who submitted their music for entry: “It’s great to see that there is such an abundance of talent amongst young musicians in the area. It definitely wasn't easy to decide which four bands will have the opportunity to compete on stage.” As a life long musician Nick encourages all of the teen artists, “If you haven't been selected, keep making music and don't be discouraged. It was a pleasure to be able to listen to each of the contestants and enjoy their unique styles.”
The battle venue, Two Boots Pizzeria, is named after the two boot shapes of Italy and Louisiana. The food is a delicious fusion of Italian and Cajun traditions. Two Boots of Bridgeport is the only restaurant that the small, hip franchise has outside of New York City and Los Angeles. Two Boots has a history of picking the next hot, up-and-coming neighborhoods. www.twoboots.com
Though the actual festival is not until June 2, the Youth Board of Directors is already hard at work planning events like the Battle of the Bands to promote and help fund the festival this spring.
Doors open at 7 p.m. for the event, and there is a $10 minimum donation to the Festival required for entry. Tickets can be purchased in advance at www.westportartscenter.org, or at the door.
The finalists scheduled to perform are:
Chillingsworth is a unique indie pop/rock/funk band. With influences such as The Interstellar Elevators, The Killers, Arctic Monkeys, and Jukebox the Ghost. Steve Friedman on Bass and vocals, Zach Malett on guitar and vocals, Malcolm McClintock on keyboard and bells, Josh “The Funk Machine” Malett on drums, Heydar Ensha on sax and bells, and Rebecca Black as the vocalist. http://www.facebook.com/Chillingsworth
Borrowed Glory is a rock band with influences such as Led Zeppelin, The Black Keys, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Santana. Ryan Bigelow plays guitars as well as lead and backing vocals, Cameron Swanson plays bassinet and Eli Chodock plays drums as well as singing lead and backing vocals. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Borrowed-Glory/163837140330150
Cheeky is a two-woman band. Bryttany Cunningham is on guitar and lead vocals and Charlotte Axthelm on guitar and vocals. They have a sweet, hip sound that falls under the realm of acoustic alternative. The Beatles are a huge influence on Cheeky!
Clay Garner is a lovely singer songwriter who has gained quite a bit of notoriety internationally. Clay writes music in both English and Mandarin (Chinese). Clay has hundreds of thousands of fans all over the world. http://www.claygarner.com/fr_news.cfm
WYFF is a program of the Westport Arts Center. For more information, search “Westport Youth Film Festival” on Facebook or contact Evan Neidich, by phone at (203) 222-7070 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.