I have to tell you that I'm a huge jazz fan and I'm so happy to be associated with the great program called "Jazz in the Arts" or JITA. Not only is this organization encouraging young people to learn about jazz and its importance to our culture, but, JITA also helps out these budding young jazz artist with the Chester Daigle Jazz Music Scholarship Award.

I first got involved with JITA a few years ago when I was invited to host their first concert and I've been hooked ever since. One thing that just amazed me was the number of incredibly talented jazz musicians right here in the area. I don't mean "jazz wannabes" I'm talking first class jazz musicians with some serious chops. Sometimes, at these JITA concerts, I just sit in the wings and listen with wonder. These musicians are good enough to play anywhere in the world and we have them right here at home.

JITA was organized by one of the most talented people we have here in the Lake area, Chester Daigle. Chester , his wife, Pat and their son Jairus have done so much to encourage young people to study jazz and keep alive this truly American form of music.

JITA will be hosting its annual fundraiser for its Chester Daigle Jazz Music Scholarship this Friday at Treasures of Marilyn this Friday evening starting at 6 p.m. Dinner will precede the concert, so there you go. Good food and great music all for the price of admission and the proceeds go to the scholarship fund.. This scholarship is presented to one local graduating senior who wishes to continue with their music studies in college.

In addition to all the great professional and up-and-coming jazz musicians there will be a special performance by an amazing jazz artist by the name of Doreen Ketchens. I saw Doreen last year at a JITA event and she will quite literally lift you right out of your seat with her amazing clarinet playing. Doreen has gone from New Orleans street performer to a highly respected jazz artist who has played for 4 presidents, various U.S. Embassies to a slot at the prestigious Apollo Theater.

Tickets are $50 per person, students tickets are $40 – dinner is included in the price of your ticket, click HERE to buy tickets.