DARIEN, Conn. – Two Staples High School students received top honors as members of their band at the Darien Arts Center’s second annual Darien’s Got Talent fundraiser.
Pianist Jordan Darefsky and guitarist Eli Koskoff, two members of the four-person jazz band The Collective Jazz Project, were awarded first place in front of more than 800 people at Darien High School auditorium for their rendition of the 1960s song, “Sunny.”
Darefsky will be entering his sophomore year this fall at Staples, where he is a member of the school’s jazz band. Koskoff, who has been playing guitar for nearly eight years, will be a junior there next school year. He is also a member of the Stamford Young Artists’ Jazz Ensemble.
The two were joined by bandmates, sax player Andrew DeNicola, a 2013 Stamford High School graduate who plans to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston in the fall, and drummer Will Trautmann, a recent Darien High School alum who plans to attend UConn in the fall.
More than 75 contestants auditioned for the fundraiser during a two-day period. Twenty-one finalists aged 10 to 60 were chosen as the best of the best to be judged on Saturday.
The finals judges included New York talent scout Ceci Kurzman, Tony award-winning producer Edwin Schloss, former principal with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Barbara Goldsmith, Broadway director BT McNicholl, and New York Philharmonic violinist Asya Meshberg.
The Darien Arts Center is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1975. It offers educational programs in dance, visual arts, music and theater, as well as special events and live theater performances.
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