Banding Together returns to Belly Up for great cause


Music and great causes always make a good pairing. And that’s why Banding Together is returning to the Belly Up this weekend for their seventh annual benefit concert.

Providing music opportunities to young people with developmental disabilities such as autism, down syndrome, and cerebral palsy, Banding Together was founded by neurologic music therapists Julie Guy and Angela Neve Meier nearly a decade ago.

Initially created to offer scholarships for music therapy and free community music programs, Banding Together has since tripled in size and awarded more than $72,000 in scholarships.

During that time, Banding Together has hosted a variety of national and local artists, including Jason Mraz, Ziggy Marley, Steph Johnson, Tolan Shaw, Michael Franti, Tim Flannery, The English Beat and more.

Saturday’s showcase features performances from Dr. Seahorse, Grinnell Trio, Jungle Poppins, as well as just-announced surprise headliner Steve Poltz. The local troubadour will celebrate his annual birthday show (it’s sold out) later that night at the venue.

For Melonie Grinnell of the Grinnell Trio, the event is much more than another appearance of her band for a good cause.

The Director of Piano Studies at Grossmont College is also the parent of a Banding Together participant with special needs. As a frequent Banding Together participant, Grinnell has experienced the many benefits of the nonprofit first-hand.

Trevor Davis, one-time contestant on NBC’s The Voice (Season 4), also will be on hand with his band Dr. Seahorse, as will animated troupe Jungle Poppins.

The special showcase runs from noon to 4 p.m., with musicians also teaming up with aspiring students. There will be a live auction to help raise money, and for anyone who is unable to attend, donations on behalf of Banding Together can be made anytime during the year at