2009-02-12 / News

Playing in local band keeps island teen busy

By Eileen M. Daly

Madelaine Crabtree, of Jamestown, plays the drums with her band CODA. The band recently won the North Kingstown Battle of the Bands. Madelaine Crabtree, of Jamestown, plays the drums with her band CODA. The band recently won the North Kingstown Battle of the Bands. Music isn't just a hobby for Jamestown drummer Madelaine Crabtree, it is a way of life. Recently Crabtree, along with her band, CODA, won the recent North Kingstown Battle of the Bands competition.

CODA is made up of local young musicians, including 16-year-old Crabtree. The other young CODA musicians include Luc Mailloux on the bass and guitar, Chris Croteau playing the guitar, saxophone and piano, Matt Beatty on the saxophone, and Justin Street playing bass and guitar. The band has been playing together for two years. They participated in two previous Battle of the Band competitions last year, but this is the first time they have won the competition, Crabtree said.

Crabtree said she had an early interest in music. "My parents exposed me to good music very early on and I used to walk around pretending to play the drums," she said.

Crabtree's mother confirmed this early interest. "From the age of four Madelaine began to say, 'I'm going to be a drummer when I grow up," Julia Montminy, Crabtree's mother, said.

Crabtree began to pursue her interest seriously in the fifth grade when she began playing the snare drum. "The first time I began to play I picked it up pretty fast," she said. After that, private lessons followed and Crabtree has never looked back. "I love everything about it," she said.

Crabtree said that she listens to all different kinds of music, but her favorite music to play and perform is jazz.

"I listen to all types of music and I like to play in a lot of different bands," Crabtree said. "Madelaine plays in six different bands: the Senior Band, the Jazz Combo, the Percussion Band, the Jazz Band, CODA and a local Jamestown jazz trio," Montminy said about her daughter's diverse musical interests.

Crabtree cited a number of different musical artists as being influential to her music. "I like to listen to all different kinds of music," Crabtree said. "Even if it's not jazz music, I can still learn from it." Among her favorite musical groups and artists are: The Beatles, David Bowie, Elvis Costello, modern jazz musicians Dave Holland and Chris Potter, and classical jazz musicians Myles Davis and John Coltrane.

Crabtree doesn't know what she would like to do after she graduates from high school, though she admits she has begun to think about it. She is considering attending the New School in New York City, but hasn't gotten much further than that. One thing is for sure, though, she will certainly continue to pursue her interest in, and commitment to, her musical career.

Crabtree is hoping to establish a percussion ensemble at the middle school level. "That would be an ideal community service project for me," she said. She will be working on this as a project that will add to her high school resume and to her future pursuit of a music-related education and eventual career.

For right now, though, Crabtree is content with her current schedule of musical pursuits. "Some of my friends complain of being bored, but I'm never bored. There is always something more to learn," Crabtree said, pointing to her recent interest in learning to write music. That, along with her practice schedule and her numerous bands, is enough to keep any young musician busy.

CODA performs locally, Crabtree said, often playing for friends at parties. They have also performed at the teen center and at a 5K race held in Providence.

The band will play a free concert at the Jamestown library this Sunday, Feb.15, from 3 to 4 p.m. as part of the Friends of the Library Music Series.

Montminy said that both the music series and the film series have been increased in response to the country's current financial crisis. Montminy said the Friends of the Library board members were hoping to provide more free events for people to attend during these difficult financial times. The CODA performance is part of this initiative.

For more information on the CODA performance and other musical performances, visit the library website at www.jamestownri. com/library/ and click on the events tab.

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