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Band students help fix up New Orleans homes, but still fit in jam session, jambalaya

Lake Zurich student jazz musicians started their summer in New Orleans dry-walling houses and building trenches for gardens seven years after Hurricane Katrina decimated much of the city. While they were able to taste some homemade jambalaya and jam with Trumpeter Steamboat Willie, most of their week was spent doing hard labor in the heat and rain. Even so, 18-year-old drummer and recent Lake Zurich High School graduate Parker Matzinger returned home on Monday thankful for the experience. “I thought it was crazy how much destruction there still was. You’d go through neighborhoods and so many houses are still vacant or people couldn’t afford to fix them. It really does leave you with a good feeling when you know you have made a difference,” Matzinger said. He and more than 40 fellow Lake Zurich jazz band members traveled by bus to New Orleans as part of a weeklong trip planned by Band Director Josh Thompson. Read the full story.

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