DENVER (CBS) – From a van in 1997 to Carnegie Hall in 2013, DeVotchKa is a Colorado band sharing a love of eclectic music and a passion for the community.
For years, the band has made a point of giving to arts and music programs in the towns where they play.
For the members it was an easy decision to give back after they grew up with music in school.
“We realized in one generation a lot of these programs cut,” said percussionist Shawn King. “It just didn’t make any sense. There a lot of people who still think it’s the most important thing you can do in school.”
DeVotchKa works with organizations like the Colorado Symphony to share it’s community mission as well as it’s passion for a wide-ranging sound.
“Our music has evolved,” said Jeanie Schroder, who plays sousaphone and bass and sings. “I wouldn’t say it has changed. Our vision is still pretty much what it was when we started.”
“I think it’s to make interesting sounding pop stuff but played with orchestral instruments,” King explained.
“To grab from all the different types of music we like and kind of mix it up,” Schroder elaborated. “To keep creating the kind of music we want to listen to.”
Now DeVotchKa is using the same kind of approach for it’s philanthropic work taking what King called a humanitarian turn. The band is teaming up with Bonfils Blood Center for the Give Live concert.
“We’re working with Bonfils this year because they do an awful lot of incredible work,” Schroder said. “They’re connected with blood donations, platelet donations. They also have a section that does a lot of research. They’re really the business of saving lives and who can’t get behind that.”
DeVotchKa hopes the concert will give its fan base a better appreciation of Bonfils and all the ways they can help besides just donating blood.
“You might be scared of needles or you might not have the time but you can give money. They supply blood to the armed forces when they have a need for it. They respond to tragedies like the Newtown tragedy. They’re on call to ship blood out to them if they happen to need it. It costs money to ship blood.”
The Give Live is Valentine’s Day at the Paramount Theatre. Bonfils is offering a VIP package which includes priority seating and a meet-and-greet with the band.
As for DeVotchKa, they’ll be on a plane immediately following the concert to fly to New York and perform at Carnegie Hall. That concert will benefit New York City schools and music programs.
The band is also work in the studio recording an EP of covers and has just released an album recorded with the Colorado Symphony.
CBS4 is a sponsor of the Give Live concert. (MORE INFO)
– Greg Moody is CBS4’s Critic At Large. His reports on CBS4 News are featured on the CBSDenver.com Entertainment section.