Area musicians band together to help a friend

June 18th, 2015 10:50 pm

First Posted: 2/1/2014

Performing at a benefit to raise money for someone who is seriously ill is serious business, but the music should still be fun.

That’s the goal of band leader Jeanne Zano.

“We usually just try to be normal and do what we usually do, which is play music,” she said. “We don’t want it to be any different, and it shouldn’t be just because someone is ill. We need to keep it normal and just play music that will make everyone have a good time.”

Zano and her band will take the stage Sunday afternoon at the Woodlands Inn and Resort in Plains Township for a benefit for Dominick Costantino Sr., who has acute myeloid leukemia. Other bands include 40 lb. Head, Iron Cowboy and OZ.

The benefit, which will take place from noon to 6 p.m., will offer beer, a cash bar, basket raffle, refreshments, food and door prizes.

She aims to provide a fun time for the crowd by just jamming out on stage. “Sometimes we look around at the audience and try to gauge the age of the people to play songs they would know,” Zano said. “But basically it’s just like any performance.”

Costantino, a resident of Hanover Township, learned he had leukemia in August 2013. He is receiving treatment at the Hershey Medical Center.

Family friends Pat Baran and Judy Passetti set up the benefit to defray costs of his medical treatment and traveling expenses for him and his family.

About 50 gift baskets will be raffled, and there will be a bake sale, Baran said. She is thrilled at the response from the community and expects a good crowd at the Woodlands. “We decided on having the bands play because we thought entertainment would bring in a lot of people,” she said.

Zano has been playing a lot of benefit shows lately, and it hasn’t just been by coincidence. Her sister Cathy, who died of cancer eight years ago, was the inspiration for the song “8 Years of Life.” That song, which won her several songwriting awards, is part of her first CD.

“People close to me have dealt with illnesses recently,” she said. “When God gives you a talent, you have to share it and make a difference. It’s nice to be in an atmosphere where you can reach out and help people.”

The Jeanne Zano Band, best known for country/western music, also has organized some of its own benefit shows and toy drives for the holiday season. “We really like to come together for a good cause for the community,” Zano said.

Zano, formerly a member of Flaxy Morgan, performs at local church bazaars, festivals and clubs with her band.

Sharing a bill with other local artists is a thrill for Zano, and she is looking forward to Sunday’s show. “We all know each other, but we never see each other because we’re usually all performing at the same time but at different locations,” she said. “We all support each other. I’m definitely going to stick around after our set and listen to some of their songs.”