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Teen band strikes winning chord in battle

JAXX?takes first-place Jammie award in Sacramento competition
By: Laura Newell Telegraph staff writer
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Recently, a group of Oak Ridge High School students hit a major milestone. The El Dorado Hills student band JAXX won the 2011 Sacramento Jammie awards Friday, May 13, at the Crest Theatre in Sacramento. The competition started out with about 50 high school age rock bands from all over the Sacramento area. The competition was narrowed down by selecting winners from several “battle of the bands” culminating in a final battle at the Crest. “I didn’t think we would win because we were the only instrumental-based band, so it really meant a lot,” said Allan Petterle, guitarist. The classic rock with blues influence band includes Nikkos Savas, 16, junior, Kyle Maxwell, 16, sophomore, Allan, 16, junior and Jack Petterle, 14, eighth grade. “When they called our name we had to run down to the stage … it was so nice being recognized for all our hard work,” Jack said. Many of their El Dorado Hills’ friends and family members came out to support the band at the competition. “I have jammed with Allan and knew he was an amazing guitarist — and so I knew that the band would be amazing,” said Paul Tasaka, 17, friend and Oak Ridge junior. “I just wanted to go and support them. I had a blast … I basically lost my voice screaming … it was so nice to see them jamming on stage.” Jack, under brother to Allan, plays the drums and had a major influence on the bands name — in fact much of the influence. “We are playing off of Jack’s name, but we liked the look of the XX,” said Allan. “We wanted to play off of having fun and childish behavior.” The band started playing together a year ago, but each member found music independently. “We started jamming together for a 50th birthday party (gig),” Allan said. “After we did well there, we just kept playing.” After winning the competition, the band received multiple prizes including 30 hours in a Sacramento recording studio, Sony recording software, a variety of gift cards and a June 25 performance at Ace of Spades in Sacramento. Also, the recognition has allowed them to gain other gigs. On June 4, they will perform at the Sacramento Art Show. They are also working on an album. “We just hope our band takes off and we will eventually be able to go on tour,” said Savas. The guys said they just want to keep jamming together for as long as possible. “We want to keep putting on good shows to have people see what we do,” Maxwell said. “It makes us feel good to see our hard work pay off.” Staff writer Laura Newell can be reached at lauran@goldcountrymedia.com.