Andrew Beaudoin (II), Danny Lamere (II) and Adam Rochelle (IV) are three members of The Keys, a five-member high school rock band that, Andrew says, mixes “the old classic stuff with new stuff, new influences,” like jazz or reggae. With Andrew on guitar, Adam on the keyboard and saxophone, and Danny singing lead, The Keys recently competed in a battle of the bands called “Notes for the Cure,” a benefit concert for the Generation Cures organization at Children’s Hospital Boston. The boys raised over $4,000 to help fund Children’s Hospital cancer research.
“Notes for the Cure” was created by Dedham-based high school band YellowCake, and included eight bands competing in two ways: to raise the most money, and to perform the best original song written around the Generation Cures theme of “making it better.” There, the Keys introduced their new song “Spontaneous Jam,” which they composed for the event.
“‘Spontaneous Jam’ started the way most of our songs do; Andrew just started playing some chords and came up with a progression, and as we listened we all began adding parts onto it,” explains Danny, who then put lyrics to the music. “The creation of the song kind of speaks to the theme of ‘making it better,’” says Adam. “We started with just a chord progression, and then we worked together to make a real song out of it, to make it better.”
Andrew—who studies jazz at Milton—and his friend Peter O’Marah began the group five years ago. They’ve been playing as their current fivesome for nearly six months now. This wasn’t the first time The Keys’ music has raised money for charity: the boys competed a few years ago in a benefit concert for Music Rising, which raised money to help New Orleans musicians affected by Hurricane Katrina.
The Keys have played at the Center for Arts in Natick, at the Dedham Country Day Fair (where they followed up Ernie Boch and the Automatics—“We like to tell people they opened for us,” jokes Andrew), and for Milton classmates during the favorite Beatnik Cafés and Jamnesty events on campus.