JetStream: Flying High for a Good Cause

Their music may be bold and resonant, but for one family, their generosity was real and heartfelt.

Rock music is their common denominator. They are JetStream, after all, a trio of young, up and coming musicians just back from a sold-out 27-day summer tour of the East Coast with legendary rock band Stone Temple Pilots.

Becoming very popular among the teen crowd, these three up-and-coming artists and local residents also have big hearts.

A friend in need

Taylor Messina was a young girl with a lot of promise. In 2009, her short life was harshly interrupted with a diagnosis of stage 4 metastatic mid-line carcinoma.

“We’ve been neighbors and friends since kindergarten,” said Benjamin Zelico, the band’s drummer.

With mounting medical bills at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in LA, Zelico came up with the idea of holding a benefit concert to help the Messina family. That concert at raised $19,000.

It was also the 15-year-old’s last chance to watch her friend perform live before she passed away months later. To honor their daughter and to send gifted volleyball players, like her, to college, the Messina family set up the Taylor Messina Butterfly Award and Scholarship Fund.

Following Messina’s demise, JetStream has performed for free in two more concerts at . Both times, the concert proceeds went directly to the foundation.

Going local and global

In the ensuing months, JetStream has become a “house favorite” at , according to its Facebook page. “It’s like coming home every time we perform here,” said Kevin Grimmett, an Agoura resident, who plays bass and backing vocals.

Their recently concluded summer tour took them far away from “home,” as they played in sold-out venues from Maine to New York to Pennsylvania, before finally concluding in Texas.

“We haven’t been gone this long, but it was really fun, because we played in clubs and outdoor festivals with as many as 4,000 people attending,” said Grimmett, who will be a high school sophomore at this fall.

Zelico will be a freshman at Moorpark Community College, while lead vocalist and guitarist Garrett Zeile, who is being home-schooled, will be an incoming high school senior. The trio practice about three days a week during the school year and five days a week during the summer, according to Grimmett.

They met during practice at in Agoura and have been inseparable since then.

Sweet success

In the past four years, JetStream has gotten exceptional breaks, representing the US and coming in second in the Global Battle of the Bands (GBOB) in London. They also opened for Stone Temple Pilots during their world tour stop in Florida.

Locally, they have appeared on Lopez Tonight, George Lopez's late-night talk show, a few times times and have performed with Lopez at the Nokia Theater in LA.

In the meantime, tour manager John Grimmett does not foresee any big performances until next summer. “They are working on their first album while focusing on doing well in school,” he said.


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