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Music for a cause

Celebrate Halloween for a cause at the Puss 'N Boots Ball and Auction in Ashland. The annual costume gala is a fundraiser for Friends of the Animal Shelter, a nonprofit organization that supports Jackson County Animal Care and Control's pet-adoption and animal-welfare programs.

The event was sold out at presstime, but festivities are set to begin at 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, with a buffet dinner from Café Dejeuner, costume contests with prizes and live and silent auctions at the Historic Ashland Armory, 208 Oak St.

Ashland band The Lincoln Project will perform jazz, pop and soul for dancing from 9 to 10:30 p.m.

The band features Lincoln Zeve on sax and harmonica, Donnie Yance on bass, Michael Ruiz on drums, Scott Soltermann on keys, Joe Fascilla on trumpet and Dave Bernard on guitar (sitting in for guitarist Jeff Kloetzel).

The band will perform a mix of horn-driven rock and jazz tunes such as Atlanta Rhythm Section's "Spooky," Al Green's "Take Me to the River," the Doobie Brothers' "Long Train Running" and others by The Ides of March, Dr. John, War, Stevie Wonder, Gnarles Barkley and Bill Withers.

Vocalist Brianne Sherman — the newest addition to the band — will lend her voice to Sade's "Smooth Operator" and Marvin Gaye's "What's Goin' On."

Zeve started playing harmonica when he heard John Mayall's "Jazz Blues Fusion," released in 1972.

"I played that album over and over again," Zeve says. "I learned every harmonica lick and every song. After that, I was hooked."

He also was inspired by artists Herbie Hancock, Dave Mason, Earth, Wind and Fire, Grover Washington and The J. Geils Band. He took up playing sax in his early 30s, performing with community, jazz and blues bands around Pennsylvania and New York state. During that time, he made a living owning and operating an AM/FM station, WHYL, in Carlisle, Pa.

"Musicians who can earn a living playing professionally live a charmed life," Zeve says.

He sold his radio station in the late '90s and moved to Ashland, where he sat in with various bands, including the successful, but now defunct, One Horse Shy.

It was during a performance with a 14-piece ensemble, the G Val Band, at an Oregon Shakespeare Festival Green Show that Zeve found his calling.

"The G Val Band was put together by an actor and musician working at the Festival," Zeve says. "I was part of a four-piece horn section, and we were playing stuff by Chicago and Blood, Sweat and Tears. The audience's reaction was great. It inspired me to form my own project."

Zeve scouted around the Rogue Valley for musicians until he formed his current lineup.

SOLD OUT. No tickets will be sold at the door. See www.fotas.org for more about Friends of the Animal Shelter.