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Head: Sophisticated Entertainment: Blends parties with giving

admin | 5/31/2012, 5:55 a.m.

Miami natives John Rick Zeigler has established himself as a top-notch songwriter and penned hits for folks including Cameo, Bone, Thugs and Harmony and the Bee Gees. His friend and business partner, Samuel Hutchinson, also from Miami, has toured the European circuit for years and is an equally talented songwriter and producer. Last April, along with Russell Bailey, one of the Big Apples hottest DJs, whos brought his skills to South Florida, the threesome formed Sophisticated Entertainment. But this is no ordinary collaboration. Each Friday night, they sponsor a happy hour at the Legends Caf [2029 Harrison Street, Hollywood] and donate 50 percent of the proceeds to deserving students in the form of scholarships or to non-profit organizations that serve a host of needs for youth. Zeigler says its partying with a purpose grown folks style. We decided to start hosting these parties last year and believed that we could get others to come out, enjoy themselves and provide a way to help young people who want to further their education but dont have the funds or those kids with illnesses, he said. This Friday, 50 percent of the proceeds will go to the Miami Northwestern Bulls Alumni Association. Every dollar helps youths in need Since this dedicated trio has taken over the scene, along with former 99 JAMZ DJ Wanda Get Down Brown who serves as the host, their fundraising efforts have helped a number of needy organizations including: Florida Memorial University, Miami Central Alumni Association, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Awareness and St. Luke Masonic Lodge 530. And according to Zeigler, more requests are beginning to pour in. It confirms that we are doing something that matters in our community, he said. Everyone enjoys having some fun after a tough week at work. And we spin the tunes that old school folks grew up on and still love. He says the music may make Chicago steppers leap to their feet and then in a flash the mix will move to a techno beat reminiscent of the sounds one hears in nightclubs in London. Then, its on to the early days of rap, TSOP and Motown. We have a good time but we remember that we have a purpose, he said. Last Christmas, we collected about $2,000 worth of toys and donated them to children with cerebral palsy. It was a team effort with the St. Luke Masonic Lodge. Zeigler says sometimes the crowds are small other times they reach 300. But as he points out, every dollar helps. I grew up with music and was taught the importance of giving back this just comes naturally, he added. Contact Zeigler at 305-332-7534 for more information. This Fridays event benefiting Miami Northwestern Senior High School is from 6 - 9 p.m. By D. Kevin McNeir kmcneir@miamitimesonline.com