Bobby Stringer and Melton Mustafa take over the mic

caines | 1/31/2013, 4:30 a.m.

Diversity was the operative word at the annual fundraiser Overtown Music Project [OMP] held last Saturday, Jan. 26 inside of Liv at the Fontainebleau Hotel. Supporters from all races, creeds and political persuasions took to the dance floor to raise money for educational programs for Overtowns youth. Proceeds will benefit OMPs ongoing youth-focused efforts. The event celebrated the connection between Overtown and the Fontainebleau, a hotel where Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie and Etta James once performed. Several musicians who played in Overtown's numerous venues during its heyday, now in their 60s - 90s, were featured. But the show stopper was the Melton Mustafa Orchestra an 18-piece big band that played everything from swing to hip hop. OMP recently partnered with the Harmony Project and the Frost School of Music at UM to provide a free music program in the Overtown community. Children will meet regularly at Frederick Douglas Elementary School where theyll attend classes in jazz-based music, songs, movement, improvisation, ear training, note reading, music theory and music history. The students will also have an opportunity to learn an instrument of their choice in their second session. Applications are still being accepted. Call 786-897-8854.