In the summer of 2010 Wes Crow and Brandon Pettiford were members of different musical acts competing against one another at the Rising Star Talent Show in Gahanna. Neither of the teens won that day, but the event proved to be the genesis for one of the area’s most noteworthy emerging bands. One year later, Crow and Pettiford teamed up with Wes’ younger sister Julia to form Pett Crow, returned to the Rising Star and came away with top honors. The jazz scene in central Ohio may never be the same. It is rare these days to hear teenagers rattle off a list of musical influences that includes The Doors, The Who, Kiss, Motley Crue, Rush and The Allman Brothers Band. But such is Pett Crow, a trio featuring a pair of Olentangy High School students and an eighth grader at Gahanna’s Middle School East. “We’re a blues rock band,” said Wes, 16. “But we play old blues, modern rock and anything in between.” Pett Crow will be headlining a diverse lineup at this year’s Instaband Battle of the Bands semifinals, a 20-group competition taking place Friday Feb. 7 at GROOVE U’s campus in Columbus. The lineup includes bands from all over the area, representing a wide range of genre from alt rock, rap and electronica. The other bands in the competition are: Christopher Robin (Columbus Alternative High School), Fishy Fishy Go Go Go (Columbus Alternative High School), Loyaltee (South High School), Space Jam (Columbus Alternative High School), Suave (Walnut Ridge High School), Tatum Cica (Arts & College Preparatory Academy), Under the Docks (Northland High School), Underground Magic (Arts & College Preparatory Academy) and Viktor Lillard (Upper Arlington High School). "The goal of Instaband is really threefold," said Dwight Heckelman, Founder and Director of GROOVE U. "It provides our students with real-world, hands-on experience in planning and executing a live show, and in the process showcases up-and-coming talent in the Columbus area. It also serves as a fundraiser which benefits three local, music education nonprofits: The Dick & Jane Project, Music Loves Ohio and Through Mind's Eyes." Pett Crow will be the only jazz/blues act, a distinction which suits them just fine. “I’m not really into the music of today,” said 15-year old Julia, who could probably be speaking for any of the band members on that subject. “I like music from the past, it’s what I’ve always related to. They played real instruments; there were no computers on stage.” Wes handles lead vocals for the band, with Julia playing bass and Pettiford on drums. Wes and Julia have been around music all their life, following the lead of a classic rock-loving father and garageband devotee. Always a fan of classic, heavier rock, Pettigrew’s music career began in a church. When he met Wes, his talents were directed in a bluesier direction. While the band prides itself on being a true collaboration when it comes to writing music and performing, it is hard to escape the praise for the precocious Pettigrew. “He’s got a gift,” said Julia of her bandmate. “He’s unlike any drummer we’ve seen. He never makes mistakes and can fit what he does into any style of music. ” “People have to hear Brandon play,” said Margarita, Wes and Julia’s mother. “Just close your eyes and pretend he’s not a teenager.” In a relatively short period of time Pett Crow has become a fairly significant name in live jazz. They played approximately 30 shows in 2013, most of them paid gigs. Pett Crow has appeared at Comfest, Red White and Boom and in blues festivals all over the country. They’ve opened for several national touring acts, including Anthony Gomes, Delbert McClinton and Royal Southern Brotherhood. The highlight probably came in April, when Pett Crow won the Midwest Battle of the Bands, a competition made up almost entirely of adult, professional acts. Pett Crow was the unanimous winner and was also awarded Fan Favorite. For a jazz/blues act like Pett Crow, a showcase like Instaband’s provides invaluable opportunity to be seen and to come in contact with performers. “It’s a lot of exposure,” said Pettiford. “And you get to see other bands and different styles of music."