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  • Writer's pictureJAMS


World-Renowned Jazz Artists to Bring

Hope, Inspiration Through Music and Culture to Jacksonville

-- Jazz Discovery Series artists to conduct Q&A master classes, performances free to the community at Jacksonville Arts & Music School --

Jacksonville, Fla. – February X, 2021 – The 2021 Jazz Discovery Series will host four world-renowned jazz artists between February – May, providing the Jacksonville community with an uplifting and inspirational cultural and musical experience at the Jacksonville Arts & Music School (JAMS). The series, presented by John Lumpkin II, a Jacksonville native and internationally acclaimed jazz musician in his own right, will offer Q&A master classes with each up-and-coming jazz icon followed by performances

free-of-charge to the community.

“Jazz music honors and amplifies its heritage and spurs creativity, ingenuity and awakening in a way that inspires both young and old and is particularly relevant and important in today’s social environment,” said John Lumpkin II, founder of the Jazz Discovery Series and the John Lumpkin Institute, which conducts performances and jazz clinics for students throughout the year. “The Series is designed to provide access to the next generation of legendary jazz musicians while fostering learning, networking and creative engagement in a comfortable and inclusive setting.”

The jazz artists participating in the 2021 Jazz Discovery Series—each of whom have performed around the globe and studied under modern-day Jazz legends—include Andrae Murchison (Feb. 19), DeAndre Lettsome (March 19), Dave Meder (April 23) and Amina Scott (May 28).

Each Jazz Discovery Series event will begin on a Friday from 5-6 p.m. with the featured artist conducting a “Meet the Artist Q&A Master Class,” discussing how he or she found his or her unique calling to and journey with jazz music. The artists will engage and share their experiences through Q&A, play a few tunes—a sampling of the evening’s performance to come—and provide pointers to attending students, fans and jazz enthusiasts of all ages.

“Jazz is rooted in emotion and soul and has the ability to transcend the listener into more intuitive thinking to help manage the demanding fundamentals of life,” added Lumpkin. “This is also part of why we host the Jazz Discovery Series and provide it free to the community – jazz is not only inspirational, but restorative and helpful in fueling a new way of thinking and processing the world around us, through the soulful narrative of each unique performer.”

From 7-9pm, the artists will perform a concert for limited attendees, who can enjoy the performance with catered bites from local caterer Three J’s Catering. Students from JAMS and the John Lumpkin Institute will perform as well. Casual seating will enable attendees to mingle during the performance or simply sit back and enjoy. Reserved seating is available for those who make a donation to the Jazz Discovery Series.

Attendance is free but all attendees must register in advance via Eventbrite. The event will follow all COVID-19 precautions, including social distancing and temperature checks at the door. Masks are required for entry.

Sponsors of the partnership between the Jazz Discovery Series and JAMS include the First Horizon Foundation, the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville and the Kids Hope Alliance. The Series is also made possible with the support of Jazz Road, a national initiative of South Arts, which is funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation with additional support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Details about each jazz artist are below.

Andrae Murchison – Friday, Feb. 19

Andrae Murchison hails from Savannah, Georgia who was introduced to the trombone and baritone at the age of nine, spawning his musical journey and career as a trombonist and composer. Following his formal education, he became a highly sought-after sideman and began touring the globe with world-famous bands and musicians, including The Skatalites, Abdullah Ibrahim and Ekaya, The Duke Ellington Orchestra, The Count Basie Orchestra and The Lionel Hampton Orchestra. He also studied and conducted performances with jazz masters Jimmy Heath, Donald Byrd, Gary Bartz, Monty Alexander, Benny Golson, Marcus Belgrave, Fred Wesley and Slide Hampton. Read more about Murchison on his website and Facebook page.

DeAndre Lettsome – Friday, March 19

DeAndre Lettsome is a Jacksonville native who grew up in the church with gospel music, sparking his lifelong passion for the saxophone. After numerous professional and student accolades, he was selected for the highly competitive Betty Carter Jazz Ahead residency in Washington, D.C., and has since shared the stage with legendary musicians such as Delfeayo Marsalis, Marcus Printup, as well as the O’Jays. He is a founding member of the Let’s Ride Brass Band, which released its debut album in 2020. He is also a member of The Urban Intellectuals led by Jonathan Baptiste, The Covenant led by John Lumpkin, and The Chris Thomas Big Band. He currently serves as an adjunct and assistant director at Edward Waters College and plays regularly in Jacksonville. Read more about Lettsome on Bold City Music’s website.

Dave Meder – Friday, April 23

Dave Meder—quickly becoming known as one of the most prominent jazz artists of his generation—is an award-winning pianist who has performed across the globe after finding his calling to jazz while in school. He has performed on stages in New York City, Beijing, Tokyo, Sao Paulo and Hondurus as part of numerous residencies. A Tampa, Florida native, Meder has studied under, and shared the stage with, some of jazz’s iconic artists, including David Baker, Nathan Davis, Curtis Fuller, Rufus Reid, Fred Hersch, Mark Turner, Ari Hoenig, Dave Douglas, Kenny Barron, Julian Martin and Philip Lasser. He is currently Assistant Professor of Jazz Piano at the University of North Texas, one of the nation’s most renowned jazz studies programs, where he provides direct mentorship to students. Read more about Meder on his website.

Amina Scott – Friday, May 28

Amina Scott is a bassist, composer and arranger from Oakland, California whose passion for music stemmed from piano lessons from her grandmother as a young child. From that beginning, Scott has performed at festivals and on stages across the United States as well as Switzerland and St. Lucia. She has studied under jazz’s leading artists of the day, including Allen Nisbet, Roland Guerin, Ed Wise, Rodney Jordan, Leon Anderson, Marcus Roberts, Bill Peterson and Adonis Rose. She is now based in New Orleans and has performed with Steve Turre, Wessell “Warm Daddy” Anderson, Nicholas Payton, David Murray, Jamison Ross, Joanne Brackeen, Herlin Riley, Christian Scott, Atunde Adjuah and more. She is also a fellow in the Steans Institute of Music Jazz Program under the direction of Rufus Reid, Billy Childs and Nathan Davis. Her band, Noruz, has released two records, and she is currently an adjunct professor at Loyola University in New Orleans. Read more about Scott on her website.

More information about the 2021 Jazz Discovery Series and John Lumpkin II is available here.

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