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Amelia Islander

Meet Les and Bonnie!

When jazz artists Les DeMerle and Bonnie Eisele are not sailing about the world with Oceanic, Regent Seven Seas, or Celebrity Cruises, touring places like Europe and the Baltic, or Australia and New Zealand, the couple is planning Amelia Island’s annual Jazz Festival, held every October. After 13 years, the festival has soared to new heights, hosting jazz legends such as David Sanborn, Ramsey Lewis, Spyro Gyra, Mindi Abair, Buckwheat Zydeco, and many more.

Les DeMerle, world-renowned drummer, clinician, and bandleader, toured and recorded with the Harry James Big Band from 1970 to 1982. One of those recordings, The King James Version, won a Grammy Award. Les toured for three years and recorded with Wayne Newton, also toured and recorded with the Manhattan Transfer, and has appeared with many other musical greats including David Sanborn, Lou Rawls, Sammy Davis, Jr., Frank Sinatra, Mel Tormé and Joe Williams. In addition, Les and Bonnie have shared the stage with numerous stars including Diana Krall, George Benson, Al Jarreau, Tito Puente, The Neville Brothers and Grover Washington, Jr.

Lovely and talented vocalist extraordinaire Bonnie Eisele’s diverse performing experience includes theatrical tours in the U.S. and Europe with the Chicago Free Street Theater, studio recording on TV and radio commercials; musical shows at the Chicago Playboy Club, Chicagofest, Drury Lane Theater, and Miami’s Fountainebleau; many jazz clubs, festivals and cruises with the Les DeMerle Band and a Rotary graduate fellowship studying music and dance in Brazil. In addition to singing many styles including Latin, swing, standards, and jazz, Bonnie speaks and sings fluently in Portuguese, the language of Brazil, in addition to French and Spanish in her international repertoire.

Come meet Les, Bonnie, and their talented friends at the Amelia Island Jazz Festival October 2-9 in beautiful downtown Fernandina Beach. For ticket information visit