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Amelia Islander

The Amelia Island Jazz Festival is Smokin’ Hot!

Oct 03, 2016 08:54AM
It’s here! The Amelia Island Jazz festival kicked off its festivities yesterday with a free community concert, Jazz in the Park, featuring the UNF Jazz Ensemble II, directed by Dennis Marks. Several hundred jazz-lovers were in attendance, enjoying all genres of jazz performed by the top jazz students in the country.

Joining the ensemble were legendary drummer and artistic director, Les DeMerle, and vocalist, Bonnie Eisele. Fun ensued when Les invited members of the band to come up front for a “scat” singing challenge, a technique that requires singers with the ability to sing improvised melodies. The students wowed the crowd with their talent and candor.

Gilbert’s Underground Kitchen provided outstanding barbecue while volunteers poured wine, sold tickets, tee shirts, and CDs to benefit the festival. A Sponsor Party will be held tonight at Horizon’s Restaurant, and then the festival continues Wednesday through Sunday with some of the best jazz musicians in the country. Get your tickets today! Or better yet, buy a Jazz Pass and receive a discount on all performances. For more information visit