2016 Dickens on Centre

Travel back in time December 8-11, 2016 during the second annual Dickens on Center festival in Historic Downtown Fernandina Beach, Florida, on beautiful Amelia Island.

Free to the public, this Victorian inspired holiday festival is as fun as the dickens for entire family. Enjoy costumed characters, themed entertainment and performances, visits from Saint Nick, and a variety of vendors selling seasonal gifts and wares.

Inspired by Charles Dickens’ novella “A Christmas Carol,” Dickens on Centre transform downtown Fernandina into a classic English village, sure to enliven your Christmas spirit. Think chestnuts roasting, carolers strolling, and readings of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. This Christmas, come make memories.

Friday, December 9th – 5-9pm
5pm – Candlelight Victorian Evensong, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church – Service includes prayers and music from the Victorian era, as well as Advent and Christmas music.
5pm – Amelia Island String Ensemble, Stage
5pm – 9pm – Fezziwig’s Courtyard – Enjoy festive, Victorian beverages with the local craft distillery, Marlin & Barrel!
5pm – 6pm – Story Telling, Kids Zone
5:30pm – Royal Amelia Dance Academy, Stage
6pm – Opening Ceremony with arrival of Saint Nick, Stage – Celebrate a Victorian Christmas during the 2nd annual Dickens on Centre! Welcome St. Nick to Amelia Island and enjoy the evening reading of ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas.
6:30pm – Charlie Walker Band, Stage
7pm – 9pm – Photos with St. Nick, Pocket Park – Boston Photography captures your holiday photo!
7pm – 8pm – Story Telling, Kids Zone
7:30pm – Dueling Pianos with Michael Murphy and Mike Vogelsong, Stage
8pm – Ebenezer: A Christmas Carol Musical, Amelia Community Theatre – A lighthearted musical interpretation of Charles Dickens’ classic, A Christmas Carol with music from all genres including gospel, country, rock and jazz. ameliacommunitytheatre.org

Also enjoy the sounds of Voices of St. Augustine Carolers, and Joey & Jeanie throughout the event.

Saturday, December 10th- 9am-8pm
9am – Yancy Clegg, Stage
10am – 3pm – Historic Walking Tours, Welcome Center – Celebrating Amelia Island’s storied past, join the Amelia Island Museum of History for complimetary tours of historic downtown Fernandina.
10am – Breakfast with St. Nick, Women’s Club – All aboard St. Nick’s Breakfast Express! Enjoy breakfast with St. Nick and see his magical Christmas village and train displays.
10:30am – Crescendo Amelia, Stage
11am – Parade of Paws, Welcome Center – Join the Nassau Humane Society for their annual Parade of Paws. 10am registration
11am – 1pm – Photos with St. Nick, Pocket Park – Boston Photography captures your holiday photo!
12pm – Ebenezer Performance by Amelia Community Theatre, Stage
12:30pm – 8pm – Fezziwig’s Courtyard, Enjoy festive, Victorian beverages with the local craft distillery, Marlin & Barrel!
1pm – Fernandina Beach High School Chorus, Stage
2pm – Fernandina Beach High School Band, Stage
2pm – 4pm – Story Telling, Kids Zone
3pm – 6pm – Photos with St. Nick, Pocket Park – Boston Photography captures your holiday photo!
3pm – Holiday bells by Pam Bell, Stage
4pm – Songspinners, Island Chamber Singers, Stage
4:30pm – James Kalal + Family, Stage
5pm – 8pm – Children’s Train Rides, Kids Zone
6pm – St. Nick Welcome & Reading of ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas, Stage
6:30pm – One Man Performance of A Christmas Carol by Jason Woods, Stage – Over 25 characters brought to life by one actor, and a story that faithfully endures and inspires.
8pm – Ebenezer: A Christmas Carol Musical, Amelia Community Theatre – A lighthearted musical interpretation of Charles Dickens’ classic, A Christmas Carol with music from all genres including gospel, country, rock and jazz. ameliacommunitytheatre.org

Sunday, December 11th – 11am-7pm
10am – 3pm – Historic Walking Tours, Welcome Center – Celebrating Amelia Island’s storied past, join the Amelia Island Museum of History for complimetary tours of historic downtown Fernandina.
11am – Yancy Clegg, Stage
11am – 1pm – Photos with St. Nick, Pocket Park – Boston Photography captures your holiday photo!
12pm – 4pm – Children’s Train Rides, Kids Zone
12pm – Dan Voll, Stage
12:30pm – 5pm – Fezziwig’s Courtyard, Enjoy festive, Victorian beverages with the local craft distillery, Marlin & Barrel!
1pm – 3pm – Story Telling, Kids Zone
1:30am – Crescendo Amelia, Stage
2pm – Ebenezer: A Christmas Carol Musical, Amelia Community Theatre – A lighthearted musical interpretation of Charles Dickens’ classic, A Christmas Carol with music from all genres including gospel, country, rock and jazz. ameliacommunitytheatre.org
3pm-6pm – Photos with St. Nick, Pocket Park – Boston Photography captures your holiday photo!
3pm – Nassau Community Band, Stage
4:30pm – Gabriel Arnold, Stage
5:30pm – King Guys Band, Stage
6pm – St. Nick Welcome & Reading of ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas, Stage

VENDORS:
Shop for holiday gifts at our vendors and artists along Centre Street and on Artist Alley on North 2nd Street – brought to your by the Island Art Association.

KIDS ZONE:
Hoop & Stick
Ornament Toss and Holiday Corn Hole
Letter Writing to St. Nick
Lifesized Chess, Checkers and Jenga
Ring Toss and Tic-Tac-Toe
Train Rides (Sat & Sun)

FSCJ Sponsors JaxbyJax Literary Arts Festival

Jacksonville, FL – JaxbyJax, Jacksonville Writers Writing Jacksonville, the annual literary arts festival sponsored by Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ), will re-introduce the city of Jacksonville to its own literary voice when it returns on November 12, 2016. The event features 25 local writers in 12 venues across Riverside to showcase the city’s own thriving writing scene.

Guests are invited to choose their own adventure at their leisure as they wander from venue to venue enjoying the works of local playwrights, poets and novelists, which include faculty and staff of FSCJ.

Writers participating in JaxbyJax 2016 include:
Jim Alabiso
Tricia Booker
RaeJeana Brooks
Fred Dale
Frances Driscoll
Bill Ectric
Katherine Espano
Joe Flowers
Sohrab Fracis
Liz Gibson
Tim Gilmore
Nan Kavanaugh
Grant Kittrell
Matt Lany
Johnny Masiulewicz
Emily K. Michael
Marcus Pactor
Ebony Payne-English
Heather Peters
Andres Rojas
Caleb Sarvis
Sean T. Smith
Mark Stewart
Marisella Veiga
Jeff Whipple

For more information on JaxbyJax, visit jaxbyjax.com or contact Tim Gilmore<mailto:tgilmore@fscj.edu>, FSCJ professor of English, at (904) 616-3884.

WHEN/WHERE: Saturday, November 12, 2016, from 2 – 9 p.m.
Student Showcase: 2 p.m.

Readings of featured writers: 3 – 6 p.m.
Beer:30
Flaire Celebrations
Il Desco Italian Restaurant
Jacksonville Magazine
Riverside Liquors
Silver Cow Watering Hole
Sunday Tattoo Gallery
The Mazer
True-Blue Hair Studio
Whiteway Conference Room

After Party and Book Signing ($10): 6:30 p.m.

2nd Annual Hit the Pin for Literacy Golf Scramble

cbc-hit-for-literacy2016-2

Photo: CBC National Bank is the Platinum Sponsor of this year’s “Hit the Pin for Literacy” Amelia Island Book Festival’s Golf Scramble. All the CBC National Bank employees at the local branch are “chipping” in. Recently, they held their monthly “jeans” day and raised $700 for Authors in Schools.

CBC is Major Sponsor of “Hit the Pin for Literacy” Amelia Island Book Festival’s 2nd Annual Charity Golf Scramble to Buy Books for Authors in Schools Literacy Program

Fernandina Beach, FL – “Literacy is vital at all levels of society and is the bedrock upon which communities like ours is built,” said Charles Wagner, President of CBC National Bank. “Celebrating and cultivating literacy by reaching every student in the Nassau County Public School System through this sponsorship is both a duty and an honor for our bank. The Authors in Schools Literacy Program is so effective and meaningful because it not only provides a free book to every student in Nassau County, it makes a personal connection to literacy for them through the interactions with the noted authors who meet the kids while delivering their books.”

This is Amelia Island Book Festival’s (AIBF) 2nd Annual Hit the Pin for Literacy Charity Golf Scramble supporting the Authors in Schools Literacy Program.

The setting is the beautiful, award winning, Omni Oak Marsh Golf Course, Friday, November 11, 2016, Veteran’s Day. Check-in starts at 11 am. After a special salute to our veterans, tee-off for the Shotgun Scramble format will be at noon.

“We are grateful to CBC national Bank for their support. The Bank’s corporate citizenship and community involvement is phenomenal. They not only donate, but they pitch in in every way they can. We urge all golfers of every handicap and those who haven’t played in a while to join in honoring our veterans while supporting our students. Aside from playing golf on a fabulous course enhanced by food and great prizes, there is tremendous satisfaction in knowing you are supporting literacy in our Nassau County Public Schools. That’s truly the top prize,” says, Fran Shea, AIBF Treasurer.

Board director Mary Jane Johnson says, “Everything from playing in the event to sponsoring a hole or becoming a major sponsor benefits our County’s students. The event is among several each year the AIBF puts on including a Murder Mystery Dinner, a kick-off luncheon featuring David Baldacci, ‘Lessons from a bestseller’ Writers Workshop with Steve Berry, and our Author Face-off Gala with live auction featuring a panel of NYT bestselling authors: R.L. Stine, Steve Berry, Mary Kay Andrews, Joseph Finder and Lara Adrian and more) all to raise the funds to bring an author and buy a book for every student in our Nassau County Public School System. Golfers are playing for a good cause, and having a great time in the process.”

“Our literacy program has been touching each of the 11,000 plus students in the county’s public schools for more than a decade,” says Marie Fenn, AIBF president. Just recently, our media specialists selected some fabulous children and young adult authors from an extensive list of applicants who responded to the Festival’s call. These select and noted authors are coming to present, entertain, and excite the kids about learning through books on Festival Friday, Feb. 17, 2017 at their schools.

“In addition to the wonderful cast of authors, the Festival has the privilege of having R. L. Stine, a world renowned icon in children and youth books. He will present to all the fourth grades in the county. This is super exciting for both the educators and the students,” she adds.

“Come spend a relaxing day out in the fresh air-in friendly competition, while affording a local student a unique life-long learning experience,” added Fran Shea.

The tournament format is a scramble with lots of interesting twists. There will be a putting contest, a ‘kick, throw and mulligan’ package, gifts, prizes, raffles and much more. Registration includes greens fees, carts, range balls, cart baggie, buffet & awards. Prizes will be awarded to the Top Three Teams. Buy tickets on line or by mail. Registration for a foursome is $500, which buys books for one classroom; an individual player’s cost is $150, which contributes to the purchase of books for approximately ten students. A portion of the registration fee is tax-deductible.

To buy tickets for the Hit the Pin for Literacy Golf Scramble, our other community events, and to learn more about all the benefits AIBF affords Nassau County 15 public schools, visit www.ameliaislandbookfestival.org

The 16th Annual Amelia Island Book Festival promises excitement and delight for book fans and readers of every age!

The Amelia Island Book Festival is a not for profit 501(c)3 Corporation seeking to open up the world for people of all ages by promoting and celebrating literacy through books. With a mission to promote life-long learning through fostering an appreciation for books, we provide quality events featuring authors in engaging venues.

Violinist Itzhak Perlman Opens 2017 Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival

Fernandina Beach, FL – Itzhak Perlman, undeniably the reigning virtuoso of the violin, will open the 2017 season of the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival with a not-to-be-missed performance on Monday, February 6. Winner of 15 Grammy Awards, Mr. Perlman enjoys superstar status rarely afforded a classical musician. This 7:30 PM concert will be held at at First Baptist Church, 1600 South 8^th Street in Fernandina Beach.

Tickets to the general public will go on sale September 1, 2016.

Christopher Rex, the Festival’s general and artistic director, said, “We are thrilled to be hosting a musician of Itzhak Perlman’s international stature at our 2017 season. Beloved for his enormous talent, charm and humanity, Itzhak Perlman is treasured by audiences throughout the world who respond not only to his remarkable artistry, but also to his irrepressible joy in making music. We can now add Mr. Perlman to the line-up of world-renowned artists, who have graced our stage in recent years, including Yo-Yo Ma, Joshua Bell and Pinchas Zukerman. Entering its 16th season, the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival truly has become one of the nation’s premier musical events.”

Born in Israel in 1945, Mr. Perlman completed his initial training at the Academy of Music in Tel Aviv. He came to New York and soon was propelled into the international arena with an appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1958. Following his studies at the Juilliard School with Ivan Galamian and Dorothy DeLay, Mr. Perlman won the prestigious Leventritt Competition in 1964, which led to a burgeoning worldwide career. Since then, Mr. Perlman has appeared with every major orchestra and in recitals and festivals around the world.

He also is a frequent presence on the conductor’s podium. He has conducted such major orchestras as the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony, National Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, as well as at the Ravinia and OK Mozart festivals. He was Music Advisor of the St. Louis Symphony from 2002 to 2004, where he made regular conducting appearances, and he was Principal Guest Conductor of the Detroit Symphony from 2001 to 2005. Internationally, Mr. Perlman has conducted the Berlin Philharmonic, Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Philharmonic, the English Chamber Orchestra, and the Israel Philharmonic.

His recordings regularly appear on the best-seller charts and have garnered fifteen Grammy Awards. Mr. Perlman was honored in 2008 with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for excellence in the recording arts. His most recent releases include an all-Mozart recording with the Berlin Philharmonic, where he performed as both soloist and conductor.

A major presence in the performing arts on television, Mr. Perlman has been honored with four Emmy Awards, most recently for the PBS documentary Fiddling for the Future, a film about his work at the Perlman Music program, whichoffers unparalleled musical training to young string players of rare and special talent. He has taught full time at the Perlman Music Program each summer since it was founded in 1994 and currently holds the Dorothy Richard Starling Foundation Chair at the Juilliard School.

About the AICMF
Entering its 16th season in 2017, the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival is one of the most prestigious music events in the Southeast. The Festival is a not-for-profit, tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. For complete information about the Festival visit www.aicmf.com

Learn How to Participate in Dickens on Centre 2016

Santa Claus vacationed on Amelia Island this year and has plans to return for the 2nd Annual Dickens on Centre. Check out his vacation video by clicking HERE.

If you are interested in participating in Dickens on Centre this year, please mark your calendar and come to the Historic Fernandina Business Association’s Dickens on Centre Merchant Meeting on Friday, August 26th at 10:30 a.m, in the City Hall commission chambers.

After the success of the inaugural Dickens on Centre festival, the Amelia Island Convention and Visitors Board is diligently making plans for the second annual Victorian holiday festival in downtown Fernandina. Attend on August 26th to learn more about this year’s plans and how you can get involved in this festive community event.

The event is already already promoting the holidays on Amelia Island throughout the southeast with some extra help of a special visitor:

Save the Date for Dickens on Centre 2016
· Kicks off Thursday, December 8th with America’s Youth annual lighted Christmas parade
· Festival held Friday, December 9th – Sunday, December 11 (Just one weekend this year)

Join us at the merchant meeting to learn more about:
· Site plan, street closures and event schedule
· Vendor opportunities
· Décor, lighting and entertainment plans
· Ways for your business to get involved
· Promotional plans for Dickens on Centre and Amelia Island holiday events

As we may not have contact information for everyone that may be interested, please feel free to invite other businesses that may have an interest in this informative meeting about Dickens on Centre.

FSCJ Now Accepting Applications for 2016 JaxbyJax Literary Arts Festival

Jacksonville, FL – Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) invites the local community of writers to submit applications to participate in the 2016 JaxbyJax, Jacksonville Writers Writing Jacksonville, literary arts festival on November 12, 2016.

JaxbyJax aims to showcase our community’s thriving writing scene by sharing with the city its own literary voice through local writers, including FSCJ faculty and staff.

Each application should include either a short writing sample or a link to a relevant audio or visual sample. Those interested in participating should email completed applications to Tim Gilmore, FSCJ professor of English, with “JaxbyJax application” in the subject line.

All applications should be submitted by September 9, 2016. The application form is available to download by using the following link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9sh2VU8SOYddGl1blpCU1ZLZHc/view?pref=2&pli=1.

As a sponsor this year, FSCJ will play a key role in coordinating speaker and venue selection. The event will take place across multiple venues in the King Street District in the heart of Riverside. Participants will present a variety of works such as poetry readings, short films and more.

WHEN: November 12, 2016, 3 – 6 p.m.
WHERE: King Street District, Riverside

Book Festival Announces Dream Team of Bestselling Authors

Fernandina Beach, FL – Mark your calendars for the “dream team” of literary superstars headed to Amelia Island, February 16 – 18, 2017, as the area celebrates the 16th Annual Amelia Island Book Festival (AIBF).

Revel in the company of world-renowned and NYT bestselling authors Steve Berry, R.L. Stine, David Baldacci, Mary Kay Andrews, Joseph Finder, Lara Adrian and others, to benefit the Festival’s acclaimed Authors in Schools Literacy Program. The program brings noted authors to every public school in the county, gives the students an opportunity to hear and meet these authors, and the experience is highlighted by presenting that author’s book to each student.

The Festival is proud to announce that Steve Berry is returning as honorary chairman for a second year. The international number-one bestselling author, known for his trademark mix of fact, fiction, history and speculation, has just published his provocative new thriller The 14th Colony, making this number eleven in the famous Cotton Malone series. Steve is author of other bestsellers such as The Patriot Threat, The Lincoln Myth, The King’s Deception, The Columbus Affair, The Jefferson Key, The Emperor’s Tomb, The Paris Vendetta, The Charlemagne Pursuit, The Venetian Betrayal, The Alexandria Link, The Templar Legacy, The Third Secret, The Romanov Prophecy and The Amber Room. His books have been translated into 40 languages with 20 million copies in 51 countries. They consistently appear in the top echelon of The New York Times, USA Today, and Indie bestseller lists. It’s no wonder that Steve has just signed a new deal with Minotaur Books for four more Cotton Malone adventures!

Book Festival Announces Dream Team of Bestselling Authors
Pictured left to right are Steve Berry, Mary Kay Andrews, Lara Adrian, David Baldacci, Joseph Finder and R.L. Stine

In addition, he and his wife, Liz, will conduct their highly sought after, Lessons from a Bestseller Writers Workshop to support Authors in Schools. This is a terrific four-hour course on the craft of writing. Writers of all stages, from beginning to published, can benefit from the session. Through their History Matters Foundation, Steve and Liz are making a huge difference in communities across America. Winner of the AIBF’s first-ever Stellar Award and numerous other accolades, Steve has been a friend of the Festival for many years.

R.L. Stine is coming to Amelia Island! No matter what your age, everyone knows of Goosebumps and its beloved author. Stine is one of the bestselling children’s authors in history, stimulating young and old alike with his jovial style. Next year marks the 25th anniversary of the release of Goosebumps. His astounding list of accomplishments is mind-boggling—he’s written more than 300 books (130 books in the Goosebumps series alone); there are 400 million copies, printed in 32 languages, a TV series, a movie, countless accolades and awards, and a teen series called Fear Street, that just won the Chicago Tribune YA Book Prize and a movie from 20th-Century Fox based on the Fear Street series is scheduled for release in 2017.

On Authors in Schools day, Mr. Stine will visit three schools across Nassau County—in Callahan, Yulee and Fernandina Beach. He’ll also present on Saturday afternoon during the Author Expo/Readers Extravaganza being held at the Fernandina Beach Middle School.

David Baldacci is the featured keynote speaker at the festival’s kickoff luncheon, Thursday, February 16. Baldacci has published 32 novels for adults—all (including his most recent, The Last Mile) have been national and international bestsellers, and several have been adapted for film and television. His novels have been translated into more than 45 languages and sold in more than 80 countries; over 110 million copies are in print worldwide. He has also published five novels for younger readers, including the #1 bestseller The Finisher, which is in development for feature film.

By popular demand, AIBF is repeating last year’s favorite and signature event the Author Face-off Dinner Gala on Friday, February 17 at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort with a new cast of top authors in the hot seats. Joining Steve Berry and R.L. Stine on stage are Mary Kay Andrews, Lara Adrian and Joseph Finder.

Mary Kay Andrews is the New York Times bestselling author of Beach Town, and many, many more. Her 24th novel, The Weekenders launched in May 2016. A former reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, she also has written ten critically acclaimed mysteries, including the Callahan Garrity mystery series, under her “real” name, which is Kathy Hogan Trocheck. Her mysteries have been nominated for the Edgar, Anthony, Agatha and Macavity Awards.

Joseph Finder is the New York Times bestselling author of thirteen novels, most recently Guilty Minds. His books have won numerous awards, including the Strand Critics Award for Best Novel for Buried Secrets (2011), the International Thriller Writers Award for Best Novel for Killer Instinct (2006) and the Barry Award for Best Thriller for Company Man (2005). The Boston Globe has called him the “master of the modern thriller.” Two of his novels have been made into major motion pictures, including High Crimes, which was adapted into the hit 2002 movie starring Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman; and Paranoia, the basis for the 2013 film starring Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, and Liam Hemsworth.

Lara Adrian is the New York Times and #1 internationally best-selling author of the Midnight Breed vampire romance series, with nearly 4 million books in print and digital worldwide and translations licensed to more than 20 countries. Her books regularly appear in the top spots of all the major bestseller lists including the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Indiebound, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, etc. And, they have won several awards. Shee also writes as TINA ST. JOHN and her seven historical romances have won numerous awards including the National Readers Choice; Romantic Times Magazine Reviewer’s Choice; Booksellers Best and many others.

All the AIBF fundraising events: The kick-off Luncheon, Writers Workshop, the Author Face-Off Dinner Gala and the pre-festival events such as the Murder Mystery Dinner, (set for Friday, October 28, 2016) “Hit the Pin for Literacy” charity golf tourney (set for Friday, November 11, 2016) contribute to the goal of buying books for the students in Nassau County Schools.

The three-day festival culminates on Saturday, February 18, with a free-all day line-up of guest authors. The Authors Expo/Readers Extravaganza features more than 100 noted authors, breakout sessions, activities for kids, food, fun and family festivities as well as some bestselling author presentations which require a reservation as space is limited.

“Without the help of Steve and Liz Berry, we would not be able to attract this awesome caliber of authors to our boutique festival,” says Marie Fenn, 2017 AIBF president. “Equally as important, we have an exceptional group of Board directors who are working diligently to make this our best Festival ever. This group is supplemented by a dedicated cadre of some 80 additional volunteers. You’ll be hearing soon from some of these folks regarding sponsorship opportunities and tickets to our fundraising events. This is a county-wide effort dedicated to helping students succeed.”

It all adds up to helping kids in our community get even more excited about reading. Be part of it and help us raise money as we aim this year to exceed our 2016 achievement and provide 8,000 books,” says Jim Weinsier, AIBF vice president.

The 2016-2017 AIBF Volunteer Board Officers and Directors are: Raffaela “Marie” Fenn, president; James Weinsier, vice president; Anne Read, secretary; Fran Shea, treasurer; and Wendee Ashmore, Barbara Heggenstaller, Lauree Hemke, Mary Jane Johnson, Bob Langert, Elsa Mitschele, Foy Maloy, Mandy Purvis, Terry Ramsay and Jamie Thompson. For continual updates to events, breakout sessions, author signups, tickets and sponsorship and donor opportunities, visit www.ameliaislandbookfestival.org. The Amelia Island Book Festival is a not for profit 501(c)3 Corporation seeking to open up the world through books. Our mission is to promote life-long learning and an appreciation for books by providing quality events featuring local area and world-renowned authors.

Amelia Island Jazz Festival Names 216 Scholarship Winner

 Amelia Island Jazz Festival Names 216 Scholarship Winner18 year old Thomas Milovac, a gifted bassist from Clermont, Florida, will be honored with a college scholarship from the Amelia Island Jazz Festival, it was announced today by AIJF Artistic Director Les DeMerle. A member of the Florida All State Band while attending East Ridge High School, Milovac will accept the festival’s annual award when he performs at the 2016 Amelia Island Jazz Festival, October 2-9, at various venues in Fernandina Beach. He will be introduced at a pre-festival Jazz Party featuring DeMerle’s trio, with vocalist Bonnie Eisele, at Horizon;s restaurant, August 12 and 13. Milovac will also be sitting in with them for the opening sets prior to headliner shows with Houston Person and Bria Skonberg on October 7 and 8, in the Parish Hall at St. Michael’s Academy. Additionally, Milovac’s quintet, along with Jazz Vocalist Lisa Kelly, will host and play the Friday and Saturday night jam sessions at Arte Pizza that will follow the main concerts.

“This kid is the real deal,” said DeMerle, “and we are positive that Thomas will do very well in the jazz world that awaits him. I very much look forward to performing with him during the festival.” For his undergraduate university training, Milovac plans on joining the highly regarded music program at the University of North Florida. He also hopes to attain a master’s degree at the Manhattan School of Music following his work at UNF.

Proficient on both acoustic and electric basses, Milovac began studying music at age 11 and boasts a wide range of influences. “I’ve listened a lot to Charles Mingus, Ray Brown and Jimmy Blanton,” he said, “but I’m also into more modern bass styles by Christian McBride and Jaco Pastorius.” However his interests go way beyond the jazz greats. “I really enjoy delta blues, classical music, and even some New York punk,” he added, “and I incorporate some of those sounds into my playing.” Presently Milovac leads East Ridge High School’s first ever jazz combo and in the process he has become adept at running a band and writing arrangements. “After school I definitely want to hit the road, do some recording and make my mark as a jazz musician,” he said.

Now in its 13th year, the AIJF will take place at several locations in Fernandina Beach, Florida, from October 2-9, and will kick off with its annual free concert in Amelia Park on Sunday, October 2, with the 21 piece UNF Jazz Ensemble. Additional shows will include a Wednesday October 5 swing night, Jump Jive and Wail, that will feature The Dynamic Les DeMerle Little Big Band at Sandy Bottoms, a Latin Jazz Night October 6 with the sizzling hot, award winning, and internationally famous Trio Caliente, also at Sandy Bottoms and a Dixie to Swing Jazz Brunch at the Florida House Inn featuring the Spare Rib Six Dixieland Band with JB Scott on trumpet. For a full schedule and ticket information, please go to www.ameliaislandjazzfestival.com. or contact the Festival Hotline at (904) 504-4772.

In addition to online, tickets may be purchased at the UPS Store, 1417 Sadler Road, in the Island Shopping Center, or at the AIFBY Chamber Of Commerce, Gateway to Amelia, A1A and Amelia Parkway. A not for profit 501(c)(3) corporation, the Les DeMerle Amelia Island Jazz Festival distributes proceeds toward its scholarship program to fund college educations for aspiring jazz musicians.

Amelia Island Book Festival Brings R.L. Stine to Amelia Island

Fernandina Beach, FL – Mark your calendars for the “dream team” of literary superstars headed to Amelia Island, February 16 – 18, 2017 as the area celebrates the 16th Annual Amelia Island Book Festival (AIBF). Revel in the company of world-renowned and NYT bestselling authors Steve Berry, R.L. Stine, David Baldacci, Mary Kay Andrews, Joseph Finder, Lara Adrian and others, to benefit the Festival’s acclaimed Authors in Schools Literacy Program. The program brings noted authors to every public school in the county, gives the students an opportunity to hear and meet these authors, and the experience is highlighted by presenting that author’s book to each student.

The Festival is proud to announce that Steve Berry is returning as honorary chairman for a second year. The international number-one bestselling author, known for his trademark mix of fact, fiction, history and speculation, has just published his provocative new thriller The 14th Colony, making this number eleven in the famous Cotton Malone series. His books have been translated into 40 languages with 20 million copies in 51 countries. In addition, he and his wife, Liz, will conduct their highly sought after, Lessons from a Bestseller Writers Workshop to support Authors in Schools.

R.L. Stine is coming to Amelia Island! No matter what your age, everyone knows of Goosebumps and its beloved author. Stine is one of the bestselling children’s authors in history, stimulating young and old alike with his jovial style. Next year marks the 25th anniversary of the release of Goosebumps. His astounding list of accomplishments is mind-boggling—he’s written more than 300 books (130 books in the Goosebumps series alone); there are 400 million copies, printed in 32 languages, a TV series, a movie, countless accolades and awards, and a teen series called Fear Street, that just won the Chicago Tribune YA Book Prize and a movie from 20th-Century Fox based on the Fear Street series is scheduled for release in 2017.

David Baldacci is the featured keynote speaker at the festival’s kickoff luncheon, Thursday, Feb. 16. Baldacci has published 32 novels for adults—all (including his most recent, The Last Mile) have been national and international bestsellers, and several have been adapted for film and television. His novels have been translated into more than 45 languages and sold in more than 80 countries; over 110 million copies are in print worldwide. He has also published five novels for younger readers, including the #1 bestseller The Finisher, which is in development for feature film.

By popular demand, AIBF is repeating last year’s favorite and signature event the Author Face-off Dinner Gala on Friday, February 17 at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort with a new cast of top authors in the hot seats. Joining Steve Berry and R.L. Stine on stage are Mary Kay Andrews, Lara Adrian and Joseph Finder.

Mary Kay Andrews is the New York Times bestselling author of Beach Town, and many, many more. Her 24th novel, The Weekenders launched in May 2016. Edgar, Anthony, Agatha and Macavity Awards.

Joseph Finder is the New York Times bestselling author of thirteen novels, most recently Guilty Minds. His books have won numerous awards, including the Strand Critics Award for Best Novel for Buried Secrets (2011), the International Thriller Writers Award for Best Novel for Killer Instinct (2006) and the Barry Award for Best Thriller for Company Man (2005). The Boston Globe has called him the “master of the modern thriller.” Two of his novels have been made into major motion pictures, including High Crimes, which was adapted into the hit 2002 movie starring Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman; and Paranoia, the basis for the 2013 film starring Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, and Liam Hemsworth.

Lara Adrian is the New York Times and #1 internationally best-selling author of the Midnight Breed vampire romance series, with nearly 4 million books in print and digital worldwide and translations licensed to more than 20 countries. Her books regularly appear in the top spots of all the major bestseller lists including the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Indiebound, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, etc. And, they have won several awards. She also writes as TINA ST. JOHN and her seven historical romances have won numerous awards including the National Readers Choice; Romantic Times Magazine Reviewer’s Choice; Booksellers Best and many others.

All the AIBF fundraising events:
The kick-off Luncheon, Writers Workshop, the Author Face Off Dinner Gala and the pre-festival events such as the Murder Mystery Dinner, (set for Friday, October Amelia Island Book Festival “Hit the Pin for Literacy” charity golf tourney (set for Friday, November 11, 2016) contribute to the goal of buying books for the students in Nassau County Schools.

The three-day festival culminates on Saturday, February 18, with a free-all day line-up of guest authors. The Authors Expo/Readers Extravaganza features more than 100 noted authors, breakout sessions, activities for kids, food, fun and family festivities as well as some bestselling author presentations which require a reservation as space is limited.

For more information: www.ameliaislandbookfestival.org

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