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Story and Song with Don Henry and Sally Barris

Story and Song with Don Henry and Sally BarrisThe wit and wisdom of Don Henry’s songs are widely renowned whether it’s the hilarious “B.F.D.” and biker lullaby “Harley”, to the wonderfully poignant tribute to Martin Luther King “Beautiful Fool”, and of course, his Grammy Award-winning classic “Where’ve You Been.”

His songs have been recorded by legends like Ray Charles, Patti Page and Conway Twitty and by young hit makers of today like Blake Shelton, Lonestar and Miranda Lambert. And he’s shared the stage with performers as diverse as Joey Ramone to Keith Urban.

Sally Barris is an A-list Nashville songwriter who has had songs covered by such top-level artists as Kathy Mattea, Martina McBride, and Lee Ann Womack. sally-barrisHer song “Let The Wind Chase You”, recorded by Trisha Yearwood and Keith Urban, received a Grammy nomination for vocal collaboration in 2009. While her writing credits mightily impress, fans and peers are most captivated by her bright spirit and expressive mountain soprano. Dirty Linen says “Barris knows how to write lyrics that are as forthright as a stream of clear water and how to support them with melodies that share that quality.”

Saturday, November 8th; doors open at 6:45 pm, show starts at 7:30 pm at Burns Hall at St. Peter’s Episcopal Parish, 9th & Atlantic in Fernandina Beach.

The cost is only a $20.00 donation (100% of which goes to the artists), and is very much appreciated.

For reservations call (904) 415-1388.

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Georgia, Florida and Booth Contest at Farmers’ Market

Georgia, Florida and Booth Contest at Farmers' MarketWe have a very special farmers’ market planned for Saturday, November 1, 2014 at the Fernandina Beach Market Place on Amelia Island.

It is Georgia/Florida Weekend and that means it is time for our Best Decorated Booth Contest where our farmers and producers decorate their booths for either Georgia, Florida or Halloween. The winning exhibitor receives a FREE booth space and YOU are the judges. Swing by the management booth to pick up a ballot and vote for your favorite, decorated booth on Saturday.

With barely 50 days left until Christmas, we are rapidly approaching that most wonderful time of the year… Joy Shepperd of Shepperd’s Farms will be bringing a variety of gift baskets so you can mix and match your favorite jams and jellies for holiday hostess and gift giving; completed basket prices start at only $10.00.

Harlows All Natural Products have conjured up some holiday scents and will be offering Pumpkin Spice Beer Bar Soap, and Sugar and Spiced Apple Cider Bar Soap. Fall Harvest and Autumn Night room sprays, and Fall Harvest and Vanilla Bean, and Peppermint lip balms are now available, too.

New to the farmers’ market is one of the island’s most popular restaurants, Jack and Diane’s. There will be no tricks when it comes to vegan and gluten free cookies, a specialty item they plan to bring every Saturday, and in addition they will be treating us to suprise dishes each week.

Lulu’s at the Thompson House is famous at the farmers market for their crab cakes and pimento cheese spreads, but what you may not realize is that owner Melanie Grimley is an accomplished writer as well. Come see her new book, “Lulu’s Island Cat” and meet the illustrator, Sallie Haugen, who is joining Melanie in her booth this Saturday. Sallie is an art instructor and freelance illustrator living with her husband and two cats in Minneapolis, MN. Amelia Island has always been a place that is close to her heart; she has been vacationing here with family since she was very young. She holds a BFA from the University of WI Madison, and an MA from the Savannah College of Art & Design in Historic Preservation. She hopes that her love for animals (cats in particular of course!), historic buildings, and Amelia Island show in her work on Lulu’s Island Cat.

The market has grown and we now have about 40 weekly vendors treating you to seasonal produce, fresh baked breads, delicious desserts, honeys, goat cheese, dairy, dog treats, beef, jerky, dips, sea salts, granolas, pickles and so much more.

Entertainment this week is provided by the one-and-only Dan Voll. Members of the Fernandina Pirates Club will be on-site with the Blood Mobile encouraging you to donate blood and help save lives. Unique donor T-shirts, sporting the Blood Alliance’s mascot dressed-up as a pirate with crossed bones, are available free to donors while supplies last. You can schedule your appointment to donate online by visiting FernandinaPirates.com or www.thebloodalliancedonor.org.

The Fernandina Beach Market Place farmers’ market is located on North Seventh Street in historic, downtown Fernandina Beach. The Market Place is open form 9:00 am to 1:00 pm every Saturday, rain or shine. For more information call (904) 557-8229, find us on facebook, or visit our website at www.FernandinaBeachMarketPlace.com.

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Free Benefit Concert for Chef Thomas Tolxdorf Family

Where Once was a Wall is now light

Where Once was a Wall is now light

Several months ago Angela Wallace Pierson of Wallace Pierson Travel (formerly The Travel Agency) and myself started working on an idea for a Benefit Concert for Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island’s Executive Chef Thomas Tolxdorf, who sadly passed away in a car crash on June 7 this year.

The day we finally chose was Sunday November 9, in commemoration of the fact that 25 years ago on that day, the Berlin Wall came down. Chef Thomas was born in East Berlin in 1965, four years after the Wall was erected and cherished the day in 1989 the wall came down and his journey to becoming an internationally recognized chef really began.

The concert is performed by local band Island Vibe with a little help from well-known musicians Chris Kellam and Blistur, Jennifer Burns, Jay McPerson and others at The Green Turtle in downtown Fernandina Beach.

With the help of monster guitarist Chris Kellam and Blistur, the Fall of the Berlin Wall will be commemorated with some Pink Floyd covers, while Jennifer Burns will attach her magnificent voice to a selection of well and lesser known hit songs. Jay McPherson will treat us to some good old Allman Brothers tunes, while other local musicians will sit in as Island Vibe runs down the list of some of the most popular tunes of the sixties, seventies and eighties. The program that kicks off at 3pm also includes several auctions and raffles and offers free food.

The auction items include gift certificates for free hotel and b&b stays, dinners, liquors and spirits, a signed guitar and other valuable mementos and objets d’art. Raffle tickets can be purchased at Wallace Pierson Travel on 14th St/Courson, the Green Turtle and the Luxury Travel Show at the Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island on November 8.

Make sure to keep your agenda open for Sunday afternoon, November 9 from 3-7 pm at the Green Turtle. Free admission, free food, lots of auction and raffle prizes.

Back Home Again Benefits Meals on Wheels for Pets

Back Home Again Benefits Meals on Wheels for PetsYou don’t want to miss the opportunity to get your ticket to a great concert, Tom Becker’s Tribute to John Denver, Back Home Again benefiting Nassau County’s Meals on Wheels for Pets.

This wonderful concert is at 7:00 pm, October 24, at the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, and tickets are only $25.00.

Tickets are onsale now at Nassau Humane Society Second Chance Resale Store, and through volunteers.

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Celtic Harp Musician to Entertain at Farmers Market

Celtic Harp Musician to Entertain at Farmers MarketCooler temperatures and those deep blue skies come to mind when you think October on Amelia Island, and what better weather could you ask for when you visit the Fernandina Beach Market Place farmers’ market on October 11, 2014?

Located on North Seventh Street, in historic, downtown Fernandina Beach, this pet-friendly, and open air market is open from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, rain or shine.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a farmers’ market is defined as a multi-stall market at which farmer-producers sell agricultural products directly to the general public at a central or fixed location, particularly fresh fruit and vegetables (but also meat products, dairy products, and/or grains). And that is exactly what the Market Place brings to you.

As we travel around Florida and visit other so-called farmers’ markets, we find many of them are stocked with vendors who are actually retail store owners, or re-sellers, posing as growers and producers. Shopkeepers who buy all of their produce from others, and then sell it under a tent, are not a grower/producer. At a true farmers market you should be able to meet the man who bakes your bread, you’ll shake the hand of a man who creates skin care products in his kitchen, and you can talk to the farmer who’s calloused hands display they work in the fields.

The Fernandina Beach Market Place vendors are farmers and producers. With the rare exception of an employee working a booth, those faces you see are the faces who rejoice at a bountiful harvest, grimace at a forecasted autumn flood, and smile when you say, “Hello.”

Outdoor markets bring the community together and provide an alternative shopping environment to the strip mall and big box grocery stores, but just because the stalls are outdoors and called a Farmers Market, doesn’t mean they are a true farmers’ market. The farmers’ market in Fernandina Beach has always taken pride in being a producer/growers market… and you can feel confident that it still is one!

In addition to nearly 30 food and natural product vendors, October 11th brings Bricks 4 Kidz to the market. This is a program that teaches math and science concepts using Lego Bricks, and is taught in one hour classes right here in Fernandina Beach. Younger children learn colors and counting, and older kids learn hands-on concepts of science, math, engineering and technology by building cars, pirate ships, windmills and more. Starting October 8th, Bricks 4 Kidz offers classes at the Peck Center located at 516 South Tenth Street.

Music will be provided by Don Austin. He plays the 30 string Celtic harp, guitar, violin, viola and ukulele. With his loop machine, he can play the guitar or harp, and than play lead behind it with any of the instruments, or add 3 and 4 part violin sections in a chamber or fiddle style. Don is an amazing artist, and a must see!

For more information about our market or how to include your products, please visit FernandinaBeachMarketPlace.com, like us on facebook, or call (904) 557-8229.

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DeMerles Hit the Ground Running

DeMerles Hit the Ground RunningPress Release by Dickie Anderson

Having just returned from fulfilling a lengthy cruise contract in the Baltic Sea, Amelia Island Jazz Festival Artistic Director Les DeMerle and his wife, vocalist Bonnie Eisele, dispensed with any vacation days and plunged into their annual Jazz In The Schools program in advance of the 2014 festival, which begins this Sunday with a free concert in Amelia Park. “We love going out and educating students of all ages about jazz, the truest American art form,” said DeMerle, who with Eisele will be making stops this week at, among others, the Yulee Middle School and the Fernandina Beach High and Middle Schools. After spending several months visiting ports as varied as Warnemunde, Germany, Reykjavik, Iceland, and Copenhagen, Denmark, they are more than ready to put the island on jazz time. “It’s a terrific experience playing for folks from all over the world,” he said, “but getting back to our home and preparing for the festival is really the special highlight of every year for us.”

The festival starts with its traditional Amelia Park concert Sunday featuring the highly regarded crack TGIF US Navy Band Southeast from 2-4PM. “Bring your lawn chairs and blankets,” DeMerle added, “and we’ll also have food and beverages available from Sonny’s BBQ.” Thursday, October 16, the AIJF will continue with its popular Latin Jazz Concert and Dance, featuring the exciting rhythms of El Niño and the Latin Jazz Knights, plus a wine tasting, from 7-10 PM at Sandy Bottoms.

Critically acclaimed monster jazz organ player Tony Monaco and trumpeter/composer Randy Brecker, a multiple Grammy Awards winner, are set to headline the Festival on October 17 and 18 respectively at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort Jazz Village and Pavilion in Racquet Park beginning at 7PM each night. Both are enthusiastic about appearing on Amelia Island for the first time.

“I can’t wait to play in Fernandina Beach,” said Monaco. “This will be so exciting, especially with jazz luminaries like Randy Brecker and Les DeMerle. Man, it is going to be one special weekend of great swingin’ music, and I’m going to pull out all the stops and wail.”

“I heard from my dear friend David Sanborn that this festival is the real deal because the focus is jazz, and the setting on Amelia Island is beautiful,” said Brecker from his home in Manhattan. “I have also known Les DeMerle for over 30 years! We played together in his groundbreaking New York band, Sound 67, and I know the fireworks are going to fly. The weekend will be incredible, and I also look forward to performing a tribute during our set to my late brother Michael which will be dedicated to the Brecker Brothers Band.”

Prior to the headliner shows on October 17 and 18, the festival will present this year’s AIJF Scholarship winner, saxophonist Luke Stribling, and the Next Generation Jazz Band on the outdoor stage at the Omni beginning at 6PM. The Dynamic Les DeMerle Band, with dazzling vocalist Eisele and hot young saxophonist Hunter Diamond, will warm up each headliner show with high-energy sets. Accomplished and sultry singer Jilla Webb, Jr. will host the traditionally fun late night Jazz Jams, featuring the AIJF’s 2014 musicians, in the Omni’s Heron Room at the Racquet Park following the headliner sets on October 17 and 18.

The festival will end on a swinging note Sunday, October 19, with a Dixie To Swing Jazz Brunch, featuring drummer DeMerle’s Amelia Island Jazz Festival All-Stars, which includes Eisele, the highly talented Dr. Bill Prince, trumpet, sax, clarinet and flute, plus stalwarts Mike Levine on piano, and Dennis Marks, bass, at David’s Restaurant. There will be two seatings at 11 am and 1 pm.

For more information, please visit the website: www.ameliaislandjazzfestival.com, or contact the Festival Hotline at (904) 504-4772.

A not for profit 501(c)(3) corporation, the Les DeMerle Amelia Island Jazz Festival, distributes proceeds toward a scholarship program to fund college educations for aspiring jazz musicians.

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Farmers Market is a Community Staple

Farmers Market is a Community StapleThe Fernandina Beach Market Place farmers market is a community staple offering a large selection of vendors including seasonal produce and fresh baked breads and pastries. You will find homemade jellies, tapinades, salmon, beef, honey, candies, eggrolls, hot sauces, pasta, goat cheese, seasonings, sea salts, crab cakes, succulants, granolas, sweet breads, live landscaping plants, pickles, olives, hummus, smoothies, dressings and fresh flowers, and even live entertainment by the Hambone Stumps Band on Saturday, September 27th.

The Market Place is family friendly. Letting the kids select a colorful new fruit or vegetable at the farmers market is a great way to introduce healthy alternatives to your family’s table. Your family’s football fan will find dips, spreads, jerky and other snacks that are perfect for a half-time treat! Have a perpetual dieter in the house? Fresh produce, seafood and protein rich quinoa are natural foods that are good tasting, and good for you, too. Need to send a care package to someone in the military or college? Make up a gift basket full of comfort foods made fresh and hand crafted by the vendors at Fernandina’s farmers market.

Bring the whole family (even your four-legged friends will enjoy the all natural pet treats) and experience what makes the Fernandina Beach Market Place farmers market so special.

We are located on N. 7th Street, between Centre and Alachua Streets on Amelia Island, Florida. For more information, “like us” on facebook, visit FernandinaBeachMarketPlace.com or call (904) 557-8229.

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AI Jazz Festival Picks 2014 Scholarship Winner

Luke Stribling SeniorPic2Luke Stribling, a promising young alto saxophone player from Orange Park has been named the latest recipient of the annual jazz scholarship from The Les DeMerle Amelia Island Jazz Festival. A graduate of the Douglas Anderson School Of The Arts who is now a freshman at the University Of Central Florida, Stribling will be among those performing at this year’s festival in Fernandina Beach, October 16 – 19.

The festival’s Jazz Advisory Board chose Stribling after auditioning several candidates from Northeast Florida and other areas of the country.
At 19 Stribling already boasts a slew of impressive honors. He was a member of both the Allstate Concert and Symphonic Bands and achieved Superior Ratings at solo and ensemble playing from the district and state throughout high school.  During his senior year he led the saxophone section for the Douglas Anderson Wind Symphony, which performed nationally, including a concert at Carnegie Hall in New York.  Additionally, Stribling received the prestigious Louis Armstrong Award for outstanding achievement and superior musicianship.  Along with his college studies, Luke fronts his own band, the Jive Katz Collective.

Stribling said his earliest music teacher, Jim Daniel, turned him on to jazz, especially from the swing and bebop eras.  Furthermore he was inspired by the music of Jacksonville’s notable pianist, Marcus Roberts.  “I have also been highly influenced by Cannonball Adderley, Paul Desmond, Lee Konitz, and of course, Charlie Parker,” he said.

Luke is already considered “one of the best young saxophonists in the country,” according to Ace Martin, the school’s Instrumental Music Chairman. He’ll have a chance to show off his chops when he sits in with the Les DeMerle Jazz All-Stars featuring vocalist Bonnie Eisele for the AIJF Sponsor’s Party, Monday, October 13 at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort-Heron Room at Racquet Park; then, he will join the Next Generation Jazz Band on the outdoor Birdland Jazz Stage preceding each of the headliner shows by Tony Monaco and Randy Brecker at the Omni Resorts Amelia Island Plantation on October 17 and 18, respectively.

“Luke is a strong, mature player and has an exemplary academic record,” said DeMerle, the festival’s Creative Director.   “He is well versed in the history of jazz from the beginning, and best of all, he knows how to swing!  We are very excited about playing with him at the festival, and everyone who attends can expect a wonderful evening of great jazz.  It is most gratifying to hear upcoming musicians like Luke, and our festival will continue to add inspiration and financial benefits to help advance this great American art form.”

Amelia Island Jazz Festival tickets and information are available online at: www.ameliaislandjazzfestival.com and at:
The UPS Store – Island Walk Shopping Center, 1417 Sadler Road, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
(904) 277-0820

Goin Coastal Concert at Central Park

Goin Coastal Concert at Central Park The Goin Coastal Concert at Central Park will be held September 28, 2014, in Fernandina Beach.

Sponsored by the City of Fernandina Beach Parks and Recreation Department, the show will feature two acts from the West Coast: Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers, and The Mother Hips.

Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers made a needle’s-eye leap onto the national music circuit in 2012, bringing with them a refreshing sound, spirited stage show and wellspring of good vibes, along with a turntable and milk crates stocked with their favorite vintage vinyl for backstage sustenance.

Now, the San Francisco-based band and its striking front woman with a girl-next-door demeanor step out with Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers, a luminous, heartfelt patchwork of California folk-rock, brisk Americana and show-stopping soul, punctuated with fresh four-part harmonies, crisp rock guitar and Nicki’s soaring, nuanced vocals that some critics say remind them of Linda Ronstadt.

With the release of their eighth studio album, Behind Beyond, Northern California’s the Mother Hips will celebrate their 20th anniversary as a band. It’s been a long, winding journey since their 1993 debut on Rick Rubin’s American Recordings, Back to the Grotto, through to the present day, which finds them in full charge of their own careers. Through it all, the Mother Hips are self-sustaining and, 20 years in, continue to operate as a cottage industry.

Tickets are $15.00 in advance and $20.00 at the gate. Shows run from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM. If you have not hear either band, you are in for a treat!

Proceeds will benefit Attic Community Playground, a not-for-profit organization supporting the musical arts. They build relationships by involving community and civic organizations, music industry professionals, educational institutions and other related non-profit organizations in their programs. They strive to provide artists and students with financial aid, educational opportunities, professional advice and guidance.

2013 Grant recipients included Fernandina Beach High School, Fernandina Beach Middle School, and Yulee Middle School.

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Plants, Granola and Pasta at Fernandina’s Farmers Market

Plants, Granola and Pasta at Fernandina's Farmers MarketFernandina Beach Market Place farmers market is open every Saturday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, rain or shine, on N. 7th Street in historic, downtown Fernandina Beach and we are still adding wonderful new vendors to our line-up of community favorites.

New to the Market Place is Nate & Sassy’s Granola. Yes, Pam has returned to Fernandina Beach and is selling the popular granola she created in her Amelia Island bakery years ago. Named after her beautiful children, this granola is made by hand, in small batches and cooked to perfection. With amazing, unique flavors and whole grain oat, it is like nothing else on the market today!

Fernandina Mulch and Stone has joined the Market Place and they are a premier provider of landscape supplies in NE Florida. Every other week they bring a wide variety of mulches, rock, gravel, trees, plants, annuals and more to the market and are happy to answer your questions. Whether you are looking for groundcovers, filling in a large area, adding hedges or looking for a dynamic accent piece, come see Vanneza at the farmers’ market for some great ideas!

You’ve been asking, and I’m happy to share that Peter is back and the Amelia Pasta booth will be fully stocked with this outstanding, homemade and hand crafted pastas! Whether you select the linguine, fettuccine, penne, orzo or a gluten free variety, you will NOT be disappointed in these 100% fresh pastas made with all-natural ingredients.

Stop in and visit these three, and about 25 other vendors on September 20th. Our Booth with a Cause will be hosted by the Ben Byrns Foundation as they gear up for the annual race held entirely on the taxiways and runways of the Fernandina Beach airport. Their mission it to educate and guide young adults to make good choices in their lives. This charitable organization benefits programs such as Nassau Alcohol, Crime, Drug Abatement Coalition, Boys and Girls Club of Nassau County and the Nassau Humane Society. Stop by their booth to learn more about this 5K fun run/walk that takes place on September 27th.

Live music will be provided by Joel Vendetti.

We are located on N. 7th Street, between Centre and Alachua Streets on Amelia Island, Florida. There is something for your entire family, including your well-behaved, leashed pets!

For more information, “like us” on facebook, visit FernandinaBeachMarketPlace.com or call (904) 557-8229.

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St.Marys Welcomes First Songwriter Festival This Saturday

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For Program Click to Enlarge

Rick Scott, a former drummer with the country super group Alabama, has signed on to serve as the creative director of the newly created Seanic Group based out of St. Marys, Ga.  This past week I was privileged to play keyboards as well as sing backup for his new solo CD. The producer and engineer for the project is Nick Petta, former producer for SUN Records. Working with these two has been a real honor.

Scott, who has more than 30 million units in sales as a songwriter, has numerous works to his credit including the massive number one song “Why Lady Why” which was included on Alabama’s first album release “My Home’s In Alabama” in 1980. That album is a Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) Certified Multi-Platinum project and Alabama went on to be named the RIAA Country Group of the 20th Century.

Besides working with Alabama, Scott has worked with numerous country artist such as, David Allan Coe and Earl Thomas Conley. For a couple of years Scott was also a writer for House of Cash, owned by the legendary Johnny Cash.

“I remember this particular day Johnny called me, “says Scott, “and asked me to come down to the office.  After a short visit Johnny asked to hear a few tunes. That day he cut two of my songs. Funny thing though, it was 25 years later before they were released to the public. One is on the latest CD, “Out Among The Stars.”

Scott, originally from Covington, Ky., said he started playing drums when he was very young. “I started playing drums at around four or five years of age. I knew early on it was strictly music for me. But it was mainly just my listening and learning all the time.”

This weekend Scott is involved in a local Songwriter’s Festival in St. Mary’s, Georgia.  The Songwriter’s Festival will take place from 10am – 6pm on Saturday, September 20th at the St. Mary’s Waterfront Park. This will be a great time to come out and see live music at a superior outdoor venue. Several genres of music will be covered during the event, so that everyone can enjoy the day.

Music festival admission is free with shopping opportunities from vendor booths from 10am – 6pm. With the purchase of a $3 alcohol event wristband, beer and wine will be available to attendees through 5pm for consumption inside the St. Mary’s Waterfront Park.

For festival information contact Jerry’s Lees Music Emporium at 912-576-4401. For area information call the St. Mary’s Welcome Center at 912-882-4000 or VisitStMarys.com.

After the festival the music continues with “Back from the Brink” Starry Nights Music in the Park from 6pm – 8pm. Bring lawn chairs and blankets for use throughout the day.

Turning Our Attention Towards the Amelia Island Jazz Festival

Randy Brecker

Randy Brecker

September is Blues and October is Jazz on Amelia Island. With a magnificent Blues Festival behind us, there are several outstanding reasons to turn our eyes towards next month’ Amelia Island Jazz Festival. For me there are FOUR reasons this year! Randy Brecker, Tony Monaco, El Niño and the Latin Jazz Knights and the incomparable Jilla Webb Jr.

Jazz trumpeter and composer Randy Brecker, a multiple Grammy Awards winner, and monster jazz organ player Tony Monaco, are set to headline the 2014 Amelia Island Jazz Festival, it was announced recently by AIJF Artistic Director Les DeMerle. A hugely successful performer who has sold well over a half million albums as a solo artist, Brecker will be performing a tribute to the Brecker Brothers in honor of his late brother Michael, on Saturday, October 18, at the Omni Resorts Amelia Island Plantation. Credited with augmenting the sound of jazz, R&B and rock for more than four decades, Randy Brecker’s trumpet and flugelhorn performances have graced hundreds of albums by a wide range of recording artists from James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen and Parliament/Funkadelic to Frank Sinatra, Steely Dan, and monster bass player Jaco Pastorius (RIP).

Tony Monaco

Tony Monaco

Tony Monaco, who will appear on Friday, October 17 at the Omni, is a leader in the revival of the Hammond B3 organ in jazz. As he has been with so many fledgling jazz organists, Jimmy Smith played a significant role in attracting Monaco to jazz and retaining his interest in the music. A critically acclaimed player, Monaco consistently ranks high among organists in DOWNBEAT Magazine’s Annual Critics Poll. He has released several well-reviewed albums including his latest, “Celebration: Life & Love & Music” on the Chicken Coup Label.

The Jazz Festival Moves into its second decade

Now in its 11th year, the AIJF’s past headliners include numerous world-class artists such as David Sanborn who commented, “The Amelia Island Jazz Festival is authentic, exciting and charming. I love the island and I look forward to coming back soon.” Another stalwart performer, Ramsey Lewis, called the AIJF, ” the ‘real deal’ because the focus is on true Jazz music.” Buckwheat Zydeco, Spyro Gyra, and Mindi Abair are among the other notables to have appeared on the festival’s stages. According to DeMerle, this year’s lineup will follow in the best of festival traditions. “We are very excited to have Randy, a longtime friend, and Tony this year—both are highly regarded and among the world’s finest on their respective instruments,” he said. “Fernandina Beach can truly look forward to some spectacular musical fireworks.”

Artist Line Up

The AIJF, which will run from October 16-19, will kick off with its annual pre-Festival free concert in Amelia Park on Sunday, October 12, with U.S. Navy Band Southeast. A Latin Jazz Night showcasing one of the country’s hottest dance groups, El Niño and the Latin Jazz Knights, is scheduled for Thursday, October 16, at Sandy Bottoms. Prior to the headliner shows on October 17 and 18, the festival will present this year’s AIJF Scholarship winner, saxophonist Luke Stribling and the Next Generation Jazz Band on the outdoor stage at the Omni. The Dynamic Les DeMerle Band, with dazzling vocalist Bonnie Eisele and exciting young saxophonist Hunter Diamond, will warm up each headliner show with high-energy sets.

Jilla Webb Jr

Jilla Webb Jr

It’s not entirely clear from the festival’s press release if accomplished and sultry singer Jilla Webb, Jr. will only host the traditionally fun late night Jazz Jams, or if she also lined up for performances. Ever since Eva Cassidy passed, Jilla Webb the younger is one of my go-to performers for sultry, jazzy, spilling your guts evergreens, whether with an orchestra backing her or her collaborations with guitarist Kurt McKinney or Bruce Innes.

The Jazz Jams featuring the AIJF’s 2014 musicians, takes place in the Omni’s Heron Room at the Racquet Park following the headliner sets on October 17 and 18.

The festival is scheduled to end on a swinging note Sunday, October 19, with a Dixie To Swing Jazz Brunch, featuring DeMerle’s Amelia Island Jazz Festival All-Stars, plus Eisele and the highly talented Dr. Bill Prince, at David’s Restaurant. Additionally during the week, the AIJF will present a Jazz In The Schools program, clinics, jam sessions and more to be announced.

A not for profit 501(c)(3) corporation, the Les DeMerle Amelia Island Jazz Festival, distributes proceeds toward a scholarship program to fund college educations for aspiring jazz musicians.

For more information, please contact the Festival Hotline at (904) 504-4772 Or visit the website: www.ameliaislandjazzfestival.com Email address: info@ameliaislandjazzfestival.com

Amelia Island Blues Festival September 12-13

Amelia Island Blues Festival September 12-13
The fourth annual Amelia Island Blues Festival will return back to the ocean breezes of Main Beach. Friday night will feature the Fernandina Beach High School “Blues in School Band” under the direction of Johnny Robinson and Roger “Hurricane” Wilson, followed by The Mojo Roots.

On Saturday, the festival will continue with performances from a variety of artists, including headliners Curtis Salgado, John Primer, Samantha Fish, Bernard Allison, Ben Prestage and more.

For a full line-up of entertainment and to purchase tickets, visit www.ameliaislandbluesfest.com or call 404-784-7687.

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Backwoods County Jam

Backwoods County JamBackwoods County Jam featuring Justin Moore, Jason Michael Carroll, Jon Langston and Amber Delacruz will be held Saturday, September 27, 2014.

The concert will be in Callahan, Florida at the NE Florida Outdoor Recreational Park.

Gates open at 3:30, advance ticket sales are only $40.00

All proceeds will benefit Friends of the Fernandina Beach Library, but you have to purchase tickets at Callahan, Fernandina Beach, Hilliard or the Yulee libraries.

Farmers’ Market Food and Fun in Fernandina

Farmers' Market Food and Fun in FernandinaEvery Saturday of the year 9:00 AM marks the official opening of the Fernandina Beach Market Place farmers’ market on N. 7th Street in historic Fernandina Beach, where farmers and producers offer a cornucopia of delicious treats.

Why should you shop at the farmers market? Here is the harsh reality: much of the food you will find in the grocery store is highly processed or grown using hormones, pesticides, antibiotics, or even genetically modified (GMOs). Farmers markets offer you the opportunity to provide your family with wholesome foods that taste great, while supporting small family farms and businesses.

The Market Place is where you will find the sweetest corn, the ripest tomatoes and bread fresh from the baker’s ovens. Produce is ripened naturally and brought to Fernandina from our area. There is no long distance shipping so you know food found at the farmers market has not been irradiated, waxed or gassed in transit.

But aside from all of that, shopping at the farmers’ market it is just plain fun! September 6th brings the family-friendly tunes of Bruce Beville and the Laid Back Band. Our non-profit booth welcomes members of the Fernandina Pirates Club and the Blood Mobile.

Open rain or shine, until 1:00 PM, the Market Place is located between Centre and Alachua Streets on N. 7th. There is something for everyone, including your well-behaved, leashed pets, at the farmers’ market. For more information, “like us” on facebook, visit FernandinaBeachMarketPlace.com or call (904) 557-8229.

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