2011 Jazz Festival Scholarship Winner Named

Sensational 18-year-old Jacksonville native, tenor saxophonist John Sheard, is the winner of this year’s AIJF Jazz Scholarship.

2011 Jazz Festival Scholarship Winner NamedAmelia Island, FL – The Les DeMerle Amelia Island Jazz Festival will kick off its 2011 schedule with a special FESTIVAL PREVIEW AND SCHOLARSHIP BENEFIT CONCERT slated for Thursday, May 12, 7:00 – 9:00 PM, at the new Amelia Community Theater, 209 Cedar Street, in Fernandina Beach. The event will showcase a sensational 18-year-old Jacksonville native, tenor saxophonist John Sheard, the winner of this year’s AIJF Jazz Scholarship. The selected honoree will perform on the bandstand with a seasoned group of professionals during the concert, the proceeds from which will help fund the festival’s ongoing scholarship program.

The show will also announce the exciting 2011 festival lineup along with plans for new venues and extended concerts, and it will preview music to be heard from a variety of acts set for this year from October 2-9. In addition to Sheard, the program will feature The Dynamic Les DeMerle Jazz All-Stars, with vocalist Bonnie Eisele, former Ray Charles sideman Al Waters (saxophone/flute), plus Marvin Ferebee (trumpet), Eric Lofgren (piano), Ernie Ealum (bass), DeMerle (drums), and a very special bonus guest, critically acclaimed and nationally known guitarist Barry Greene, whose work JAZZ GUITAR MAGAZINE recently cited as “impeccable.”

“This will be a terrific show, and we are thrilled to present John Sheard, who is one remarkably mature musician,” said DeMerle. “John has a solid knowledge of jazz history and knows how to swing with the best of ’em. And the ACT is a terrific venue to see and hear great music!” The University Of North Florida’s Dr. Bill Prince who, along with DeMerle, Eisele and the UNF’s Dr. Marc Dickman, auditioned Sheard and other candidates for the award agreed. “He is an exceptional talent and has a promising future as a professional jazz musician,” he said.

A senior at Douglas Anderson School Of The Arts in Jacksonville, Sheard has earned All-State Band honors over the last three years and has been selected as lead tenor saxophonist for the 2011 Jazz Bend Of America by the Music For All program in Indianapolis, IN. Citing saxophonists Dexter Gordon (“I love his melodic style”) and Scott Hamilton as major influences, Sheard has maintained a “passion for jazz” since first beginning music lessons while in the sixth grade. “I am excited and honored to have won this award,” he said, “and it will be amazing to perform with great nationally known musicians on May 12. It will be a really fun night.” Sheard has not confirmed his final college choice but is leaning towards pursuing a BA degree from Jacksonville University’s Focus On Jazz program.

Preview and Scholarship Benefit concert tickets will cost $25 and are available online at: www.ameliaislandjazzfestival.com (Visa, MC, AMEX, Discover) and at:
The UPS Store – Island Walk Shopping Center
1417 Sadler Road
Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
(904) 277-0820
Or at the door (if not sold out in advance).

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 or send an email to: info@ameliaislandjazzfestival.com

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1 Comment

  1. reading festival tickets 


    Thanks guys for information about the 2011 Jazz Festival Scholarship Winner Named, congratulation for all winners.


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