Legendary tenor saxophonist Houston Person and hot young trumpeter Bria Skonberg are set to headline the 2016 Amelia Island Jazz Festival, it was announced this week by AIJF Artistic Director Les DeMerle. A highly influential player with dozens of albums to his credit, Person has recorded for a number of labels including Savoy, Mercury, Prestige Muse, and presently High Note Records. His soulful, bluesy, and thick-toned tenor style, in the tradition of the great Gene Ammons, has been particularly notable in his work with various jazz organ trios. A trumpeter/vocalist/composer, Skonberg has rapidly become a top draw in New York City, and according to the Wall Street Journal, “is poised to be one of the most versatile and imposing musicians of her generation.” Both will appear on shows at the St. Michaels Academy Parrish Hall.
Now in its 13th year, the AIJF will take place at various locations in Fernandina Beach, FL from October 2-9, 2016 and will kick off with its annual free concert in Amelia Park on Sunday, October 2. Additional shows will include Jump Jive & Wail, a Wednesday, October 5, swing concert and dance with the Dynamic Les DeMerle band featuring vocalist Bonnie Eisele, the popular Latin Jazz Night in its traditional Thursday night slot, October 6, with the sizzling hot, award winning, and internationally famous Trio Caliente. Additionally, the always entertaining and fun late night Jazz Jams, starring the AIJF’s 2016 musicians, will follow the headliner sets on October 7 and 8. The festival is scheduled to end on a swinging note Sunday, October 9, with a Dixie To Swing Jazz Brunch, featuring DeMerle’s Jazztet plus vocalist Bonnie Eisele. Times and venues for all shows will be announced soon.
Tickets will be available online as well as at the UPS Store, 1417 Sadler Road in the Island Shopping Center Fernandina Beach andThe 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 a scholarship program to fund college educations for aspiring jazz musicians.