2015 AIJF Scholarship Winner

  • Ryan Duncan, Alto Saxophone
  • Ryan Duncan, Alto Saxophone - Les DeMerle, Drums
  • Ryan Duncan, Alto Saxophone
  • Ryan Duncan receiving his award from Bonnie Eisele and Les DeMerle
  • Ryan Duncan and Les DeMerle
  • Ryan Duncan and his award with Bonnie Eisele and Les DeMerle

Ryan Duncan


“This scholarship has inspired me to do my best to keep my playing at the highest level.”

Eighteen year old Ryan Duncan, a gifted saxophonist from Jacksonville is the 2015 Amelia Island Jazz Festival Scholarship Award Recipient. A four year member of the Florida All State Band while attending Douglas Anderson School Of The Arts, Duncan accepted the festival’s annual award during a special “All That Jazz” concert/show on September 20 at the Amelia Community Theatre. There he performed with the Dynamic Les DeMerle Band featuring vocalist Bonnie Eisele. Duncan joined the highly regarded music program at the University of North Texas for his university training.

Although primarily an alto saxophonist, Duncan has proven to be equally proficient at tenor and baritone sax as well. He first began to play alto while at Fishweir Elementary School in Jacksonville and continued through Lavilla Middle School prior to entering Douglas Anderson. Given guidance from his older brother Howard, Duncan has been greatly influenced by such alto sax icons as Charlie Parker, Phil Woods, Sonny Stitt, and Cannonball Adderley. Notable trumpeters have also made their mark on Ryan. “I’ve listened to and learned a lot from Clifford Brown and Nat Adderley records too,” he said. After undergraduate work at UNT, where he hopes to add Composition to his skills, Duncan plans to attend graduate school. “Currently, I am interested in playing professionally in a military band or teaching saxophone at the university level,” he added.

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