2016 AIJF Scholarship Winner

  • Thomas Milovac, Bass
  • Thomas Milovac looks forward to playing with Les DeMerle at the 2016 Amelia Island Jazz Fest

Thomas Milovac


“I am honored to be the 2016 Scholar of the Amelia Island Jazz Festival”

18 year old Thomas Milovac, a gifted bassist from Clermont, FL, will be honored with the 2016 college scholarship from the Amelia Island Jazz Festival. A member of the Florida All State Band while attending East Ridge High School, Milovac will be sitting in with Les DeMerle for the opening sets prior to headliner shows with Houston Person and Bria Skonberg.

“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 2016 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.

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