A not-for-profit 501c3 corporation, the Les DeMerle Amelia Island Jazz Festival distributes proceeds toward a scholarship program to fund college education for aspiring jazz musicians and works to provide a rich, diverse jazz offering to the Amelia Island community by exposing thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds to the sounds, excitement and vitality of great jazz.
The Festival presents world-class jazz in many styles, including swing, bebop, Dixieland, big band, Latin, and contemporary. During the week-long festival, held in October each year, music is performed by jazz greats as well as fresh, up-and-coming young talent. Performances are staged in several venues around Amelia Island including the Courtyard/Springhill Suites Amelia Island by Marriott, Sadler Ranch, Mocama Beer Company, Savannah Grand, Nassau County Council on Aging, Story & Song Bookstore Bistro and OMNI Hotels & Resorts Amelia Island. The goal of the Amelia Island Jazz Festival is to help preserve the American art form Jazz by increasing the exposure and awareness of the music genre to the general public.
A Brief but Rich Festival History:
Founded in 2001, the Amelia Island Jazz Festival is very young as far as music festivals go. But this Festival has come a long way in a very short time, and shows strong potential to become a world-renowned musical event. In fact, the Amelia Island Jazz Festival seems to be following the footsteps of such festivals as the Monterey and Newport Jazz Festivals. Like the renowned jazz festivals, the Amelia Island Jazz Festival benefits from the vision and energy of a veteran jazz professional who instantly gives the Festival a rich heritage:
Les DeMerle, Artistic Director. Under his leadership the Amelia Island Jazz Festival has delivered jazz greats to enthusiastic audiences on Amelia Island:
John Pizzarelli • Ken Peplowski • Delfeayo Marsalis • Jamil Sharif • Trio Caliente • Requinte Trio with Janis Siegel • Henry Johnso•n • Nestor Torres • Houston Person • Bria Skonberg • Kevin Mahogany • Larry Coryell • Randy Brecker • Tony Monaco • Mindi Abair • Royal Crown Revue • Spyro Gyra • David Benoit • Buckwheat Zydeco • Nicole Henry • Doug Cameron • Ramsey Lewis • David Sanborn • Christian Tamburr • Harry Allen • Marcus Printup • Bill Allred Classic Jazz Band • Richie Cole • Longineau Parsons • Frank Tiberi • Barry Greene • Woody Herman Sax Section • Bobby Pickwood