Big Band Bash raises $10,000

big band bash Amelia Island Jazz Festival)

Les DeMerle jamming with his band at the Big Band Bash (Photo courtesy of the Amelia Island Jazz Festival)

Frank Sinatra famously crooned “It Was A Very Good Year,” and for the Amelia Island Jazz Festival, this year is already shaping up to be a great one.

The Amelia Island Jazz Festival’s 5th Annual Big Band Bash, held on Feb. 14 at the OMNI Resorts Amelia Island Plantation in Florida, saw a night full of Sinatra, music, art and generous donors raising $10,000 to support the festival and its music education and appreciation programs.

The Amelia Island Jazz Festival is a not-for-profit corporation that holds workshops and concerts focused on music appreciation and education. An annual festival is held every October on Amelia Island, with proceeds benefitting the festival’s programs for children and seniors as well as the Amelia Island Jazz Festival Scholarship program. High school seniors seeking a major or minor in music are eligible for the scholarship.

big band bash amelia island

Les DeMerle with his 17-piece band at the Big Band Bash

The Big Band Bash gala benefits the festival and its programs that run throughout the year, offering guests a night of music by Les DeMerle, his 17-piece band and the great vocalist Bonnie Eisele. The night also includes dancing, a gourmet meal and a charity auction.

This year’s gala featured special guest Sam Kouvaris of WJXT-TV, a Sinatra aficionado who sang some of Sinatra’s famous tunes during the fundraiser. Joining in the fun was Park West VIP Art Auctioneer John Block, who hosted the charity auction.

“The 2016 Big Band Bash was a massive success,” Block says. “More than $10,000 was raised, and over 100 couples danced the night away.”

big band bash amelia island jazz festival

VIP Art Auctioneer John Block with a work of art by Lebo (Photo courtesy of the Amelia Island Jazz Festival)

Among the works available during the auction were those by Park West artist Tim Yanke, the festival’s official artist in 2015, David Le Batard, better known as Lebo, who is the official artist for the 2016 festival. Though unable to attend in person, Lebo sent the following message to be played during the event:

 

The night was made even more special by showcasing the young talent the festival supports. Every year, DeMerle and Eisele visit Yulee Middle School to inspire the students. As a special treat, DeMerle had two of the musicians from Yulee join his band on stage to perform with them.

Andy Shepard, director of band and chorus at the middle school, said in a note to DeMerle that it was an experience the students will always remember.

“They thought they were just one of the guys on stage,” Shepard wrote. “Your support of music education never ceases to amaze me.”

Aside hosting the auction, Park West team members personally contributed to the cause, including Martin and Roxana Botha, Will Roberts and Justine Covey, Nenad and Katie Stojanovic, and Matthew Ketteman.

“Park West is very proud of our kind and generous artists and team members who have donated their time and personal funds to the Amelia Island Jazz Festival,” Block says.

For more information, visit the Amelia Island Jazz Festival webpage and Facebook page.

Leave a comment

Prove you\'re human. *

Latest News

  • 5 Tips on How to Overcome Creative Block From Professional Artists

    Creative block can strike at any time, stifling your inspiration and grinding your productivity to a halt. It’s something anyone who has tackled a creative project has experienced at one ...
    Read More
  • Meet the Artist: 10 Questions with England’s Clare Sykes

    Clare Sykes knows a thing or two about beauty.This astoundingly accomplished English artist is an expert when it comes to capturing the majesty of the natural world on canvas. ...
    Read More
  • These 12 Works of Art Will Help You Beat the Summer Heat

    Let’s face it, as much as we all yearned for warmer weather during this past winter and spring, this summer has been a hot one.If you feel as if ...
    Read More
  • Pablo Picasso: How One Spanish Artist Changed Art Forever [VIDEO]

      Why does everyone know ...
    Read More
  • Beating the Odds: Foster Care Support Programs Are Helping Youth Succeed at College

    Antwinae McNeil didn’t have a typical upbringing. Whereas most teens hang out with their friends or enjoying family meals, Antwinae worried if she would have a place to call home.At ...
    Read More
  • Auctioneer Spotlight: Ty and Gracie Braga

    Over and over again, Park West collectors have told us that one of the highlights of their collecting experience is the lasting friendships they develop with our art auctioneers and ...
    Read More
  • Stairway to Heaven: Fascinating New Salvador Dalí Exhibition Begins U.S. Tour

    Salvador Dalí is one of the most famous artists of the 20th century, but there are far more aspects to the artist’s career than just his notoriously mind-bending paintings.This ...
    Read More
  • Celebrate Independence Day with Our Summer Sale Americana Art

    In the United States, the Fourth of July stirs up patriotism in everyone. Regardless of your background or beliefs, Independence Day is a time for the country to come together ...
    Read More
  • Park West Recruiter Wins Big on ‘The Price is Right’

    Park West Gallery Recruiter Neil Nussbaum and his wife, Hannah, have always been huge fans of “The Price is Right.”When they first met, they bonded over their shared love ...
    Read More
  • Jerusalem Post Profiles ‘Icon’ Yaacov Agam for His 90th Birthday

    “There are only a few words that accurately describe Yaacov Agam,” says Park West Gallery Founder and CEO Albert Scaglione. “‘Innovator’, ‘genius’, and, yes, ‘icon.’ The man is definitely ...
    Read More
  • New Michael Godard Sale Features More Than 30 Unique Works

    As the “Rock Star of the Art World,” Michael Godard borrows a page from his musical counterparts by searching for new and innovative ways to express himself.“I’ve always admired ...
    Read More
  • Saving Lady Liberty: How Peter Max Helped Restore the Statue of Liberty

    Iconic Pop artist Peter Max has several recurring images that he’s returned to throughout his prolific career, but perhaps none are more famous than the Statue of Liberty. Max ...
    Read More