Yanke has created original artwork he will donate that will be auctioned off to benefit the Amelia Island Jazz Festival Scholarship Program. The funds raised will coincide with the festival’s 4th Annual Big Band Bash gala on February 14 in the Amelia Ballroom at the OMNI Resorts Amelia Island Plantation.
“It’s an honor to be chosen,” Yanke said. “You just paint for yourself and you offer it up to the world and it can do what it wants with it, and when somebody appreciates it and says ‘we want you to be an official artist,’ it’s very cool, it’s an honor.”
Yanke’s painting, “Legends,” features bright colors exploding from press type that reads “jazz.” Underneath the colorful plume are the names of jazz greats. He said about 90 percent of his artwork is inspired by listening to music while working, and in this case, he captured the feelings of listening to jazz.
“It simulates the vibration, the moods and the flow, the improvisation that jazz depicts,” Yanke said. “When I finished the painting I thought ‘that is true, raw, organic Yanke and true, raw, organic music.’ I hope it does well for the fundraiser.”
Yanke also painted a 22-inch Zildjian cymbal with a similar pattern that will also be up for auction. Last year, he created two cymbal works for the 2014 jazz festival, one of which featured his iconic dragonfly imagery.
Fellow Park West Gallery artist Marcus Glenn of Detroit had the honor of being the official artist for the 2014 festival.
The Big Band Bash dinner/dance will present the Les DeMerle Orchestra, featuring vocalist Bonnie Eisele and other special guests. Like Yanke’s painting, the music will pay tribute to legends like Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Harry James.
Proceeds from the gala, festival and art auction will benefit the festival’s scholarship, which is awarded annually to a graduating high school senior pursuing a major or minor in music.
The non-profit Amelia Island Jazz Festival will be held October 8-11. Founded in 2001, the festival raises money for aspiring musicians and exposes thousands of people of all ages to the sounds and excitement of jazz music. Performances are held in several venues on Amelia Island, located in Nassau County.
For tickets and further information, visit www.ameliaislandjazzfestival.com.