Enjoy the 2016 Amelia Island Jazz Festival Featuring Lebo Art

 In Art & Gallery News, Artists & Special Collections, Lebo, Philanthropy
Amelia Island Jazz Festival

The official poster of the 2016 Amelia Island Jazz Festival, featuring art by Lebo.

Get jazzed for a week of incredible music and art at the 2016 Amelia Island Jazz Festival, all to support the next generation of great musicians.

Whether you enjoy bebop, big band or Latin jazz, the 2016 Amelia Island Jazz Festival has you covered with concerts and events November 2-6 at Amelia Island, Florida.

The festival was originally set for October 2-9 but was rescheduled due to Hurricane Matthew.

Park West Gallery is proud to sponsor the Amelia Island Jazz Festival as well as work with the festival’s official artist, David “Lebo” Le Batard. As a Miami resident and music enthusiast, Lebo is a perfect choice for the Amelia Island Jazz Festival. Lebo loves listening to blue note jazz, folk, roots reggae and other types of music while creating artwork in his signature style: Postmodern Cartoon Expressionism. In fact, his first-ever commission was for jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis.

“I’m a lifelong music fan, and I’ve done a lot of work in the music world over the years, so this is a very nice extension of that,” Lebo says. “My roots in jazz music go way back as well – my family on my father’s side were musicians in Cuba in the ‘40s and ‘50s, so being able to follow along that line is special to me.”

Lebo’s artwork, titled “Ode to the Muses,” is featured on the festival’s posters, flyers and shirts. Lebo explains the artwork is a visual representation of the feeling one gets from a transcendent piece of music. He says the cartoonish artwork also expresses what the musicians feel when they’re jamming. The title alludes to ancient Greek Mythology and its nine muses that inspire the arts and sciences.

“The visual component is derivative of Picasso,” Lebo says, explaining the artwork. “Even though he kind of predates jazz, I feel that his work has a real strong jazz component to it because it has a beautiful sense of composition, storytelling and line. But, there is a real openness that is unique to him.”


lebo amelia island jazz festival

“Ode to the Muses” (2015), Lebo (Image courtesy of Lebo)

The jazz festival offers plenty of opportunities to experience great music. This year, the Dynamic Les DeMerle Little Big Band with Bonnie Eisele is headlining the festival alongside Bria Skomberg, Houston Person and Trio Caliente.

Proceeds from the Les DeMerle Amelia Island Jazz Festival benefit a scholarship program that funds college educations for jazz music students. The festival also offers educational programs and jazz workshops in local schools and senior centers.

“I think that is a noble pursuit, so if I can be a small part of that I am happy to,” Lebo says of the scholarship.

big band bash amelia island

Students with Les DeMerle during the Amelia Island Jazz Festival’s “Jazz in the Schools” program at St. Michael’s Academy. (Photo courtesy of Les DeMerle)

This year’s festival includes a Jump Jive and Wail/Swing night on Nov. 2; a hot Latin jazz concert on Nov. 3; saxophonist Person in concert and a Friday Nite late jam on Nov. 4; trumpeter Skonberg in concert and a Saturday Nite jam on Nov. 5; and a Dixie to Swing Jazz brunch on Nov. 6.

Park West artist Tim Yanke served as the official artist for the 2015 festival. Along with Park West Gallery, staff members of Park West have and continue to contribute to the festival, including John and Yuki Block.

Artwork from these official Amelia Island Jazz Festival artists and others is available to collect through Park West Gallery. Contact our gallery consultants for more information. For more information about the festival’s educational programs, click here.

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