Grammy-Winning Jim Warren Named the Official Artist of the 2022 Amelia Island Jazz Festival
Park West Gallery is a long-time sponsor of Florida’s Amelia Island Jazz Festival, one of the premiere annual jazz celebrations in the United States. The festival was co-founded by Les DeMerle—an accomplished drummer and singer who has performed with greats like Frank Sinatra, Lou Rawls, Sammy Davis, Jr., Mel Tormé, and Joe Williams—and his wife, noted vocalist Bonnie Eisele.
For nearly a decade, a Park West artist has served as the jazz fest’s official artist. The Park West artists who have painted the official Amelia Island Jazz Festival poster in the past include such world-famous talents as Marcus Glenn, Peter Nixon, Alfred Gockel, and Tim Yanke.
This year, the neo-surrealist painter Jim Warren was chosen to be the official artist of the 2022 Amelia Island Jazz Festival. The artwork he created—titled “All that Jazz”—is full of movement, splashes of color, and clever nods to music history. It perfectly represents jazz music’s trademark “chaos within structure.”
Warren told us that, while creating the artwork, he “was able to think about jazz and just paint with colors and figures flowing however I felt, and I just knew somehow they will all come together like good jazz music.” Warren has a long history with music. In addition to his fine art, he’s also an acclaimed album cover artist for the music industry and even won a Grammy Award for his cover art for Bob Seger’s “Against the Wind.”
“Music inspired me to paint in the 60s, when I was influenced by The Beach Boys and the Beatles,” Warren said. “Music made me want to do album cover art—my first album cover was in 1978 for jazz greats The Billy Cobham-George Duke Band.” Warren said he was first moved to paint a poster for the festival after seeing Les DeMerle behind his drum kit at an event five years ago, noting that he was extremely impressed by DeMerle’s fun, clean style of drumming.
This year’s Amelia Island Festival begins on October 2, with a free community kick-off concert. It’s followed over the next seven days with a jazz and wine tasting event, swing night, Latin jazz dance concert, late night jams, and mainstage concerts by Ken Peplowski and jazz legends like The John Pizzarelli Trio. The festival concludes on October 9 with a jazz brunch featuring Dixieland and swing jazz.
If you love jazz and will be in the Florida area, we can’t recommend the event enough. You can buy tickets for all of the 2022 events HERE.
What’s truly special about the Amelia Island Jazz Festival is that not only does it bring an array of world-class jazz music to the local community, but it also donates its proceeds to fund music education programs for children and senior citizens. Each year, the festival also awards a scholarship to a promising high school music student. Later in the year, Park West Gallery will auction off Jim Warren’s fabulous original artwork, and all of the proceeds from that sale will go to the festival and its scholarship fund.
Park West’s Senior Gallery Director Morris Shapiro (who is also a musician) has said, “Education in all the humanities is so important in our schools these days, especially the fostering of an original American art form like jazz. We need to keep it alive and fresh for generations to come,” adding that, “It’s been a great honor to be a major sponsor of the Amelia Island Jazz Festival and to contribute to the support of music education.”
Warren agrees, noting the importance of jazz as an artform and how it so closely parallels his own creative process with visual art. He told us, “Jazz to me has no actual rules. It’s free to improvise and go in any direction, which, to me, is what Surrealism is all about. You just feel it and imagine it with no limits.”
You can learn more about the 2022 Amelia Island Jazz Festival HERE.