Lebo chosen as 2016 Amelia Island Jazz Festival artist

lebo amelia island jazz festival

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

David Le Batard, also known as the artist Lebo, will loan his artistic talents to the 13th Annual Amelia Island Jazz Festival as its official artist.

Lebo follows Tim Yanke, who served as the official artist in 2015. Lebo will create art that is featured on posters, shirts, flyers and other materials related to the festival, held at several venues on Amelia Island in Florida from Oct. 2-9.

“Being chosen for the Amelia Island Jazz Festival is a joy for many reasons, not the least of which is how greatly music, and in particular jazz, has affected my approach at art,” Lebo says. “The mix of extreme dedication along with individual expression is a perfect one, and one that I learned from being a fan of jazz.”

The Amelia Island Jazz Festival, a non-profit organization founded in 2001, promotes music education and appreciation. The festival’s educational programs include workshops for students in elementary, middle and high school as well as informative sessions held at senior centers.

Lebo is a natural choice for a festival centered on music. He has traveled the world to paint alongside musicians that inspired him, creating art live on stage during performances of acts such as the Beastie Boys, Paul Oakenfold and Willie Nelson. Lebo also served as the official artist for the 2003 Latin Grammy Awards, and was commissioned to create a work of art for Billy Joel in 2015.

Lebo is also a fan of listening to music while painting, saying he enjoys ska (a combination of jazz and Caribbean folk music), roots reggae, folk music and blue note jazz.

“The big band era, be-bop and hard-bop eras in particular are perfect encapsulations of how art can capture parts of history in a unique way,” he says.

lebo amelia island

David “Lebo” Le Batard working on “Ode to the Muses” for the Amelia Island Jazz Festival (Photo courtesy of Lebo)

In his artwork for the festival, “Ode to the Muses,” Lebo captures the themes of jazz and the euphoria of listening to great music, using imagery that is both representational and abstract in his signature post-modern cartoon expressionistic style.

“I wanted to create something that was both progressive but steeped in the past,” he says. “I was looking to create a visual representation of the feeling one gets from a really transcendent piece of music as well as the feeling of the actual musicians themselves locked in a tight groove.”

Along with its workshops, music education is at the forefront of the festival with its Amelia Island Jazz Scholarship. The scholarship is granted on an annual basis to a graduating high school senior and must be used toward expenses that lead to earning a major or minor in music, preferably in jazz.

Proceeds from the festival and the Big Band Bash Benefit Gala, held annually on Valentine’s Day, benefit the scholarship. Read more about the Amelia Island Jazz Festival here.

8 Responses to Lebo chosen as 2016 Amelia Island Jazz Festival artist

  1. Carroll Campbell says:

    My wife and I just met David on a cruise this week and what a terrific guy! Great personality and fun to “hang with”….bought several beautiful art works! Our pleasure to meet you Lebo!

  2. Veta and Bob Hollaway says:

    Congrats David, we were ordering frames for some of your artwork when I noticed your selection for featured Artist at the Amelia Island Jazz Festival. Boy, is everyone going to have a wonderful surprise when they meet you and your fantastic talent. Good luck and we may see you there!!

  3. Frank & Kathy Gembicki says:

    Congrats David; We met on the Anthem of the Seas, at the Park West VIP art sale. I acquired your “During Transformation”. You are truly an Intelligent, articulate talent that will continue to reach new heights.
    Thank you

  4. Paul Honig says:

    Love your art. Congratulations on the festival’s choice. I have In Search of, We All Turn to the Light and It’s All Connected.–

  5. Sandra Lackas says:

    Congrats!!! We had the pleasure to meet you on the VIP Cruise on the Norwegian Getaway (your artwork graces the hull) in Oct 2015. Loved the experience and we cherish it!

  6. Linda Moses says:

    Congratulations David. I have marked the dates on my calendar and look forward to seeing you again. Jim and I certainly enjoyed sitting and talking to you in the VIP cruise. So delighted that you are coming to our area!!!

  7. William Cook says:

    Congrats David and thank you for all you do for America’s Veterans. “Semper Fi” …William and Olga in Phoenix, AZ

  8. William Roeder says:

    Well deserved honor! I can hardly wait for a clay plate based on prehistoric cave art. Seems a wonderful blend of your interests in history, universal themes in humanity, philosophy, and experimenting in many art media. Just think back to the emergence of mankind, art, pre-writing, the first efforts to reach out to touch something greater than oneself (still on-going) deep in the bowels of the Earth.

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