The Amelia Island Jazz Festival needed to capture the power of jazz, and turned to none other than artist Alfred “Alex” Gockel to do it justice.
Gockel was a natural choice to become the official artist for the 14th annual jazz festival. The internationally-renowned artist is known for his expressive and energetic style, and often uses music as inspiration.
“I feel honored to be selected as the official artist for the Amelia Island Jazz Festival,” Gockel says. “Listening to jazz and blues during the painting process gives me the energy to create intense artwork.”
The Amelia Island Jazz Festival hosts musical performances by seasoned jazz greats and rising industry stars alike to promote the lasting spirit of American jazz. The festival was established by Les DeMerle, a veteran jazz drummer who played with musical greats like Lou Rawls, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Frank Sinatra.
Gockel’s artwork “Amelia Island, Jazz Festival” is painted in his signature style, utilizing rich, primary colors and fluid, sweeping shapes. The painting depicts DeMerle and vocalist Bonnie Eisele performing alongside other musicians.
“I had the chance to listen to Les DeMerle and Bonnie during their concert,” Gockel says. “I tried to take their rhythm and energy to create this artwork.”
The 2017 headline musicians include Grammy nominated vocalist Roseanna Vitro and jazz flutist Nestor Torres. The Amelia Island Jazz Festival takes place October 8–15. Swing by the festival’s website to see the full roster of performers.
To further encourage an appreciation for jazz, the Amelia Island Jazz Festival funds an annual scholarship program for high school seniors seeking a degree in music. In addition, the festival provides educational programs and jazz workshops in local schools and senior centers.
Gockel is the latest Park West Gallery artist to create the official artwork for the Amelia Island Jazz Festival. His predecessors include David “Lebo” Le Batard, Tim Yanke, and Marcus Glenn. Park West Gallery is proud to support the Amelia Island Jazz Festival and its continued dedication to arts education and awareness.