Jacksonville Jazz Festival
One of the nations largest Jazz Festivals, The Jacksonville Jazz Festival is held over Memorial Day weekend each year.
Leonard Skinner was the original spelling of the groups name, who before becoming famous for their southern hard-rock tunes attended Robert E. Lee High School in Jacksonville.
Home To Many Rockers
Pictured: Freebird Live sound board.
George’s Music Springing the Blues
Springing The Blues is a free outdoor blues music festival held the first weekend of April every year!
Birthplace of Southern Rock
Sweet Home… Jacksonville?
- Jacksonville has been the birthplace of many individuals and bands in the music industry. However, Jacksonville might best be known as the origin of Southern Rock, a genre with roots of blues, jazz, soul, R&B and rock and roll.
- Two of Southern Rock’s architects, Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Allman Brothers Band were formed in Jacksonville, paving the way for other Southern Rock bands, including local bands .38 Special, Molly Hatchet and JJ Grey & Mofro.
- Native sons Ronnie Van Zant, Allen Collins, Gary Rossington, Larry Junstrom and Bob Burns formed Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1964. The inspiration for the band’s name came from former gym teacher of two of the band members at Westside Jacksonville’s Robert E. Lee High School named Leonard Skinner who gave the members a hard time for their long hair. At the height of the band’s dominance after hits like "Sweet Home Alabama" and “Free Bird,” a devastating plane crash in 1977 prematurely ended the lives of three band members: Van Zant, Steve Gaines and Cassie Gaines.
- Today, Jacksonville is home to numerous music festivals throughout the year. Two of the most anticipated events of the year, George’s Music Springing the Blues, held annually at the beach in April and the Jacksonville Jazz Festival, held each Memorial Day weekend, provide an outlet for local and world-renowned musicians. The Jacksonville Jazz Festival has drawn the likes of Chuck Mangione, Patti LaBelle and Chris Botti.
For more information on our Music Festivals, click here.