BIO BY SCOTT YANOW - The Jax Jazz Collective, which consists of some of the finest jazz musicians based in Jacksonville, Florida, first came together in 2012. Pianist Joshua Bowlus remembers: “Most of us had played together previously and we wanted to create a group that we felt was representative of our diverse musical experiences and of jazz in Jacksonville in general. Our goal is to perform unique arrangements of standards, paying respect to the tradition while also playing the music in a different and modern way.” The collective is influenced and inspired by such well-respected straight ahead jazz groups as Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, the SF Jazz Collective and the Roy Hargrove Quintet as well as modern groove-based fusion groups such as Snarky Puppy and Kneebody. The Jax Jazz Collective’s recent recordings of the music of Jerome Kern and Billy Strayhorn are important early steps in the promising and exciting band’s development.
All of the members of the Jax Jazz Collective are young, talented and have plenty of musical experience, often stretching beyond jazz into other genres. They integrate all of their individual likenesses and differences into their arrangements to create a cohesive group sound. The sextet is a co-op with most of their arrangements being contributed by Joshua Bowlus and Mike Emmert. “We thought it would be a good idea for our live performances to focus on the music of one composer at a time,” explains Joshua, “providing unique slants to their music, giving the audience something both familiar and different. When we performed the music of Billy Strayhorn live in Jacksonville, it went over so well that we decided to do it again with another well-known composer Jerome Kern. After another successful run of performances, we decided to record the music and document our progress.”
The Jax Jazz Collective is an outstanding unit that delivers their musical goods at
a world-class level. They succeed by giving satisfyingly great presentations of
great compositions. BRAVO, GENTLEMEN! ~Rufus Reid, legendary jazz bassist & composer
This is a group of musicians whose dedication to the masters of the past culminates in a musican vision that is both contemporary and traditional. The ensemble features wonderful interplay between the exceptional soloists and the pervasively swinging rhythm section. I highly recommend that you give the Jax Jazz Collective a listen! ~Barry Greene, world-renowned jazz guitarist & educator