What: The Strom River Jam is a free public music fest with a lineup of exciting Dolphinium Records artists, including popular East Coast band Chroma and American Idol Season 8 contestant AJ Neaher. The event includes recognition of Jacksonville University alumnus Larry Strom, whose generous donation made possible the newly opened Larry Strom Amphitheatre on Dolphin Green at JU. The fest is also serving as a “learning lab” for JU Artist and Concert Management students, who are helping plan its promotion, merchandising, sales and logistics.
When: 4:30 to 9 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5.
Where: Larry Strom Amphitheatre, Jacksonville University, 2800 University Blvd. N.
Details: The new open-air Larry Strom Amphitheatre, built with funds donated by Strom, is a 50-foot-wide, 38-foot-deep, 30-foot-tall covered pavilion big enough for medium-sized bands on up to the Jacksonville Symphony Pops Orchestra. Its lawn features casual seating, and the stage opens to the beautiful St. Johns River. Design is by Glenn Dasher (Dasher Hurst Architects), and the general contractor is KBT Builders.
Strom, 77, of Tallahassee, played basketball for JU in 1955 and 1956 when it was still Jacksonville Junior College, then went on to graduate from Florida State University. “It hit me like a blast of light, this is part of my life, and I wanted to give back,” said Strom, who owns two GM dealerships in Tallahassee and one in Key West.
The Nov. 5 Strom River Jam includes a lineup of four musical acts (schedule and backgrounds below), an introduction and recognition of Larry Strom, plus a concession area and other activities.
The fest is also serving as a chance for JU music department students to have a hand in planning, budgeting and managing a major event, down to such logistics as running sound and helping handle talent contracts and riders, said Dr. Thomas Harrison, chair of the JU Division of Music.
“Most of the time students don’t get the opportunity to apply concepts learned in the class like this,” he said. “This is a major chance for them to work as a group and gain a wide array of experience.”
Cost: Free to the public.
More information: For more about the event or Dolphinium Records, call (904) 256-7370 or visit www.ju.edu/dolphinium.
Strom River Jam Schedule, Nov. 5, 2012
4:30 p.m. — Safari Soundlab
Student favorite Safari Soundlab is a Jacksonville Beach band made up largely of Jacksonville University music majors, including those at Dolphinium Records. Principle songwriter Ciaran Sontag sings songs that celebrate the good times in a 21st century rock/reggae style that is accessible to a wide audience.
5:45 p.m. — AJ Neaher
AJ Neaher is a JU alum and was a contestant on Season 8 of American Idol. A Jacksonville favorite, Neaher has also performed the National Anthem before games of the Jacksonville Suns, is the director for the First Coast Chorus and the Robert E. Lee High School Chorus, and performs in the Riverside and Avondale area weekly. His musical influences range from organic rock to modern R&B. Neaher released Love Songs from the Gamut on Dolphinium Records in 2010.
6:45 p.m. — Whetherman
Whetherman is the project of 27-year-old folk singer/songwriter Nicholas Williams. Since the project started in 2007, Williams has released four full-length albums: “Bull” (2007), “The Great Lull” (2008), “Nooks and Crannies” (2010) and most recently “Wind in the Trees” (2011). Currently, Williams is on his “Ears and Eyes Tour” that hits the Southeast, Midwest and West Coast throughout 2012. Williams is also in the studio recording a new EP “Mouth of Eden” for release in August, as well as his fifth full-length production, and the first introduction of Whetherman and The Steady Melodies, titled “Streams and Pastures,” set to unveil in late 2012.
7:45 p.m. — Introduction of Mr. Strom
8 p.m. — Chroma
Popular East Coast band Chroma is an eclectic Jacksonville-based trio of musicians who hold their roots in melodic song writing and progressive psychedelic rock, while gracefully stepping into the realms of bluegrass, barbershop and classical music. Chroma is as diverse as the color spectrum their name implies. Chroma can be seen playing area clubs, festivals, theaters and arts markets. They released their second album, and first with Dolphinium Records, “Round and Round,” in 2012.