Music education was the buzz at the I love Music Festival June 8. All the artists reinforcedthe importance of music education and schools, including the director of the event, Michael Butler, a “band nerd” himself.
The tour featured Teflon Don, EverSay, K-Lotto, and the headliner, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus.
“If they are getting ready to cut the football team, that is front page news. If they are getting ready to cut a music teacher, no one knows about it. It is very silent. The I Love Music Tour is here to try to bring that voice out and raise it up,” Butler said in a testimonial during the tour.
Two local artists made names for themselves: SweetLu, who sounded like a mix of Bruno Mars and Wiz Kahlifa, and GudGud, three women who sounded like a modern Destiny’s Child. Both artists are working with the Mighty Music Group, a management and production company.
GudGud sang “U” and had the crowds wanting more. Fans can catch the R&B’s group new single at the end of the summer. GudGud, Britney, Princess and Nina, sang and danced beyond expectations for an amateur band.
Jacksonville Beach native SweetLu's down-to-earth disposition continued even off-stage when he mingled with fans.
"We have been lucky to have been a part of the I Love Music Tour, both in helping spread awareness for the show and in working with participating artists GudGud and Sweet Lu,” said Christopher Myers, co-founder of Mighty Music Group.
Red Jumpsuit Apparatus took the stage with a roaring crowd ready to hear good music — and they didn't let them down, playing “As I the Enemy,” their No. 1 hit on the U.S Christian rock charts, and “Face Down,” their seemingly most popular song, along with “Reap,” a hit in the WWE wrestling realm.
Red Jumpsuit Apparatus' Ronnie Winter and Duke Kitchens met in an AP music theory class in 2001 and decided to put a band together. Since then, the band has gone on world-wide tours.
Winter invited Ava Lewis and Zac Bryant on stage during their performance; Bryant got down on one knee to pop the question. Ava said yes, of course, in front of a cheering crowd during her favorite band’s concert.
"Music touches so many peoples' lives, and it was wonderful to see the community come out to show their support in keeping that influence in our schools and in the futures of our youth,” Butler said.
The tour is on track to return to The Jacksonville Landing in 2014. This year, the event raised more than $5,000 in raffle tickets to promote music education awareness.