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The days are long gone when jazz music was the dominant cultural influence in America, and this city was a hub for legendary touring bands that came through regularly during the early 20th century. Jazz has been officially a niche market for the last 40 or 50 years, dating back to the birth of rock ’n' roll and the death of John Coltrane. But that niche market boasts high incomes, education and, above all else, loyalty to the product. The continual big crowds for our jazz festival for 35 years is a case in point.

In the summer of 2017, a renaissance of sorts in the city’s long-dormant jazz scene emerged, with a number of high-profile public events, bookended by Chick Corea’s headlining performance at the festival in May, the instant-classic set by Kumasi Washington that preceded it that weekend, and Marcus Printup’s gig at The Parlour in August, which occasioned a mini-reunion of UNF Jazz program alumni. So, with the numbers ticking steadily upward among the musicians and their fans, it makes perfect sense that the summer would also include the appearance of a couple new jazz venues in town—but three?

Yeah, four. Now, the concept of a functioning full-time jazz club might seem anachronistic these days, especially in Jacksonville, where such a thing is considerably more unusual than usual. But that has not always been the case, and in 2017, it seems to be the case no longer.


Breezy Jazz Club opened its doors Downtown the weekend of June 30. It’s at 119 W. Adams St., between Hogan and Laura, situated on a block historic for its centrality to the city’s live music scene, across the street from De Real Ting Café, which used to be the Milk Bar, and less than a block down from what once was the mythical Moto Lounge. (Right next door stands The Volstead, which nearly shuttered before a last-minute intervention by investors, ensuring its continued primacy within the scene.) Owner Thea …   More




1st Street Loft

A coffeehouse, art gallery and performance venue just across the street from the ocean is a mellow-vibed retreat that, by virtue of its warm and unhurried atmosphere, encourages (art) contemplation and conversation. Currently on view are the works of Moises Ramos, and 8-11 p.m. every Thursday night, there's open mic. 502 N. First St., Jax Beach, 241-7848.

Gallery One Forty Four

Photographer Lenny Foster is a transplant to St. Augustine from art colony area of Taos, New Mexico. He opened the doors to his gallery just in time for the fall season, and we're hearing the neighbors already have good things to say about the art and the artist. The show mounted in the space now, is a selection of the photographer’s new works. 144 King St., 466-8305.

Butterfield Art Garage

Though they aren’t new—they’ve been an unconventional jewel in the St. Augustine art scene for 18 years—when Hurricane Matthew swept through in all of his destructive glory, Butterfield's gallery space was totally flooded out. After almost a year of hard work, founding member Jan Miller said, “We came back because people wanted us.” The gallery opened its doors again this month and we at Folio Weekly wholeheartedly exclaim "Welcome back!"

Crispy’s Springfield Gallery

If you’ve been down on Main Street in Springfield recently, you've probably seen the gigantic mural by Shaun Thurston on the side of a building with a sign declaring it as Crispy’s. As it turns out, the mural is in support of owner John Crispen’s love of art. Ostensibly a pizzeria, Crispy’s is planning to be a place that supports local artists. “We need more places to show all of our amazing art [and] I’ve got a lot of good walls,” Crispen said. Currently on view are works by Springfield’s favorite son, Mac Truque. 1735 Main St., 661-1503.

Long Road Projects

Keep your eyes on this …   More

St. Augustine Amphitheatre Goes CARBON Neutral

There's no better feeling than the one you get when you see your favorite band perform live. The lights, the music and the camaraderie take you to another world. One of Northeast Florida's most popular venues, recently ranked No. 11 among amphitheatres in Pollstar's Mid-year Ticket Sales Top 50 Report, is the St. Augustine Amphitheatre.

Growing in popularity due to its sound experience and open setting, in the weeks and months ahead, the Amphitheatre will feature artists like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Modest Mouse and Jack Johnson, to name just a few. As renowned as these musicians are, the St. Augustine Amphitheatre is doing much more than just hosting some of the biggest names in music this season.

At the beginning of the 2016 concert season, the venue received its carbon footprint report and decided to adopt the conservation program Green Hands Initiative. It all started with a Jack Johnson concert. In May 2014, Johnson requested that the Amphitheatre meet strict requirements regarding the ecological impact of his show; inspired by complying with his request, the venue's administration resolved to reduce any negative impact the Amphitheatre had on the environment. As Megan Murphy of Green Hands explained, "The director of the [St. Augustine] Amphitheatre, Ryan Murphy, decided that if these changes were possible for one show, why shouldn't they be standard protocol for all shows?"

Through a partnership with Gainesville-based carbon offsetting program, We Are Neutral, the Amphitheatre has taken environmental responsibility to the next level. Carbon offsetting refers to replacing carbon that an individual, home or business emits into the atmosphere through carbon-reducing acts such as planting trees or performing energy-efficient upgrades. The Green Hands Initiative is an agreement made by the Amphitheatre's operation program, SJC Cultural Events Division, to maintain practices that align with the mission of conserving valuable resources and reducing unnecessary …   More


Strange Brew: One Schmuck Tries His Hand at Homebrewing

Beer. One of the most beautiful and delicious culinary inventions to ever fall from the heavens and into our gullets. It is the great equalizer of humankind. Conflicts have been resolved, relationships have been kindled and great, scholarly musings have been made over a few pints. It is enjoyed and celebrated by almost every walk of life the world over.

Everyone from President Obama to Uncle Bob at the Thanksgiving football game knows how to enjoy a good beer. Even so, something so good must come at a price. About 10 bucks for a six pack of some decent craft brew adds up pretty quick when you like beer as much as I do. So, I figured, what the hell? I can just make my own!

Brewing beer, which started as a way of making water safe for actual human consumption-instead of killing you-has now turned into an easily accessible hobby. With nothing more than a mailing address, 50 bucks and the patience of a saint, the craft of brewing beer is something even the average Joe can enjoy. It's actually more like 1.2 million average Joes and Janes, according to the American Homebrew Association.

Now, it seems that the general consensus amongst the beer making community is that the process of brewing is a balanced mix of art and science. With the art aspect, you have to know what does and does not taste like complete garbage when put into a beer. Scientifically, you have to know the chemistry behind not making beer taste like complete garbage. Homebrewing allows Joe to explore both aspects of the process. If Joe wants to get creative and add his own spin to a standard recipe for a blonde ale, why not?

Beer is comprised of four main ingredients: malt, water, yeast and hops. Malt provides the main source of sugar and is usually made from grains like barley, wheat, rye or oats-or sorghum for the gluten free peeps. Yeast is what eats the sugar from the malt and produces alcohol and Co2. Hops are the seasoning of beer. They add bitterness to offset the sweetness of the …   More


Lawsuit Challenges “Wealth-Based” Bail Procedures

Civil rights attorneys in Jacksonville filed a federal class action lawsuit Wednesday, Aug. 30 seeking new procedures for how bail is determined for misdemeanor arrestees. Currently, the lawsuit alleges, judges in the Fourth Judicial Circuit use a standard bond schedule for misdemeanor defendants and, when setting bail for pretrial release, don't inquire about individuals' ability to pay those predetermined amounts. The current system, plaintiffs contend, results in poor people having to remain in jail as they await trial because they can't pay to get out, while more affluent defendants are awarded pre-trial release almost immediately.

According to the lawsuit, using a pre-determined bond schedule without regard for an arrestee's ability to make bail violates due process and equal protection protections in both the United States and Florida Constitutions.

Civil rights attorney Bill Sheppard and his firm, Sheppard, White, Kachergus & DeMaggio, filed the lawsuit, which seeks declaratory and injunctive relief regarding bail for misdemeanor arrestees in Jacksonville.

"The Duval County Jail is seriously overcrowded," Sheppard said in a written statement to Folio Weekly, "in part because the Sheriff is holding misdemeanants solely because of their inability to pay their way out of jail. Long ago, Charles Dickens wrote about debtors' prisons-and that's all this is."

Plaintiffs are asking the U.S. District Court to declare both the predetermined bond schedule and the failure to inquire about arrestees' financial status unconstitutional. They also want the court to enjoin judges in the Fourth Judicial Circuit and agents of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office from further use of the current "wealth-based detention" system, and to issue whatever orders the court deems necessary toward those ends.

The three named plaintiffs represent misdemeanor arrestees who are in jail now, the lawsuit says, only because they are indigent. The lawsuit names Sheriff Mike …   More


Nothing to Lose But Chains: Whose Streets? Opens at Sun-Ray Cinema

Whose Streets? is a documentary about the events that unfolded in Ferguson, Missouri after the police shot and killed Michael Brown. Brown was an unarmed teenager, but he was African American, and thus was nine times more likely to be killed by the police than other Americans, according to The Guardian.

Directed by Sabaah Folayan and produced by Damon Davis, Whose Streets? interviews community organizers and activists, and to a certain extent tells the Black Lives Matter story, but footage shot inside Ferguson illuminates the disparity between the media narrative and the actual experiences of the residents of the city. Whose Streets? is not a part of the lingering narratives of dangerous black folks-it is not a story shaped with coded language or slanted footage. It is, said activist Diallo Sekou in an email to Folio Weekly, "a moment in time that the black community is so familiar with, [the] militarization of the police [and] their entire approach because deep down they knew the officer was wrong."

In concert with the opening night screening at Sun-Ray Cinema, a panel discussion is being held to garner a local perspective. Guests include Sekou, former Flagler County Sheriff Jim Manfre, and associate professor of english and director of African-American/African Diaspora studies at the University of North Florida, Dr. Tru Leverette; with moderater Shelton Hull, a FW contributor.

FW asked participants via email to share their perspective about some of the issues the movie directly and tangentially touches on. When asked how he plans to navigate the discussion, Hull said, "I plan to use it as a springboard for a broader discussion of how this issue has evolved in the years since, and how it relates specifically to Northeast Florida." As to his opinions, Hull demurred, "My own views are not relevant to the discussion; my goal is to facilitate dialogue, and hopefully let the attendees express themselves and get the information they need to act on their …   More


From the DEPTHS of Hurricane Harvey

We've all got Houston on our minds this week. Folio Weekly's heart is with the people of Houston and our comrades at fellow AAN paper, Houston Press, which has risen to the occasion with unflagging strength and dedication to their community that is an example to us all. This week, the Houston Press team has braved hurricane conditions to cover the horrors, happenings and miracles in their city.

Read some of their courageous coverage:

When Houston Went Under: Harvey Brings Historic Floods

Houston's Real Heroes of Harvey...and One Goat

Houston Food Bank Opens: Registered Volunteers and Donations Needed

With Strong Words, Turner Calls on FEMA to Pay Up Disaster Relief Funds Swiftly

Crosby Ammonia Plant in Danger of Exploding as Harvey Fallout Continues



Wanna help the Hurricane Harvey recovery effort? On Thursday, Aug. 31, at 5 p.m., join local artists and businesses at The Museum and Gardens for Body Art to the Rescue {BARE 2017}, a Folio Media House co-sponsored event featuring a live body art exhibit AND Shannon Holt of the show "Skin Wars." Proceeds from the benefit will go to Texas Hurricane Relief for those affected by this historic storm. Learn more here.



The Flog

Congressman DeSantis: Let’s DEFUND the Russia Investigation

U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) has proposed legislation that would defund Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation 180 days after becoming law.

That amendment would also prohibit the special counsel from investigating "matters occurring before June 2015." President Donald Trump announced his campaign in June 2015.

DeSantis, a Ponte Vedra Republican who was endorsed by Trump in 2012, filed the amendment to the House spending bill expected to be taken up by the lower chamber when it returns from congressional recess. As Politico notes, the House Rules Committee could exert its broad discretion to discard the amendment without a floor vote. In a statement to Politico, DeSantis complained that the order appointing Mueller "didn't identify a crime to be investigated and practically invites a fishing expedition," going on to say, "Congress should use its spending power to clarify the scope and limit the duration of this investigation."

Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein's May 17 order appointing former Department of Justice official and FBI Director Mueller as special counsel overseeing the FBI investigation states that its purpose is to investigate "Russian government efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election and related matters."

The order authorizes Mueller to investigate "any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump" and "any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation." It further authorizes Mueller to prosecute federal crimes uncovered in the course of investigating said matters.

Seems that's not specific enough for DeSantis, whose website's press release page reads like the highlights of a piece of Trump fan fiction.

Several Democrats in Congress have already indicated their intent to push back against the amendment, Politico reports.




The Flog

PRO-CONFEDERATE Group Descends on Jacksonville

The Florida chapter of pro-Confederate group Save Southern Heritage has parachuted into Jacksonville's Confederate monument debate and is calling for a voter referendum on their removal. The group claims that a poll it commissioned shows that the public "overwhelmingly" opposes removing the monuments, WJCT reports.

Save Southern Heritage bills itself as "a voluntary association of individuals who revere the south, southern history and southern heritage," and "wish to see the history of the south preserved for future generations."

The Florida chapter of the pro-Confederate group announced its intent at a press conference in Hemming Park on Tuesday. At that press conference, Seber Newsome told WJCT, "This survey confirms our steadfast belief that Ms. [City Counil President Anna Lopez] Brosche is way off the political spectrum by associating herself with 'radical' groups like Antifa and Black Lives Matter 'extremists.'" Last year, numerous stories about the debate over whether to remove a statue of a Confederate leader from the state capitol quoted Save Southern Heritage's Seber Newsome III of Yulee.

Last week, in part reacting to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, Brosche called for an inventory and removal of Confederate monuments from public places in Duval County. She has since backed away from seeking an outright removal.

Save Southern Heritage Florida is also the same group that Miami New Times reported on Aug. 17 had doxxed 113 civil rights activists, most from Hillsborough and Broward Counties, in a detailed dossier that included their names and faces, as well as home addresses, phone numbers and the names of co-owners and co-inhabitants of their homes. Miami New Times reported that the Florida chapter's spokesperson David McCallister claimed it doxxed the civil rights leaders, many of whom are elderly, "to weed out people who came to speak in front of the Hillsborough Commission from out of town." As the outlet reported, publishing …   More


Questions Swirl about Jacksonville YOUNG DEMOCRATS President’s Spending of Group Funds

The Jacksonville Young Democrats are embroiled in an internal conflict over the group's finances, specifically how JYD President Kristellys Estanga has spent its funds.

Estanga declined to be interviewed for this story. At her request, all questions were sent to JYD Communications Chair John Aloszka via Facebook messenger. Through Aloszka, Estanga denied any wrongdoing.

Late one evening last week, while on a trip to Dallas, Texas for the Young Democrats of America annual convention, Estanga sent an email to the JYD executive committee asking it to authorize expenditures for Lyft fare. Following what Aloszka characterized as a heated conversation, the committee approved it.

But the last minute request did not sit well with some and gave rise to further questions about how Estanga has been handling JYD's funds. For some time, there have been grumbles that Estanga has been soliciting, receiving and appropriating donations without informing other members of the group or depositing said funds into the JYD account.

"We don't know who she talks to, what donors she talks to... We don't know what's been going on with our money," said JYD Field Director Cecelia Zucconi, who is an appointed member of the executive committee.

Those questions came to a head at the JYD meeting on Wednesday, August 16.

"During the treasurer report, she mentioned that the president had made Lyft charges and there was some debate on whether or not that was appropriate, and we felt that an audit should be called," Zucconi said. "There are a lot of charges out of town for Lyft and things like that," she later added.

At the meeting, which Estanga did not attend, JYD voted unanimously to audit its finances.

Aloszka said that there was simply a "misinterpretation" among some regarding what the group's bylaws require for travel expenditures. "[Estanga] emailed the board to approve one Lyft request as a courtesy, as these kinds of requests only need the president, treasurer and …   More