Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Young Musicians Finding an Outlet for Their Sound

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Young Musicians Finding an Outlet for Their Sound

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Faulkner, Shorelines correspondent

Just about each Saturday for the past three months, students Jesse Leach, Jonathan Kuhr and Denton Elkins III have put their studies to a three-hour-plus test. Sounds like any student's nightmare, doesn't it?

For the trio, it's a dream -- and only the beginning of one at that. These tests require no No. 2 pencils, no textbooks, calculators or dictionaries. Notes? Yes, there are plenty of notes, but only musical ones.

The three students are all young musicians. They now perform every other Saturday at the Artists' Corner in Jacksonville Beach as the jazz band Klip Joint. Leach and Kuhr are in the jazz band at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. Elkins is a Douglas Anderson grad who now is enrolled at a junior college and may transfer to the University of New Orleans. And in the spirit of the music they play, the members of Klip Joint formed the band almost on the spot, improvising along the way.

Leach said they've been playing a little over three months at the coffeehouse/art supply store/concert hall. After playing there each Saturday for a few weeks, the trio's lineup only recently solidified, although they are looking for a new bass player at the moment.

So far, Klip Joint has filled its sets mostly with straight-ahead jazz, but Leach said he and his band mates are willing to try anything. They've done funk one gig and bluegrass the next. With several school performances and the rest of their studies to attend to, Leach said there hasn't been much time for develop this new group.

"We actually haven't even had a rehearsal yet," Leach said. "We all showed up the first week and called out some songs we know, but we're beginning to write songs now and hoping to eventually have a mostly original set."

Leach and Kuhr have put together a few originals on their own, and Klip Joint has a handful of their separate works in the repertoire. The rest of the tunes are all the staples of jazz education, such as Take the 'A' Train and All the Things You Are. …

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