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College of Arts and Sciences

So You Think You Know Jacksonville Music?

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Are you ready to be transported by the symphonies of Jacksonville's past and present? Step into the rhythm of history and embrace the melodies that define Jacksonville's soul! 

Nestled within the heart of Florida, Jacksonville boasts a musical history that spans the ages, adorned with a tapestry of diverse genres and a rich heritage. While renowned for its Southern Rock roots, the city's musical soul transcends far beyond, encompassing jazz, rhythm and blues, ragtime, classical music, rock 'n roll, soul, and other captivating melodies. Jacksonville stands as the cradle of legendary compositions, from the resonant echoes of the Black National Anthem to the soulful cadences of Heartbreak Hotel, Free Bird, Spooky, Stormy, and an endless array of timeless creations, crafted by artists who either hailed from this vibrant city or found solace within its artistic embrace.

Beyond a mere tribute to the past, Jacksonville's musical essence thrives in the present through riveting performances, iconic venues, and a thriving culture of music education. Embracing the past while moving confidently into the future, an exceptional exhibit awaits music enthusiasts at The Beaches Museum available until August 6. Curated by the passionate and talented Dakota Fogg, a junior history major at UNF, this pop-up offers a glimpse into the upcoming "Music at the Jacksonville History Center" project. With plans to be built over the next two years, this center promises to be a treasure trove for music enthusiasts and history aficionados alike.

Dakota, alongside UNF alumni Emily Cottrell, embarked on an exhilarating journey through time, meticulously sifting through over 600 items and records, including fascinating paper documents and photographs. Each piece of history was carefully categorized to bring forth the most captivating stories for the exhibit. Their dedication and passion have breathed life into Jacksonville's musical past, taking visitors on a melodic adventure through its legacy.

The exhibit showcases UNF's invaluable contribution to Jacksonville's music scene, particularly through the UNF Jazz Studies program. Since its inception in 1986, the program has nurtured some of the most exceptional jazz ensembles in the world. UNF undergraduates in jazz studies have graced iconic venues such as the illustrious Lincoln Center in New York City and the soul-stirring Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. Guided by the brilliant J. B. Scott, UNF's first graduate of Jazz Studies, the program continues to produce extraordinary talent that enriches the city's musical fabric.

For Dakota Fogg, this internship with the Jacksonville Historical Society has been an eye-opening experience. As he delved into history, he honed his research skills and discovered a newfound appreciation for the city's musical heritage. With his heart set on returning to the Navy after graduation, Dakota believes that this journey with the historical society has equipped him with valuable skills that will serve him well in the future.

If you're as captivated by Jacksonville's musical journey as Dakota and Emily, you can play a part in preserving this rich history. Support the Jacksonville Historical Society as they continue their efforts to safeguard the city's cultural heritage. Together, let's keep the music alive, reverberating through the generations to come.