Celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month on the WJCT Soundstage 

Media Contact: 

Neily Braren, Promotion & Marketing Associate

904.318.2633 • nbraren@wjct.org

Jacksonville, Fla. — April 18, 2024 — WJCT Public Media and the Jacksonville Music Experience present Jazz in Jax: An Evening of Discussion and Music Celebrating Jazz Appreciation Month on the WJCT Soundstage on Saturday, April 27, from 6-9 pm. Jazz in Jax features a panel discussion and a live jazz-jam performance led by Jacksonville-bred, Grammy Award-winning musician and educator Ulysses Owens, Jr. The panel discussion, led by Owens, Jr., will delve into various topics and illuminate the history and contemporary vibrancy of jazz, the true American art form, in Jacksonville and beyond. 

The event coincides with the premiere of Jazz Beyond Tradition, a new two-hour program hosted by Owens, Jr., and award-winning radio and podcast personality Keanna Faircloth (NPR Music, WBGO, Artimacy Podcast). The program airs on Sunday nights on WJCT News 89.9 from April 21 to May 26. 

Additional panelists include Faircloth; JME contributor, artist, and DJ Mr. Al Pete; local jazz promoters Cara Murphy (venue operator at Blue Jay Listening Room); Yhang Quintero (owner/operator of Wildcrafters); Jeanetta Cebollero (musician and director of Bites, Bubbles and Jazz); Josh Floyd (owner of Josephine and founder of the Lounge Series); and local jazz musician Tracy Morris. Full bios are below. 

“Ulysses is a powerhouse musician who exemplifies what it means to take jazz beyond tradition,” says Faircloth of her Jazz Beyond Tradition co-host, whose new album, A New Beat, has, as of press time, enjoyed the top spot on the Jazz Week charts for eight consecutive weeks. “Ulysses’ music and mission has been to carry on the jazz tradition while looking ahead to the future, literally taking the next generation of musicians along for the ride. He’s also a well-respected native of Jacksonville who serves the community through his talent.” 

“Keanna is the Queen of jazz radio, in my humble opinion, because she loves and lives for the music and the culture wholeheartedly,” says Owens, Jr. “She has been on the air successfully for over two decades and understands what the listeners need from the music. She is an ambassador for the present and future of jazz radio, anchored in the tradition. We are super fortunate to have someone with her national reach working with us at WJCT.” 

Event Schedule

  • 6:00 pm – Doors open
  • 6:00-6:30 pm – Reception (cash bar, food truck), performance by UNF Jazz Trio led by Pablo Duque.
  • 6:30-7:30 pm – Panel discussion and audience Q&A
  • 7:30-9:00 pm – Jazz Jam hosted by Ulysses Owens, Jr.


Ulysses Owens, Jr. is a three-time Grammy Award-winning musician, producer, educator, and author. Owens, Jr.’s music has been praised by the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Downbeat, and more, and he’s played on releases by Kurt Elling and The Christian McBride Big Band, among others. Aside from recently releasing his eighth studio album, Owens Jr. has authored three books, his latest is called The Essential Guide to the Large Ensemble, and he’s a regular contributor to the Jacksonville Music Experience, WJCT Public Media’s music platform. He’s a faculty member at The Juilliard School, where he’s the director of the small ensemble program.  He’s also the artistic director for his family’s arts non-profit organization in Jacksonville, Florida,

Don’t Miss A Beat and the newly appointed artistic director for the Friday Musicale Summer Jazz Camp in Jacksonville. He has a three-year appointment as the educational artist in residence for SF Performances in San Francisco, CA. 

Keanna Faircloth is a radio personality, writer, and advocate for artists. From 2019-2022, she hosted Afternoon Jazz on WBGO 88.3 FM in Newark, NJ. While at WBGO, Faircloth created and produced the widely acclaimed interview series, The Pulse. She is the creator and host of the podcast Artimacy, where she has interviewed artists like Robert Glasper, Dionne Warwick, Wynton Marsalis, Melba Moore, and countless others. In 2019 she was named a Future African American Leader in Radio by Radio Ink magazine. She has written for WBGO, WRTI, The New York Times, and NPR Music and is also a contributor on NPR’s New Music Friday edition of All Songs Considered, and a music contributor on NPR’s Here and Now. She is currently the artist relations coordinator for jazz and classical piano at Yamaha.

Mr. Al Pete is a musician, podcaster, and journalist who founded The MPN Network website. The site covers arts, music, and culture and hosts podcasts from various Jacksonville personalities under the Neighborhood Podcast Network banner. He’s also the vice president of digital for the National Association of Black Journalists’ Jacksonville chapter and hosts the radio show The Neighborhood at 9 p.m. on WJCT News 89.9. 

Cara Murphy is the sole owner-operator-proprietress of the award-winning Jacksonville music venue, Blue Jay Listening Room. Voted one of the top ten listening rooms in the United States, Blue Jay has been home to the original Jazz Jam in Jax Beach since 2018. A Jacksonville native, Murphy saw a need for an intimate, original music venue in her community. After years of planning and construction, her vision of the Blue Jay Listening Room became a reality in 2017.  Having been open for almost seven years, Murphy continues to book up to seven weekly shows and champions the jazz community with the weekly Blue Jay Jazz Jam every Tuesday night.

Yhang Quintero is a father and the owner of Wildcrafters, a bar in Jacksonville’s Riverside neighborhood, where he promotes mindful nightlife fun and loves to throw great parties. With a background in graphic design, Yhang is also a skilled networker, having “met no stranger” in his life. He is deeply passionate about live music, particularly jazz, which has become a significant part of his life through his friendship with jazz musicians. Wildcrafter often hosts live music, including the Wildcrafters Jazz Jam Series—led by Ulysses Owens, Jr.–-every summer. 

Tracy Morris is a respected saxophonist, educator, and director of the Morris Music Academy in Jacksonville Beach, FL. His career spans national performances at festivals and prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall. Additionally, as the director of educational programming at Beaches Fine Arts Series, Morris advocates for musical enrichment and equitable access to the arts, impacting diverse communities in Jacksonville.

Jeanetta Cebollero is a resident of Saint Augustine, a wife and mother, a career performer, bandleader, and frontwoman of the ten-time regional award-winning funk band Ramona + the Riot. Cebollero owns a music booking and festival production company, Ancient City Entertainment, as well as a live music venue, restaurant, and full bar. She has dedicated her life’s work to cultivating experiences that empower herself and others to use creativity and expression in live music fearlessly.

Josh Floyd owns Josephine, an Italian-American restaurant in Avondale. He was recognized for the restaurant’s interior design, which he created along with his significant other, Nicole Prieto, and local designer Fitz Pullins. Floyd and Preito launched “The Lounge Series” in 2023, an intimate, limited-seating dining experience with performances by some of the region’s top jazz musicians in a listening room vibe.


About WJCT Public Media:

WJCT is a community-owned and operated public media organization serving Jacksonville and the First Coast since 1958, using television, radio, digital media, and live events to help community members learn, share, and grow. For more information on WJCT’s in-depth programming content, log on to WJCT Online at wjct.org. Like WJCT on Facebook (facebook.com/wjctjax) and follow WJCT on Twitter (@WJCTJax) and Instagram (@WJCTJax).

About Jacksonville Music ExperienceFrom WJCT Public Media, the Jacksonville Music Experience is a nonprofit, publicly supported music platform based in Jacksonville, Florida. In addition to WJCT’s three music stations (Classical 24, Anthology, and The Independent), Music Thursdays on Jax PBS, and live events from the JME Soundstage, JME features music news and reviews, artist profiles, deep dives into music history, think-pieces and concert recommendations. For more information, visit jaxmusic.org, and follow JME on Facebook (facebook.com/JMEJaxMusic), Twitter (@JMEJaxMusic) and Instagram (@JMEJaxMusic).