Host Band

The Kelly/Scott Quintet

jazz jam hosts


Lisa Kelly


A 2013 festival “Hall of Fame” Inductee, Lisa has 8 individual Downbeat Magazine Awards for voice, composing, and arranging, and is profiled among 323 international jazz artists in the 2010 book, “The New Face of Jazz.” She has been the featured vocalist with the Larry Elgart Orchestra, Chris Riddle Orchestra, St. Johns River City Band, Marine All-Star Big Band, UNF JE 1, the 2000 IAJE “Sisters In Jazz” International All-Female Combo, and many others. She has appeared with Bunky Green, Carmen Bradford, Ed Calle, Arturo Sandoval, Jane Monheit, Slide Hampton, and other notables, performed at IAJE, JEN, FMEA, the Kennedy Center, and many major clubs and jazz festivals. Lisa is the 1 st UNF alumni to hold both B.M. and M.M. degrees in vocal jazz studies and performance. Regarded as a vocal jazz pioneer in the southeast, she has created mentoring opportunities for high school to adult aspiring vocalists, presented clinics, taught at camps, adjudicated, and presented an annual 1-day “Swingin’ Summer Jazz Vocal Workshop” each June. A former festival piano competition volunteer and co-presenter of “Jazz For Kids” outreach concerts, she established the Jacksonville Jazz Jam Session in 1997, hosting it annually.


JB Scott


Profiled among 323 international jazz artists in the 2010 book, “The New Face of Jazz,” JB was the former leader of the famed Duke of Dixieland in New Orleans, playing on several CD’s and the PBS special “A Salute to Jelly Roll Morton,” performing with Skitch Henderson and the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall. Through years of international performance, his many appearances have been with Arturo Sandoval, the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, Tim Hagans, Al Hirt, Paquito D’Rivera, Lynn Seaton, Ed Calle, the St. Johns River City Band, and others. JB’s hard swinging, soulful lines, a la Freddie Hubbard-Clark Terry-Dizzy Gillespie, skillfully reflect his level of experience and versatility of style, documented on his six CDs and on many other projects. The 1st graduate of the UNF jazz program, JB is the Coordinator of Jazz Studies, Director of the UNF Great American Jazz Series, and directs the UNF JE I big band, winner of the 2015 Downbeat Magazine’s “Best Large Jazz Ensemble” undergrad award, often backing major artists on the Jacksonville Jazz Festival and annually on the Savannah Jazz Festival.


Scott Giddens


With roots in jazz, gospel, soul, classical, and R & R, playing piano and organ since his youth, Scott has performed on many U.S. and international stages, from clubs and major resorts, to named venues and major festivals, including the Kennedy Center, the North Sea Festival, and the Jacksonville Jazz Festival, to concert halls in Russia, Australia, and France. He has appeared with many notables including the Brecker Brothers, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Dominick Farinacci, Wycliffe Gordon, Ira Sullivan, Ricky Skaggs, and Rene Marie, and Maceo Parker. Scott has been featured as a group leader and in groups that include the St. Johns River City Band, UNF JE 1, the Kelly/Scott Quintet, and others, and has played on numerous recordings. Earning both his B.M. and M.M. Degrees in Jazz Studies and Performance at UNF, Scott has served as Music Director at New Life Christian Fellowship, Minister of Music at Southside Baptist Church, as a professor of jazz piano at Jacksonville University, and is now an adjunct professor at UNF teaching jazz piano and combos.


Dennis Marks


Bassist for 19 years with Arturo Sandoval, Dennis was featured on 6 Sandoval recordings, including the Grammy award-winning “Hot House.” A notable composer and arranger, 2 of his compositions are included on Sandoval’s “My Passion for the Piano” CD. Dennis has played and recorded with Maynard Ferguson Big Bop Nouveau Band, Woody Herman’s Thundering Herd band, Dizzy Gillespie, Dave Liebman, Bob Mintzer, Pat Matheny, St. Johns River City Band, and others. Performing internationally for over 30 years, he has appeared on every major jazz festival, and has served annually as bassist for the Jacksonville Jazz Festival Piano Competition and in the host group for the Jacksonville Jazz Festival Jam Session. Professor of bass at UNF, he directs the UNF JE II big band and teaches other courses. He has released several well received CDs and has been featured on many other projects.


Jeremy Smith


Mentored in a home of renowned jazz musicians, Jeremy won many music recognitions throughout his years at LaVilla Middle School of the Arts and Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. He was the co-drummer of the D.A. Jazz Ensemble I big band featured in the documentary Chops winning 1 st place in the 2006 Essentially Ellington Competition in New York City. In 2008, he was awarded the “Best Drummer” of that same competition, and selected for the FMEA All-State Jazz Band performing at the Tampa, Florida convention. With private lessons from Rick Kirkland and later Danny Gottlieb, Jeremy was performing professionally at age 18 with various regional small groups and big bands that included the St. Johns River City Big Band. Attending FAMU, playing with faculty and the top jazz ensemble, he then served four years in the USMC, performing with the Marine Corp Band New Orleans and other ensembles. Attaining the rank of Sergeant, Jeremy performed on more than 250 concerts, parades and ceremonies in NOLA and around the country, appearing on national TV, and playing with jazz notables that included Ellis Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, and Irvin Mayfield, while playing gigs at night in Nola. Living in Jacksonville, FL, Jeremy is a top call drummer in the region, playing professionally while completing a degree in business at UNF. Sitting in as a young student to play in the Jacksonville Jam Session, Jeremy returns years later as a member of the host group.