Dedicated to preserve and promote live jazz on the Space Coast
Space Coast Jazz Society (SCJS) has been echoing the rhythms of jazz on Florida's Space Coast for over three decades. With a mission to “keep jazz alive and well on the Space Coast,” our continued vibrancy owes much to our passionate members and dedicated volunteer Board of Directors. Our organization is run by a group of volunteers who are committed to bringing the best jazz music to the Space Coast community. We host live jazz performances and award scholarships for Brevard County high school seniors. We are constantly working to innovate and bring new and exciting jazz experiences to our audience. Join us in keeping jazz alive and thriving on the Space Coast!
HISTORY OF THE JAZZ SOCIETY OF BREVARD
By Alan Simms, Founder and Historian
The history of the Society may have begun in October 1984, when the Historian first conceived the idea of forming a club to promote and perpetuate jazz in Brevard County. Shortly thereafter, on November 11, 1984, the Jazz Club of Sarasota sponsored a seminar at Sarasota to assist newly forming clubs and other interested clubs in getting organized. The Historian attended the seminar, and it was well worth the time and effort to travel to Sarasota. The seminar was extremely well organized and presented a wealth of material and information to help new or newly forming clubs get organized or to smooth out existing organizations.
On return to Cocoa Beach, it became necessary to face the problem of recruiting members. This took several forms. First, the Historian, as a member of Musicians Local 389 in Orlando, had access to the union directory, which was screened for members residing in Brevard County. Preliminary communications went out to them. The response at that time was rather scanty./Next, our current Senior Director, Jack Simpson, was contacted for discussion and suggestions, in accordance with his wide experience in promoting jazz and his numerous contacts in the field of jazz. From this meeting came two positive results suggestion to submit a letter to the column known as HELP, then running in a local newspaper, and Jack's promise to pass the word to some of those friends whom he thought might be interested. The letter was submitted and published (It will be found in the accompanying files), and Jack produced several names that indicated their interest. A few more potential members called in as a result of word of mouth. All of the foregoing took place from the conclusion of the November seminar to about April 1, at which time invitations went out to a mailing list of 35-40 people who had expressed interest in attending a preliminary meeting on April 9, 1984, at the Kiwanis Hall in Merritt Island. A copy of the announcement is in the files.
In attendance at this first meeting were 20-25 people. A number of things were discussed. First, a name for the club. It was tentatively decided to call it the Cocoa Beach Jazz Club. (This was to be changed later) Some discussion of organization-by-laws, constitution, officers, elections, etc. It was finally decided that we should hold such matters in abeyance until we built up membership and got to know each other better, and to just meet and have fun, playing records, cassettes, video cassettes, and having jam sessions whenever enough musicians attended with their instruments. Also, at this meeting, Dennis Sommers, the Director of the Recreation Center at Indian Harbour Beach, offered us the facilities of the Center for monthly meetings on the first Thursday of each month. This became our "home for many months. The activities of the club during this period at Indian Harbour Beach are reflected in the announcements of meetings in the files.
A highlight was the decision to rename the club the JAZZ SOCIETY OF BREVARD. Read Original Letter
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Rose Marie Wiley