Fans of Jazz from across the Country gathered together from June. 24 through the 26 to attend the 2018 Jacksonville Jazz Festival. Not even Sub-Tropical Storm Alberto was enough to put a damper on the swinging good time of the festival.
The three decades old festival took place in multiple different venues throughout downtown Jacksonville. It is as if the city shut down and became a Jazz Mecca. Welcoming its guests with music, games, shops, and so much more.
We at Entertainment Stew were lucky enough to cover the performance of Jonathan Baptiste and the Urban Intellectuals.
For a quarter century, the federal government provided funding for cities large and small to raze "blighted" or "slum" neighborhoods. Though improved housing opportunities were the ostensible goal, over time, cities used federal funds to stimulate commercial and industrial redevelopment. Through these programs, cities displaced hundreds of thousands of families from their homes and neighborhoods.
By the late 1950s, cities were displacing tens of thousands of families each year, with families of color displaced at rates far higher than their share of the population. Though residents displaced through eminent domain were meant to receive some combination of compensation, relocation assistance, or placement in public housing, these federally guaranteed measures were often too meager, late in coming, or never delivered.
Yet in these “urban” areas there were individuals that refused to leave and stayed to enlighten their communities. These people helped spark the name: The Urban Intellectuals.
Jonathan Baptiste & the Urban intellectuals look to follow this path and educate and inspire people with their music. The members of this band look to set a consistent example and be consistent role models to the inner cry youth. Showing that anyone can do anything they want no matter their skin color.
The group, The Urban Intellectuals is built with some of the best musicians Florida has to offer. The phrase “Urban Intellectuals” is derived from the phrase “Urban Renewal.”