One for All and All for Music

by: Davis Yancy Clegg


Fireworks at the Fernandina Harbor Front

Fireworks at the Harbor Front in Historic Fernandina Beach.


Here in Paradise, one saying that always comes back around (at least among my friends and me) has always been, “don’t threaten me with a good time.” I can easily say, we live up to that challenge on daily basis. With the exception of destinations like New York City and LA and the like, even small towns with ambitions of expansion like ours, it is difficult to cater to every demographic all at once. However, when minds of different ambition gather to find a way, amazing things can happen.

For example, the Declaration of Independence. And that was well before we had the understandings and research capabilities that we so easily can access today. Rome may not have been built in a day, but they were also working with some pretty outdated resources. By outdated, I mean zero! Even the most brilliant minds are at the mercy of what is at hand to realize a vision. Fortunately, this is no longer a problem and our excuses for progressing as a business-savvy and cultured people. While we have made significant strides in the restaurant and night life on the Island, until recently we were lacking in one of the most important of a well-cultured population. While a few prominent figures have made significant strides in bringing island cuisine and local artists to the forefront of the arts presence on Amelia. Patrons of the arts have been longing for a larger music and art presence in our culture. At least that was the case until recently. Many of us are already familiar with one of Amelia Island’s most anticipated events of the year in Fernandina; the fireworks display that takes place every 4th of July on the downtown Fernandina Beach waterfront. This year, I have the honor of performing at our island 4th of July celebration followed by a performance of our national anthem, accompanied by the Nassau Community Band. All made possible by someone breaking new ground in music for Amelia Island. That brings me to our spotlighted Fernandinians today.

4thofJulyJay Robertson is a resident of Fernandina Beach that has gone above and beyond to enhance and really pioneer bringing National and Regional acts alike to the island. He has been responsible for smash hit events such as the Amelia Island Chili Cook where he filled Centre with all the noteworthy business bringing the “heat,” so to speak. Shortly after the cook off. Seeing success in bringing massive crowds out to his previous events, Jay had the idea to bring some of the hottest festival bands to the island for a Slide into Spring Craft Beer and Music Festival. It was a hit! With artists like the Tim Reynolds Trio and Matisyahu to our little island town, he gave islanders an affordable way to see their favorite festival bands without spending a small fortune to travel hours a while and pay hundreds of dollars per ticket. I had a chance to speak with Jay and ask him what made him take such a huge initiative in his community. He replied with a fond and reflective tone, “I just wanted to provide a larger fan based local music scene because I always saw the kids in our area traveling to see shows, and I wanted to bring it to them in their backyard. Watching them enjoy Keller Williams at Main Beach at our first big show is my best memory to date.” Well Jay, especially as being one of the artist you reached out to, I believe I can speak on behalf of the live music loving people here when I say, “Thank you!” We are all excited to see what you come up with next! So, everyone mark your calendars. On July 4th, where Centre Street meets the Intracoastal is the place to be.


From our family at Amelia River Cruises, Happy Independence Day to All!


What an enjoyable way to end Independence Day watching the fireworks by boat! There will be two sunset cruises to choose from.  Both will depart at 8pm and return around 10pm.  The fireworks are scheduled to start around 9:30pm. So get your tickets before they are all sold out.




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