What does it mean to have a vision?


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Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them. – John Maxwell

In jazz music, “vision” refers to the overarching artistic and creative perspective that a musician or a group of musicians bring to their performance and composition. It encompasses their individual and collective musical ideas, influences, innovations, and aspirations. It’s about how they interpret and express the essence of jazz through their unique artistic vision, which may include elements such as improvisation, rhythm, harmony, melody, and interaction among musicians. It’s what sets apart one jazz musician or ensemble from another and shapes their distinctive sound and style. ⁠⁠

Meets the teachers

John A. Lumpkin II

John Lumpkin II is a producer, mentor, and artist. He obtains a Bachelor’s degree in Jazz Studies from the University of North Florida under the direction of Danny Gottlieb and a Master’s degree from Florida State University under the leadership of Leon Anderson. In 2009 he was also a part of the Ravinia Steans music institute and betty carter jazz ahead program,  John grew up in the Pentecostal church and still plans to exercise his gifts there as well as in other national venues. However, he says “The church is the root of my zeal for music and forever shall be”. 

While carrying his talents between Japan and Switzerland, he has also internationally been a part of the Jazz at Lincoln Centers Artist in Residency Program.  In 2017 Wynton Marsalis combined with the Dr. Phillips Fine Arts Center in Orlando, FL to create the Dr. Phillips Jazz Orchestra of which John was a part. 

Along with his passion for the church, he is also a part of Beyond Music. Beyond Music is an online platform where artists from around the world can create music.  The late co-founder Tina Turner was a part of the Ambassadors for this movement and the artistic directors have been Larry Klien, Manu Katche, Michael League, and Bill Laurance.  

Throughout his career, John has shared the stage with artists such as Emmet Cohen, Delfeayo Marsalis, Sean Jones, Marcus Roberts, Arturo Sandoval, Curtis Fuller, Doug Carn, Houston Person, Rufus Reid, Vanessa Rubin, James Moody, Nathan Davis, and David Baker. From serving on staff at the University of North Florida and Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, he is also the founder of the Jazz Discovery Series, The John Lumpkin Institute, and The Covenant which extends to the community based in Jacksonville, FL and abroad. His level of expectancy drives him to see many other things emerging from his gift of music to the world through his faith.

Christie Dashiell
Born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Greenville, NC, contemporary jazz vocalist Christie N. Dashiell honed her skills at Howard University and later at the Manhattan School of Music. Ms. Dashiell’s trajectory includeSemperformances with Howard’s premiere vocal jazz ensemble, Afro Blue. She has also performed at the Kennedy Center as a participant in the 2010 Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead program; at the Lincoln Theater in Washington, D.C.; and, as a part of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Jazz for Young People program. She is the recipient of DownBeat magazine’s Best College Graduate Jazz Vocalist and Outstanding Soloist awards in the jazz vocal category. Most recently, Ms. Dashiell appeared on season three of NBC’s The Sing-Off, as a member of Afro Blue. She can be heard on several nationally released recordings including John Blake’s Motherless Child, The Jolley Brothers’ memoirs Between Brothers, and as a Kennedy Center Discovery Artist on NPR’s JazzSet hosted by Dee Dee Bridgewater. She has since performed in concert withemesperanza Spalding, Fred Hammond, Smokey Robinson, Geri Allen, and Allan Harris.

Ruben Fox

Ruben Fox is fast becoming one of the UK’s most outstanding Saxophonists. Steeped in the lineage of Swing and the Blues, Ruben’s husky tone & exciting double time figures define his sound. 

Hailing from Brixton, South London, he started playing for his Fathers carnival troupe aged 10. Through Kinetika Bloco he was introduced to the music of Sun Ra, Alice Coltrane, Fela Kuti and many more, with peers from Kinetika he then joined the Tomorrow’s Warriors program where he started to practice and concentrate on Jazz. At 16, he began to cut his teeth at the Ronnie Scotts Late night sessions. Now 21, he is studying at Trinity College of music, runs his own Quartet and Quintet. As well as this he appears as a sideman in many other ensembles, and continues to be actively involved in London’s Jam sessions. 

He has performed with: Jerry Dammers Spatial AKA Arkestra, Kinetika Bloco, Jay Phelps, Abram Wilson, Tomorrows Warriors Youth Big Band, Cecila Stalin, Reuben James Trio and more.