HOUSTON – Jermaine Morgan’s hometown is known for the Flywheel Festival and the Solar Car team and he wants it to also become know for creating musicians.
The Chickasaw County Instrumental Music Festival kicked off its second year this past weekend with crowds gathering in Joe Brigance Park to listen to Jazz, blues, pop and Gospel music from a wide variety of groups and musicians.
“I was pleased with the quality of musicians and the crowd was bigger than last year,” said Jermaine Morgan, an Atlanta music producer who grew up in Houston. “We are headed in the right direction and we will be back again next year.”
And between now and then, Morgan said he plans to meet with music teachers at schools around Chickasaw County about ways to bring instrumental music to kids in the community.
“I played tuba in the Houston High School band and it allowed me to earn a scholarship to Itawamba Community College, go on to the University of North Alabama and then start a business in Atlanta,” said Morgan. “I don’t know a band teacher in the world who doesn’t want to see one of their students pursue a successful career in music.”
Morgan said today’s youth want to play music off a CD or Ipod but have little interest in learning to play an instrument or read music.
“Kids don’t see how they can make a living playing music around here, but they can,” said Morgan. “I had a number of people influence me and encourage me to pursue a career in music. With this festival we hope to begin to change that outlook on music.”
This weekend’s lineup featured a number of new groups but also blues legend Sam Mosley, saxophonist Ron James and Group 2 Praise of Tupelo.
“The weather was perfect and everyone seem to have a great time,” said Morgan. “This park offers the perfect venue to do this kind of festival. We had vendors busy both days and people came back Saturday to enjoy the music.”
Vendors offered up everything from barbecue and hotdogs to cool drink and snowcones. Several civic clubs had events for kids.
Morgan said CCIMF will always be a family-friendly environment and attendees brought blankets and and spread them on the grass.
“CCIMF is also about bringing an awareness to the surrounding communities about health and social development,” Morgan said. “We believe that with help of God and through CCIMF we can impact a generation through music.”
Event sponsors included the City of Houston, Eddie Long, H.O.P.E, Clinton McFarland Ministries,
SR Designs, GruvGear, Remo, Vic Firth, New Zion M.B. Church, ND Man Productions, Christian Fellowship Church, Griffin Motors and One Body By AJ.
For more information about the Chickasaw County Instrumental Music Festival and how to be a part of next year’s event, visit jermainemorgan.net.