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Jazz Copeland


ACTU presents Jazz Copeland on Friday

Arts for the Community at Thomas University presents Jazz Copeland as the first concert of the Friday at Noon series. The concert will take place in the chapel of the Thomasville First United Methodist Church located at 425 N. Broad St. in Thomasville, on Friday, Sept. 18, at noon.

Jazz Copeland is a band that seamlessly merges elements from jazz, pop and soul in a way that defies definition. Described by Jazz & Blues Florida as “imaginative and creative in ways different from the past and present,” they’re anything but your run-of-the-mill jazz or pop band.

The band features renowned singer Avis Berry, alto saxophonist Chris Rochester, keyboardist Evan Powell, drummer Gerald Watkins, and lastly the band’s founder, bassist Brandon Robertson. All five members came together as a band in Tallahassee, Florida, in the spring of 2014. Having all been a part of Florida State University’s College of Music, they decided on their name by way of Copeland Street, the street the music building faces.

“It’s where we hung out and shared ideas,” explained Powel, a professional pianist since age 17. “We grew as people and musicians right off of that street, so it only seems fitting.”

Berry said, “There’s just so much to explore in a song. It’s freeing to just open your mind and let a song take you to that new place where it feels it wants you to go.

 “At first we didn’t really have a clear idea of what our sound was going to be like, but as we played together it just started to click. Soon we knew that we were creating something different,” continued Berry, who has toured internationally and shared the stage with Bobby McFerrin and Dave Brubeck.

Since its founding, the band has been on a mission of fun with a purpose.

“We want to bring jazz into the light of the 21st century, infusing it with pop and soul elements that will give people the chance to hear and think about music in a fun new way,” exclaimed Robertson, who has performed in such famous venues as Blues Alley and The Jazz Estate.

With a unique and energetic sound that has yet to be duplicated, it’s clear that Jazz Copeland has succeeded in doing something that hasn’t been done before. They’re making some pretty awesome music doing it.

“I am very excited about having Jazz Copeland perform on our series,” stated coordinator Dr. Karl Barton. “This will be a great way to begin our ACTU Friday at Noon concerts for the season.”

The concert is free and open to the public. A complimentary luncheon provided by the church will follow the performance. For additional information, visit or call 229-227-6964.​

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