Meet the Musician
Janae is a drummer and percussionist currently going back and forth between Tallahassee and Jacksonville for Amplify weddings and events. She graduated from Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and is currently adding a degree in Jazz Performance at Florida State University. Janae has always had a passion for music; getting her first keyboard at the age of 6. She first began playing percussion at the age of 11 at Lavilla School of the Arts and then auditioned for the Lavilla Jazz Band when she was 12.
Inspired by the critically acclaimed film, Chops, which documented the path of the Douglas Anderson Jazz Band winning the Essentially Ellington Competition in the early 2000s, she knew she wanted to have a voice through drums. It became her mission to leave a stinging impact on the jazz community.
Since then, she has been a member of NYO Jazz, Douglas Anderson Wind Symphony, Jazz Ensemble 1, Symphonic Band, Jazz Ensemble 2, Florida All-State Concert Band, John Lumpkin II Jazz Institute, and has performed at the 72nd Midwest Clinic, Jacksonville Jazz Festival and Teddy Adam’s Future of Jazz Concert in Savannah, Georgia. She has performed with the great Ernie Watts, Jimmy Owens, Teddy Adams, Wycliffe Gordon, and Sean Jones and helped win the 42nd annual Downbeat Large Jazz Ensemble Award and the Jacksonville University Jazz Festival. She attended the New School’s Summer Jazz Intensive and even made it to callbacks for both prestigious music conservatories, Manhattan School of Music and Juilliard.
Janae has played numerous gigs around town with numerous professional musicians from various groups. She has been studying with/mentored by John Lumpkin Jr. for six plus years, has been taught/mentored by Ulysses Owens Jr., and has been taught by Leon Anderson. She is heavily influenced by drummers, Max Roach, Philly Joe Jones, and Elvin Jones. She is very inspired by the lives of successful drummers that have gone to the same schools and lived in the same city as her, such as Jamison Ross and Ulysses Owens Jr.
Janae's goal for the future is to use her studies and experience to ameliorate her musicianship, artistry, and character, become an inspiration to those like her who want to use their art to create change in the world, and serve as an idol for increased representation of black women within the jazz community.