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By REBEKAH RAY rlr017@latech

By REBEKAH RAY

rlr017@latech.edu

 

Students who do not attend the “Eighth Annual Johnny Simoneaux Memorial Jam” at 5 p.m. Feb. 24 at Sundown Tavern, located on 111 E. Park Ave., will miss a lot of music, a lot of great food and a lot of fun, said Ken Carter, of the Ruston Road Kings band.

This year the Road Kings are hosting the memorial jam that has gone on since 2000, in memory of John Simoneaux, a graduate of Tech’s School of Music.

Simoneaux was killed in 2000, when an 18-wheeler rear-ended his vehicle. Carter said Simoneaux’s friends and family decided early on to establish a memorial scholarship fund named after Simoneaux.

They constructed the memorial jam as a way to raise money. After a few expenses, all the money raised in the event will go to the fund.

“There’s around $45,000 in [the John Simoneaux Memorial Fund] now, and $5,000 or $6,000 of that will be awarded to this year’s recipient,” Carter said.

Josh Carver, a senior music major, is the most recent recipient of the scholarship.

Carver will be performing classical guitar selections at this year’s jam, and possibly other acoustic pieces.

“A big part of my school is paid for by this scholarship,” Carver said. “When I transferred to Tech, I was pretty much on my own, financially, and this helps out a lot.”

Laura Thompson, an associate professor of music, said she has instructed Carver in the university concert choir just as she instructed Simoneaux during his time at Tech.

“What I remember about John was just his love for music,” Thompson said.

She said she did not know of a better student than Carver to receive the award that honors Simoneaux.

This year, groups will arrive Feb. 24 and sign up to perform, Carter said.

“Music is from five until midnight, and each group has 15 minutes to get up and perform,” Carter said.

He said Tech students interested in performing at the jam should show up early and get their names on the list.

“The equipment is [already] set up,” Carter said. “They’ll use the same set of drums. There’ll be guitar amplifiers, bass amplifiers and keyboard all set up. All they have to do is bring their instrument, plug up and play.”

Admission is $10, for the music and a plate of food.

There will also be T-shirts for sale, silent auctions throughout the evening and a raffle drawing.

Carter said the $2 raffle tickets are for a prize of two tickets to see Eric Clapton in concert Feb. 28 in Dallas.

Carter encouraged students to mark the date on their calendars.

“A lot of the Tech students who’ve come before, first say that $10 is a lot of money,” Carter said. “Then they get there and they see that they get all that music and all that food for 10 bucks, they hang all night.”

Carter said if weather permits there will be an outside stage set up for acoustics, besides the indoor rock and roll, blues and electric.

At previous jams, anywhere from 85 to 130 different artists have performed, Carter said.

“There’s no telling who’ll show up this year,” Carter said.

Bands and artists, among the 40-plus groups that the Ruston Road Kings expect may show up, include Mike’O, Terminal Degree, Johnny O’Neal, Blues Legacy and Boss Cotton.

More information on the event can be found at www.rustonroadkings.us/johnsimoneaux.html.


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