By REBEKAH RAY
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,”
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
“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
Carter said if weather permits there will be an outside
stage set up for acoustics, besides the indoor rock and roll, blues and
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
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