Jimmie Lunceford Festival & Film

***For More Information On The 2018 Jimmie Lunceford Jamboree Festival Week Celebration Check Out The Following Link***

Please Join Us For The 2018 Jimmie Lunceford Jamboree Festival, Memphis, TN 10/21-10/28!!!


***Please Help Us Honor Jimmie Lunceford Aka 'The Real King Of Swing' & 'The Father Of Memphis Music Education' With A Proper Annual Celebration & A Proper Feature Length Film Documentary To Tell His Incredible Story!!!***

Who Was Jimmie Lunceford???

"Jimmie Lunceford has the best of all bands. Duke [Ellington] is great, [Count] Basie is remarkable, but Lunceford tops them both."

-- Legendary Swing Band Leader Glenn Miller


"Jimmy Lunceford was buried here in Memphis. The spot he occupies should have something of a special significance. ... He took a group of relatively unsophisticated Memphis colored boys and welded them into an organization which scaled the heights of musical eminence. ... He presented something new in the way of musical presentations by Negro orchestras. Lunceford and many others like him chose to remain at home, and with their people. [His death] should have meaning in inspiration and guidance to others. If we permit it, Lunceford's burial in Memphis can mean this."

--Legendary Memphis Educator And Syndicated Columnist Nat D. Williams


"Manassas had the first orchestra of any school in the city with Mr. Lunceford. He was a good disciplinarian, a good teacher, and the students just had a fit over him. Lunceford played sophisticated jazz. I used to practice with them."

-- Kathryn Perry Thomas, Beloved Memphis Educator & Manassas High Class of 1932 (JimmieLunceford.com, 2008)


"He would come over to the school each and every time he would play Memphis. His band would perform for the [Manassas] student body, and our band, the Little Rhythm Bombers, would play for him. This is where most of us, as students, saw him. He would bring the big band over to Manassas and perform." 

--Memphis Music Great, Educator & Manassas Rhythm Bomber Emerson, Jr. (JimmieLunceford.com, 2008)


WHY #JimmieLuncefordMatters #Jazznocracy2017

On June 6, 1902, in Fulton, Mississippi, a music genius was born!!! Although in 2009 he was finally awarded a long overdue brass note on the street (Beale Street) that he helped made famous, the tantalizing question still remains for many in 'The City of Good Abode': Who Was Jimmie Lunceford???

Please Help Us Honor Jimmie Lunceford Aka 'The Real King Of Swing' & 'The Father Of Memphis Music Education' With A Proper Annual Celebration & Proper Documentary To Tell His Incredible Story!!!

Jimmie Lunceford was the first high school band director in Memphis City Schools History. He started music education in the Memphis City Schools as a volunteer at the first public high school that went to the 12th grade for Blacks in Shelby County, Manassas High School. Ironically he was not hired to be a music instructor but a physical education instructor in addition to being the football, baseball, basketball and track coach as well as English/Spanish and sometimes history teacher. He started the first high school band at Manassas High School with no money, but with a lot of self-determination and self-confidence. He knew that music could help in building black youths' self esteem and instill community pride. Jimmie Lunceford through his pioneering efforts also started the first jazz studies program in U.S. public schools history. He eventually selected nine of his best music students and several college friends from Fisk University to form arguably the greatest jazz swing band of the 1930s and 1940s.  

His band became known as 'The Chickasaw Syncopators' and was very popular locally, appearing  at many Memphis area dances and even on the radio....They first recorded on June 6, 1930, Lunceford's 28th Life Affirmation Day...1930 is also the year that Jimmie Lunceford quits the day job and pursues his dream of music stardom full time.  

In 1934, the Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra eventually took over as the house band at the legendary Cotton Club where they literally became household names due to live regular national radio broadcasts from that venue. His Orchestra was nicknamed 'The Harlem Express' because of their overwhelming popularity NATIONALLY with the African American dance community of the 1930s & 40s... His fame also extended beyond that proud community for he was also recognized by the larger national and international audiences as well...

The Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra was the top attraction at the legendary Apollo Theatre for a whole decade and was the first Black jazz orchestra to integrate the prestigious Paramount Theatre in New York City (which included back-to-back sold out engagements for several weeks)…

(Picture) The Magic Johnson & Larry Bird Of Swing: Jimmie Lunceford & Glenn Miller

Jimmie Lunceford was nicknamed 'The King Of The Battle Of The Bands' because his orchestra would constantly beat the best bands of the day in music competition and fan appeal which included Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Chick Webb, Benny Goodman & Glenn Miller...Jimmie Lunceford was also a 'movie star' (orchestra performed in the popular 1941 movie musical “Blues In The Night" and also in a 1936 film short) and his songs appeared in numerous popular cartoons of the day as well.

He owned and flew his own airplanes at a time when African Americans were not even allowed to attend flight schools in the U.S. Jimmie Lunceford was also a philanthropist. He gave large sums of money to start music education programs throughout the country to keep kids out of trouble and in school. He was truly a man ‘of’ as well as ‘ahead’ of his times.

READ: Southern Exposure: Searching for clues to the death of a bandleader~Memphis man comes to study Lunceford mystery:

Unfortunately, Jimmie died under ‘mysterious circumstances’ at the peak of his career on July 12, 1947, while signing autographs in Seaside, Oregon. He was only 45 years old. His funerals were attended by thousands in both New York and Memphis. Unfortunately, the mortal remains of Jimmie Lunceford and his legacy it seems has laid forgotten about in historic Elmwood Cemetery in south Memphis for almost 70 years…Until now…


Help Us As We Pay Homage To A Great Man Via A New Annual Tradition & Long Overdue Documentary...The soon to be annual "Jimmie Lunceford Jamboree Festival" will take place this fall October 23-29, 2017 at several locations throughout Memphis, TN...The festival will include panel discussions, film screenings, art exhibit, intergenerational jam sessions, a battle of the bands among the best high school jazz bands in the greater Mid-South Area as well as a dancing competition which will feature some of the dances of Jimmie Lunceford's heyday: The Lindy Hop, The Jitterbug, The Charleston & Others...There will also be a jazz concert with the headliner being none other than the phenomenal Sun Ra Arkestra!!! The late great jazz mystic Sun Ra was a great admirer of Jimmie Lunceford.

Money is needed to cover expenses for booking the Sun Ra Arkestra as well as to cover production costs which also include event insurances and rental fees for spaces to hold certain events during that week...Also  promotional expenses to let people know about this historic week will be covered as well by your generous donation.

Money is not the end but is a means to a beautiful end that everyone can ultimately benefit from...No $$$ donation is too small or insignificant when it comes to supporting a cause that is greater than any one individual...However, The More You Do Give, The More Rewards & 'Gifts' You Will Receive From Us!!! 

Your Monetary Gift Will Also Go A Long Way in Supporting The 1st Feature Length Film Documentary On The Amazing Life & Legacy Of Jimmie Lunceford...
This documentary has been 10 years in the making and will feature such jazz luminaries such as the late Gerald Wilson, Jimmy Heath, Randy Weston and more to come...The documentary will also deal  with the details surrounding his mysterious and controversial death...The documentary will also attempt to answer another mysterious question: How did he learn to fly airplanes in a country at that time that wouldn't allow Blacks to attend flight schools???

The money collected will go to the production costs of the film which will include hiring a great sound and editing team, paying licensing fees for music, film and other intellectual properties to help tell this amazing story...The money collected will also cover traveling and research expenses which also include interviews...

The Jimmie Lunceford Jamboree Festival Is An Event Featured Under The W.E. A.L.L. B.E. Group Inc. Which Is A 501 C3 Organization Which Means The Following:


The Jimmie Lunceford Jamboree Festival Movement takes great pride and honor in honoring a true gentleman whose creative genius and legacy knows no boundaries...James “Jimmie” Melvin Lunceford was considered by many to be among jazz's greatest swing band leaders IF NOT THE GREATEST SWING BAND LEADER OF THEM ALL!!! Memphis Music Owes A Debt To The Visionary & Pioneering Efforts Of Jimmie Lunceford...And He Thought Enough Of Memphis That He Decided To Be Buried Here...Let's Give Him The Homecoming That He Deserves!!!

Jazznocracily yours,

Bro. Ron aka R2c2h2 Tha Artivist, The Founder Of The Jimmie Lunceford Wreath Laying Ceremony & The Jimmie Lunceford Jamboree Festival


For More Information About Jimmie Lunceford & The Jimmie Lunceford Jamboree Festival Check Out The Following Links: 

Official Website:




The Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra in Action, Amazing 1936 Short Film: 


W.E. A.L.L. B.E. TV: Jimmie Lunceford A Memphis Legend: 


W.E. A.L.L. B.E. TV: JazzIN' @ Manassas High: THE MEmphis SoUNd Goes To School #ASALH2016 


W.E. A.L.L. B.E. TV: SavINg Black Lives Through Rhythm Was His Business: Jimmie Lunceford's Mission 


W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News: Wreath Laying Ceremony & Birthday Tribute Swings Forgotten Jazz Great’s Contributions Back Into The Spotlight…


W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News: Jazznocracy At Its Finest: Jimmie Lunceford Mississippi Blues Trail Marker Ceremony


W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio Special~1st Annual Jimmie Lunceford Jamboree Festival Radio Program:


W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio Special~2nd Annual Jimmie Lunceford Jamboree Festival Radio Program:


  • Manassas High Alumni Association
    • $154 (Offline)
    • 6 yrs
  • Reginald Tate
    • $500 (Offline)
    • 6 yrs
  • Dr. James Gholson
    • $50 (Offline)
    • 6 yrs
  • Humanities Tennessee
    • $2,500 (Offline)
    • 6 yrs
  • Johnnie Turner
    • $150 (Offline)
    • 6 yrs


Ronald Mba Herd II
Memphis, TN

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