CMC Hosts Florida R&B legend Little Jake Mitchell and His New Band, The Soul Searchers Live in Concert--2 Sets!

Published Jimmy - Mon, 02/22/2010 - 9:32pm

The Civic Media Center will host a concert featuring Gainesville-based blues, gospel and R&B singer Little Jake Mitchell and his new band, The Soul Searchers, on Friday, March 5th, at 8pm.

This concert is part of a local grassroots effort to have Mr. Mitchell and the surviving members of his original band, which helped integrate the UF Gator Growl in 1960, included in the lineup for Gator Growl 2010. In 1960 Arnold Jake Mitchell was frontman for the R&B group "Little Jake and the Blenders.” They made history in 1960 by participating in the first desegregated homecoming celebration. The Blenders became the first African American singing group to perform at the Gator Growl. UF officials put 10,000 extra bleachers in the end zone at Gator Growl so that African Americans could attend. The singing group and the band were in the parade and on TV, and after the celebration the group was booked solid for two years at the local sorority and fraternity houses. All the members of the singing group, except for one, are still alive. Jake Mitchell has contacted Florida Blue Key about having “Little Jake and the Blenders” perform at the 2010 Gator Growl. The band is currently working on songs they will perform with Mitchell, along with the original Blenders and a female choir, at the event.

As a vocalist, Mitchell went on to performances nationwide. He made recordings for Impact Records, Newton Records and his own label, Golden Hit Productions. In the 1960’s T-Bone Walker accompanied him when his stage name was Jock Mitchell. During the same period he played with legendary Motown bassist James Jamerson. In Florida he played extensively with guitarist and recording artist Sarasota Slim, and the two remain good friends to this day. Mitchell has also been included in a history book by Kurt "K.O.T.O." Curtis entitled "Florida's Famous and Forgotten," copyrighted in 2005 by Florida Media Inc. Please see (http://myspace.com/arnoldjakemitchell) for samples of Mitchell’s music. The recordings were made live at the 2002 Pensacola Florida Blues Festival.

Little Jake's current band, the Soul Searchers, features Matt Aubuchon on drums, Bill McCrea on bass, Evan Hegarty on keyboards, and guitarist Elmer Rey Cortes, as well as a horn section comprised of Charles Steadham on sax, Brian Stevens on trombone, and Lanard Perry on trumpet.

Cost: 
$5 donation at door
When:
Fri, 03/05/2010 - 8:00pm
Cost: 
$5 donation at door