Partly Cloudy, 82°
Weather sponsored by:

Children introduced to power of music at Jumpin’ & Jivin’ Juneboree

By Don Coble don@claytodayonline.com
Posted 6/23/23

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Lucius Whatley clutched his guitar and asked to go home early from Saturday night’s Jumpin’ & Jivin’ Juneboree at the Boogerville Hideout Bar.

The boy from Keystone …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Don't have an ID?


Print subscribers

If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.

Non-subscribers

Click here to see your options for subscribing.

Single day pass

You also have the option of purchasing 24 hours of access, for $1.00. Click here to purchase a single day pass.

Children introduced to power of music at Jumpin’ & Jivin’ Juneboree


Posted

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Lucius Whatley clutched his guitar and asked to go home early from Saturday night’s Jumpin’ & Jivin’ Juneboree at the Boogerville Hideout Bar.

The boy from Keystone Heights couldn’t wait to start teaching himself how to play the guitar gifted to him by Paul Wane’s Guitars for Kids’ Rising Star program.

But this wasn’t a typical guitar. And Lucius wasn’t a typical child eager to use music to inspire creativity and unity across generations.

While 34 instruments were given away, Lucius got a guitar from Metallica’s James Hetfield.

“This is never going to leave my sight,” Lucius said. “I’m going to start lessons as soon as I walk through the door.”

Lucious was invited to the outdoor party by his friend, Austin James. As friends know him, AJ was one of the first youngsters to get a guitar when the founder and lead guitarist for the Duval County Line started the outreach program.

AJ returned two years later to play two sets Saturday. Festival-goers were shocked to hear AJ is just 13 – and so talented.

AJ now has his own band called CBD, which stands for Could Be Different.

AJ has known Lucius since they were in fifth grade. Now his friend is halfway through treatment for Stage 3 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in his chest cavity. He’s completed chemotherapy and radiation treatments will be next month.

But first, he plans to play his guitar.

“I taught myself to play the keyboards,” he said. “I can’t wait to start playing the guitar.”

Another recipient was Duane. According to Wane, the boy is blind, but when he got home, he plugged his amplifier in and made sure his custom guitar was in tune. Fifteen minutes later, he was playing Metallica’s “Enter Sandman.”

Within minutes of getting a new bass guitar, Keystone Heights’ Delena “Dee” Burris was sitting in the grass playing. She joined Wane and AJ on stage for a song.

“I originally started out playing guitar,” she said. “I have a 1967 Classical Alvarez. I had these friends at school. They’re gone. They were seniors and they played bass guitar. I thought it was just so cool. I knew then I wanted to do that.”

Wane said he presented 27 custom guitars, two pianos, a drum set, a violin and two bass guitars at the annual event.

The instruments were donated and refurbished. So far, more than 250 have been gifted to local children.

“I’ve never cashed a million-dollar check, but I know what it feels like,” he said. “It was a great turnout, a great time. One food truck said they served 160 kids. I don’t know how many the other food truck fed. It was a community coming together for a great time.”

Wane’s next Guitars for Kids presentation will be his Rockin’ the Stockins’ on Dec. 3. That event also will be at Boogerville.