[Dixielandjazz] Kid Musicians & Audience Response

Steve barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Sat Dec 3 08:31:18 PST 2005

>From my "West Chester Daily Local" Newspaper: Dec/3/2005 (editorial)

-start editorial-

"Kennett student wows Big Apple with sax playing."

"Demetrius 'DJ' Turner II, a 13 year old Kennett Middle School student
recently showed New York City how playing the sax should be done.

'DJ' blew away such notables as Howard Stern, Donald Trump and Chris Rock
while standing center court in Madison Square Garden.

He wowed them with his bluesy take on Ray Charles' song 'Georgia On My

He had just months ago gotten the crowds to their feet performing at the
famous Apollo Theatre in Harlem.

Not bad for a kid playing the sax for less than five years. Here's a great
big bunch of Roses for 'DJ' and much luck to him in the future."

-end editorial - 

The young man lives less than 10 miles from me and I had never heard of him
before. Not even with our school programs. BUT, you can bet I will look him
up and book him to perform with us next summer, if not before.

I wonder how many more kids like this exist, under our radar scopes? Seems
to me we might all start seeking them out.

The audience LOVES KIDS who can play.


PS. And this from the Kennett Paper in November 2005

Demetrius "DJ" Turner II is a young man on the move.
Just months after sweeping the first leg of the amateur night competition at
the famous Apollo Theater in Harlem, he wowed the New York City crowds
again, this time in front of such media luminaries as Howard Stern, Donald
Trump and Chris Rock.

But what started out as yet another talent competition became a sensational
night that ended with a center court performance and a televised interview.
DJ was invited to perform at the New York Knicks home opener on Friday, Nov.
4, after a member of the Knicks promotional team saw his outstanding
performance at the Apollo this fall.
After exchanging e-mails with DJ's father, they soon asked DJ if he would
like to compete against two other artists for the Knicks' Talented Kids
contest, where the 13-year-old Kennett Middle School student blew the room
away with his bluesy take on Ray Charles' "Georgia on my Mind" -- the same
song that landed him top honors at the Apollo -- while standing center court
in Madison Square Garden.

DJ's performance was met with thunderous applause from the crowd, the only
criteria for winning (no judges). On the way back to his dressing room, DJ
said he was greeted by President and Chief Operating officer of Madison
Square Gardens Sports Steve Mills, who complimented DJ on his performance.
Before his head had stopped spinning, DJ found himself at the Play-by-Play
restaurant being interviewed for MSGtv and ESPN for an after-game special,
where DJ answered questions after viewing a brief recorded segment of his
performance. That's quite a night for a kid who's been playing the sax for
less than five years.

"It was absolutely unbelievable," said DJ's father, Demetrius Turner Sr.,
beaming with pride at his son's accomplishments. "I mean, how many people
get to play in front of a crowd that size at the age of 50, let alone 13?"
Was the young impresario nervous about performing in front of such a huge
crowd? "No," DJ said. The size of the crowd came as no surprise to DJ, who
had been to games before. Prior to the Knicks game, however, his largest
crowd for performing was 4,000 people -- roughly one-fifth of the MSG crowd.
Still, DJ displayed nerves of steel as he blew his way through his 90-second

DJ's impressive rise to notoriety began just a few years ago, when his
paternal grandfather Vewiser Turner -- also a jazz musician in his own right
-- gave DJ his first sax at the age of 9.

Since then, DJ's "career" has snowballed, as his father continues to find
him unique and often high profile gigs, including Atlantic City and the Cape
May Jazz Festival. DJ sees his talent as a likely springboard for a career
as a professional musician. "Well, it's very possible," said Turner, but DJ
is more concrete.  "Oh yes," DJ says. "Recording and performing," though he
admitted that performing gives him a more immediate thrill. DJ is available
for bookings. For additional information contact him at 610-563-9396

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