As I think back over the years of my music career in Florida, I have fond and pleasant memories that emerge about Darryl Bey. Mr. Bey caught my attention at around year 1998, when out of frustration of the lack musical performance opportunities in the county where I lived, I began to venture out to neighboring counties, and discovered the Fort Pierce Jazz and Blues Society. The Fort Pierce Jazz and Blues Society was founded in 1996 by Darryl Bey-and a group of Jazz enthusiasts. The Fort Pierce Jazz & Blues Society is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to foster a greater awareness, and love for Jazz and Blues by exposing these great American art forms to the community at-large, and to the schools. The Jazz & Blues Society shares ideas with other Jazz and/or Blues-oriented groups locally, and around the nation to mutually assist in promoting the growth, appreciation, and perpetuation of Jazz.
During that time, I met and collaborated with many local Jazz musicians in the area. Very often, these musicians would talk about the influence of Darryl Bey. After meeting with Darryl Bey at FPJBS jam sessions, it was clear to me that Mr. Bey had a strong passion for the Jazz music genre and to the furtherance of its culture in the city of Fort Pierce. Soon thereafter, As President of FPJBS Mr. Bey propelled its notoriety forward throughout St. Lucie County. As our friendship grew, Mr. Bey shepherded my musical performance growth through a series of musical performances in the Fort Pierce area. I was honored to perform with my quartet at the Old Fort Pierce City Hall, thanks to Mr. Bey’s effort and assistance. It should particularly be noted that Mr. Bey was highly diverse in hiring musicians and creating performance projects and venues. I once performed with my band on a farm in rural Port St. Lucie County.
When Mr. Bey, retired from FPJBS, he continued to create, develop and broadened his abilities to provide performance opportunities and venues for musicians, which in turn benefited the community at-large. Mr. Bey was instrumental in creating the first ever Jazz club in downtown Fort Pierce. Also, Mr. Bey developed a continuing performance platform at the Fort Pierce Marina for all musical genres, for the enjoyment of all residence of the community. I personally performed there many times with the Ossie Wright band. Through Mr. Bey, I have met and been introduced to many famous musicians and personalities during our continuing association.
During our personal and music business transactions, Mr. Bey was also detailed orientated and professional concerning expectation of presentation and performance objectives. You always knew what Mr. Bey expected from you. Later, Mr. Bey expanded his horizons by presenting concert performance at the Sunrise Theatre’s Black Box venue and importing nationally recognized performers and musicians from all over the U.S. Personally, I attended many of Mr. Bey’s concerts and the annual birthday parties at his home.
In-summation, throughout my career as a jazz (flautist) artist, Mr. Darryl T. Bey was the easiest presenter to work with; through business management and social interaction that I ever experienced in the performance industry.
From a musician and friend for life.