The Jazz Evangelist is better known as J. Scott Fugate.
Scott has worn many hats throughout his life as a Theatre Professional (Actor, Director, Writer, Producer, Artistic Director & Theatre Manager), Acting Teacher & Coach, Workshop Leader, Arts Minister, Christian Missionary, Creative Facilitator, Arts Educator, Jazz & Arts Promoter, DJ, Radio Manager, Program & Music Director, Producer of Podcasts, Voice-over Talent, College Professor, Technical Writer, Playwright, Screen Writer, Photographer & most recently – Videographer (filming, editing & producing).
Scott has amassed a large body of professional theatre projects over the past 35 years in every possible arena (community & regional theatres, elementary & high schools, ministries, churches, non-profits, universities, military bases, prisons, retreat centers, performing on the back of trucks and in the street, etc.) throughout most states and 14 countries. He earned his Masters Degree in Contemporary Theatre Practice from Lancaster University in Northern England.
The start of the new millennium (i.e. 2000) stirred up a new focus on one of his life-long private passions . . . jazz. To that end, he started the Atlanta Jazz Group on Yahoo to help promote local artists and venues for live jazz in Atlanta and the Southeast, which led to volunteering in radio . . . and eventually running a radio station – Eclectic 89.1 WBCX at Brenau University in Gainesville, GA. During this time, his passion for promoting jazz branded him with the nickname, “The Jazz Evangelist”. He used it as a tongue in cheek DJ name on the radio – and due to its popularity, it kind of stuck.
Scott still had one foot in theatre until he progressed from volunteer to manager of WBCX (which was a satellite automated radio station at the time) in 2002 – and was likewise hired as a Professor in the Mass Communications Department. Over the next 7 years he worked to transform the automated station into a live, local, creative force for social change in North Georgia through an eclectic blend of multicultural music from the jazz & classical continuum . . . developing 10 unique programming formats (blocks of various jazz styles which changed & differed each day and night) and facilitating the development and production of over 80 independent shows hosted by students and community volunteers.
To understand how & why Scott got into jazz, one must go back to his beginnings. He was born in East St. Louis, and observed division along racial, socio-economic and cultural lines his entire life . . . from the inner city of his childhood, to the wealthy suburbs of his youth. He was always disturbed to see division amongst people, and was particularly confused as to how something as beautiful & diverse as music, theatre & art could be used to create sub-cultures, generational separation, or divided into cliques wrought with stereotypes. It became his mission at an early age to erase the lines, knock down the walls, and find the common thread that could eventually bring people together. Much of his work in theatre over the years focused on at-risk populations, marginalized cultures and inner city youth. With a strong foundation and focus in faith, he experimented & practiced with just about every art form in an attempt to discover a vehicle through which the Holy Spirit could speak directly to people’s hearts, minds and souls . . . until stumbling upon the idea of jazz.
Why jazz? Because all musical styles of the 20th Century emerged from the improvisational foundations & multi-cultural gumbo of jazz & blues – thus, the Jazz Evangelist believes that this “Jazz Continuum” is a nexus that can breed unity, diversity, and positive communication between people of different taste, race, groups, generations and cultures. The thing Scott always enjoyed the most about theatre was improvisation & communication . . . and jazz taps into its purist form. Since Scott doesn’t play an instrument and can’t create it himself, he chooses to present, promote, film & broadcast the work of others – thus taking his own ego out of the mix, and focusing his full attention on the mission behind the music.
Despite the job or art form, his goals have always remained constant – to encourage, entertain, inspire, educate, break down walls, broaden perspectives, and nurture creativity in others — whatever the venue or medium it may be. He believes that life is a journey of creativity, communication & faith . . . to be shared with others through love, without ego or a competitive spirit.
He would love to offer his services freely (and often has throughout his life), but due to the current economic climate, Scott has launched a couple of companies to hopefully enable him to pay some bills and feed his wife & dog:
Jazz Evangelist Productions & Promotions & Productions (http://jazzevangelist.net/) providing tailor-made video & audio productions for the promotion of music, art & culture.
He is currently producing content and programming for Best of Atlanta Concerts TV:
He likewise produces & hosts weekly music podcasts, provided freely for world-wide enjoyment on http://www.soulandjazz.com/
He is also staying true to his roots and training with his own theatre – Structured Anarchy Theatre Company in NE Georgia (http://structured-anarchy-theatre.com/) offering professional actor training and a creative resource in areas of communication, creativity & team building.
He still has a few hours left in each day and would love to work with you!