The GULF JAZZ SOCIETY is dedicated to presenting, preserving and perpetuating America’s Music in the Bay County area. The current president is John Lewis, lifelong Panama City resident and son of renowned educator Margaret K. Lewis.
Founded in 1997, the GJS serves as an advocate of jazz music in the Panama City area of north Florida. The Society’s mission is to raise awareness of jazz by presenting live musical events and otherwise preserving and perpetuating jazz as an important part of America’s cultural heritage.
Jazz is the only American music recognized by Congress as a truly original art form. Its development and flowering not only reflects the cultural diversity and melting pot character of our social history, but represents American values of artistic freedom, improvisation and innovation.
The annual Jazz By-the-Bay Festival to be held the first week in November at Oaks-By-the-Bay Park in the historic St. Andrews section of Panama City, Fl.Jazz by the Bay has traditionally been scheduled in the first weekend of October. but given the unpredictability of the weather (not to mention increased hurricane activity later in the season), we’ve decided to try out the first weekend in November for 2022. Cooler temps and a calmer Gulf should make for a wonderful event….our 20th! Additionally, GJS holds monthly shows featuring some of the best jazz talent in and out of the area. The list of performers hosted by the GJS includes Cheryl Jones, Victor Payano, Charles Pagano, Robert Orr, Gene Bertoncini, Mike Levine, Crystal Joy, David Seering, Kathy Lyon, George Petropolis, Bobby van Deusen, our very own music director and three time Grammy winner, Steve Gilmore, The Bailsmen, The Anderson Brothers and the Emmaline Band, just to name a few! Gulf Jazz Society Board of Directors meets monthly in Panama City, FL. Any person interested in jazz and the program of the GJS is welcome to attend.
The GJS is a 501(c) (3) non-profit.