Born 25 years ago, the annual Bay Jam music festival began with local musicians performing to raise money to provide grants for local students to pursue art and music endeavors in the face of steep state and federal funding cuts. A quarter century later, Bay Jam, along with other ICE events, has awarded more than $500,000 to students and community organizations.

This year’s Bay Jam features a rising county music star, Stephanie Quayle, recently inducted into Country Music Television’s Next Women of Country. Last month, she made her third appearance at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville (with Keys native Nyan Feder as music director, guitarist and backup singer). Quayle’s warm and powerful vocals are drawn from her Montana roots.

The event’s lineup also includes the return of Jackii Kennedy, the Michael Allman band, (son of the rock legend Greg Allman), the Lower Mat Cats, a special children’s show by Micah Gardner, and more

“This year might be the best Bay Jam ever, with a wide range of music including country, Afro-psychedelic, funk-rock and reggae,” said David Feder, director of ICE.

He said proceeds from ICE events have supported ESE classroom music programs, in-school and adult-education workshops, and infrastructure for many local not-for-profits including Habitat for Humanity, Island Dolphin Care, Everglades Foundation, Wild Bird Center and others.

Students can download the scholarship application at www.keysice.com or contact their art or music teachers for more information. All Upper Keys high school students are eligible to apply, including home-schooled students.

The event is a family-friendly day of music and fun. Concertgoers can enjoy a swim at the bay-front beach just steps away from the ICE Amphitheater stage, check out arts and crafts vendors from all over the country, and sample a variety of food, as well as craft beer from the Florida Keys Brewing Company.

Gates for the event open at 10 a.m. and music begins at 11 a.m. on Sunday, March 31, at Islamorada Founders Park, MM 87. Parking is free. Ticket donations are $10 for adults, $5 for students with ID and free for seniors and kids under 12.

More information about ICE is at keysice.com.

The Bands:

Stephanie Quayle — Named to CMT’s Next Women of Country and Rolling Stones’ Top Country Artists You Need to Know, Quayle is a rising star.

Michael Allman — The son of Greg Allman who has created his own career with a distinctive style of blues-rock.

Jackii Kennedy — Now from Los Angeles, a true Keys native returns. A singer/songwriter rooted in R & B.

Kim Jay Fry & The Good Thing: — Washington D.C. via Key West Band playing hard groove funk.

Nag Champayons — A six man collective best described as “Tropidelic Afrogalactic.” Hailing from Miami’s Little Haiti.

Dave Feder — Bohemian Flamenco guitarist and master of ceremonies.

Bill Todd — Finger-style jazz and soul guitarist/singer/songwriter and avid environmentalist.

Pear — A Miami-based young rock band with backgrounds in blues, funk, and jazz.

Lower Mat Cats — Renowned artist Pasta Panteleo and friends play good time rock.

Kat Hall – From Jacksonville, she plays original reggae, R&B, and funk.

Micah Gardner—A singer, songwriter, environmental educator, Gardner’s music is a blend of reggae, bluegrass and folk.

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