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High-energy pianist headlines Jam Fest

Camille Doty

By Camille Doty
April 11, 2012 at 8:02 p.m.
Updated April 11, 2012 at 11:12 p.m.

Jam Fest attendees, bring your dancing shoes because Jason D. Williams plans to keep the crowd on its feet.

The high-energy pianist will grace the stage at DeLeon Plaza for the Victoria Fine Arts Association's signature event, serving as the event's headliner Saturday evening.

The Memphis-based musician has been featured on MTV, VH1, Entertainment Tonight and the "Regis and Kathie Lee Show." His famous hands have an appearance in "Great Balls of Fire," in the role of Jerry Lee Lewis. Some of Williams' songs, "Waitin' On Ice" and "Where There's Smoke" have hit the Billboard Country Songs chart.

Williams said he draws inspiration from the crowd and musical greats, such as his father Hank Williams, his guitar-playing cousin Richard Leo Johnson, and Rockabilly legend Sleepy LaBeef. Although the 53-year-old headliner has attracted a new generation of music enthusiasts, he's a lover of the old style of music.

"I love a song that has a melody," he said.

His eclectic style ties into the fine arts association's revised theme to appeal to a broader population.

"He's a nice mix of Jerry Lee Lewis, Lyle Lovett and Elvis," said Teri Trafton, the art organization's marketing chair.

The downtown streets will be filled with music, arts and entertainment on Friday and Saturday. Music documentary, "Unsigned," will follow a meet and greet with director Edward Payson and musician Paul Nagi. The Los Angeles-based artist will also be Saturday's opening act.

Before the Tennessee headliner will appear, the Austin-based band, Hector Ward & The Big Time, will keep the crowd moving with their reggae, funk and rock style.

Ward, who is from Damon, right outside of Houston, is known for songs such as "This World," "Concrete Jungle" and "Dirty Soul Shaker."

The band's front man credits the group for creating its unique flavor.

"We do so many genres of music and pull it off because it's who we are," Ward said.

Williams will make his Victoria debut at the Jam Fest. The father of two, who spends 200 nights on the road performing, hopes to put smiles on the faces of the Jam Fest attendees. He advised the crowd to get ready.

"Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy ride," he said.



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