Jeremy & Clay - 2 Cool Cats


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Jeremy Davis and Clay Johnson have been friends since they were young boys. They did everything together including getting married two weeks apart!

Both music lovers since childhood, they have joined forces in The Fabulous Equinox Orchestra, taken the show around America, and now have big plans for their band, which just entered its 15th year.

But this isn’t your grandfather’s music.  When you go to an Equinox show, you get a ramped-up ready-to-rip band of expert musicians who throw everything they have learned along this journey into it.  Entertained you will be.  Laugh and dance you will. The force is strong here.  These two transplants from Louisiana mean big business.

Growing up a Jazz musician, Jeremy Davis’ heroes blew saxophones. A career in jazz seemed like something he wanted.  But somewhere along the way, spreading joy and seeing a wide variety of people come together in the name of music took precedence.  The word “jazz” gives us all a preconceived notion right away. Are the guys in the Fabulous Equinox Orchestra great musicians? You can bet they are. But they also realize the importance of entertainment.  Goals. You’ve all read about them on instagram.  

Music is sometimes only 10 percent of what we do.

“Getting people to ‘unplug’ from their digital lives” is something Jeremy Davis said that resonates within all of us. A team of arrangers have given new life to songs by Roy Orbison, Huey Lewis and more.  Can these guys do Sinatra? Surely. But there is also the “equinox thing.”   You hear songs from other genres that you wouldn’t expect. “This is my job in the world,” states Davis. Playing music across the U.S every gig became an “experiment in humanity.” 

Seeing people react in 54 different cities was great, but there is much more, explained Clay Johnson. “Did Jeremy tell you the story about Arkansas?  Outreach is also something the guys wanna “teach the kids.....things you don’t learn when you get a music degree.” For two days, the jazz band at the University of Arkansas became the “equinox jazz orchestra” and rehearsed then played a show.

The level of energy after the show was insane (much like “Equinox” after-show weightlifting behind the bus where they do an exercise called  “man-makers” and shout at one another.)  The guys have also never ruled out what they may be doing next, planning a children’s album in the near future.

But how does one (or 18) men have fun on “the road,” a place so many musicians loathe? “We had our Traeger grill and ate like kings everywhere we went, dining on local fare. Arranger Tommy Brinson is an amazing chef who joined forces on the road with drummer Zack Albetta...it was just fun...Looking good and feeling good is important to us too.”  Staying fit is a big part of the Johnson household (Clay’s wife’s family owned a gym.) In Savannah, Clay sought out trainer Jared English.

Now how do we  take it to the rest of the world? They have already been to places like Poland, Nova Scotia and other locals on service oriented trips to bring together people in need with others who want to help. Like I said earlier, there is much to be learned when talking music with these two men. About lessons and learning from things they have acquired along the way in this thing called life. Organization is a huge part of music like any other career, and sadly most great musicians end up playing on the weekends in dive bars.

“Music is sometimes only 10 percent of what we do” stated a very modest Clay who has obviously worked hard on his pipes (and guns) to get where he is today.  The Fabulous Equinox Orchestra, coming to a city near you. Make sure to check out their website at equinoxorchestra.com and support these guys as they continue in their quest in bringing joy to a theatre near you.

To read the full article, subscribe now or pick up the January/February issue of South Magazine.

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Events Calendar

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    11:00 AM - 6:00 PM

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  • Oglethorpe Mall Carnival

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  • GratiTuesday Program with Liz Massey

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  • Nature and the Arts: Botanical Art and Illustration

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  • 2020 Tak Argentinis Valor Awards

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  • Forsyth Farmer's Market

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Scenes of the South

2020 Southern Coast Heart Ball

The American Heart Association held its annual Southern Coast Heart Ball on Saturday, February 8th at the Westin Hilton Head Island Resort and Spa. Guests enjoyed a cocktail reception with a silent auction, dinner and program, and dancing to end the evening. All proceeds went to the Open Your Heart campaign.

4th Annual Hearts for Healing Gala

Faith Equestrian Therapeutic Center held its Fourth Annual Hearts for Healing Gala on Friday, February 7th at the Tybee Island Wedding Chapel. Guests enjoyed gourmet dining, dancing, and a silent auction. All proceeds from the auction benefitted the Faith Equestrian Therapeutic Center's program for individuals with disabilities.

IDC Benefits the 200 Club of the Coastal Empire

The LeClerc Family owners of IDC (International Diamond Center) in Savannah 349 Mall Blvd held a benefit to support the 200 Club of the Coastal Empire on Thursday, February 6th from 5:30pm to 8:00pm. Guests enjoyed light food and drinks, while bidding on several silent auction items, including autographed footballs and helmets donated by Anthony Lanier II.

Royce Learning Center Annual Low Country Boil & Oyster Roast

The Royce Learning Center held their annual low country boil and oyster roast on Saturday, February 1st. Guests enjoyed mingling over the seafood selection. Royce Learning Center meets the needs of children and adults with learning differences and literacy needs through its unique programs.

Dining in the Dark 2020

The Savannah Center for Blind and Low Vision held its annual Dining in the Dark event on Saturday, January 18th at the Embassy Suites Downtown Savannah. Guests were served a four-course meal in complete darkness by the Savannah Metro's SWAT team. Dining in the Dark serves to raise awareness about vision loss.

January Brews for a Cause

South magazine in collaboration with Southern Eagle Distributing hosted their monthly Brews for a Cause on Thursday, January 16th at the Savannah Taphouse in a successful effort to raise money and awareness for the Savannah Center for Blind and Low Vision. The night featured delicious appetizers by Savannah Taphouse and a range of flavored Bud Light Seltzers provided by Southern Eagle. These events provide good food, fun entertainment, refreshing drinks and most importantly – raise money for a great cause! Be sure to be on the lookout for our next Brews in February!

Ford Plantation's Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting for Silk Hope

The Ford Plantation celebrated the completion of its two new Silk Hope model homes on January 10, 2020. The Silk Hope project is limited to 53 homes, on beautiful lots of buyers’ choosing amongst old oaks and a Lowcountry marsh setting. This member-backed project is the first new for sale residential development at The Ford Plantation in more than fifteen years and represents the final phase of home development to be offered. The Silk Hope community is the product of a collaboration of some of the world’s top residential architects and landscape designers and has been modeled to capture tranquil European village and Lowcountry architecture.

Mat Best Signs his New Best-seller at Nine Line

Veteran, entrepreneur and author Mat Best met fans and signed copies of his new book “Thank you for my Service” Thursday Dec. 12 at Nine Line Apparel. Best’s best-selling authorial debut chronicles his service as a U.S. Army Ranger. Best's Black Rifle Coffee co., partnered with Nine Line Apparel, has shops on River st. and off route 95 on Ft. Argyle rd.

Victory Antiques and Engel & Völkers' Holiday Party

Dickey Mopper and his team at Engel and Völkers celebrated the season at their annual holiday party on Wednesday Dec. 11, with a special appearance from the jolly fellow himself, Santa Claus. Mopper and company, celebrating alongside the crew of Victory Antiques, showed off the newest Engel and Völkers office at 1650 East Victory Dr. in Savannah.

Good Times Jazz Bar & Restaurant's 2nd Anniversary Celebration feat. Lady Leah

Jazz lovers celebrated Good Times Jazz bar's second anniversary on Nov. 8 and 9 featuring jazz vocalist Lady Leah and the culinary stylings of Good Times' chef Joe Randall, the dean of southern cuisine. In 2017 Randall teamed with Danielle and Stephen T. Moore to create one of the city's smoothest spots, a confluence of culture and taste fit for the soul of Savannah.