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Live Music Review

Live Music Review – Downbeat Jazz Orchestra

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Fudpucker’s, Destin


Downbeat Jazz Orchestra took over Fudpucker’s Destin Thursday, April 14, requiring both the corner stage and two additional rows for their ample lineup.


DJO focuses on big-band styled music, and with a dozen odd horn players present this night alone, they capture the fullness and subtly of the genre that is often lost in recordings.


Led by Michael and Gina Walker, DJO performs everything from Glenn Miller to Michael Buble with big band flair. With light stage patter and a specialty menu arranged by Fudpucker’s, the night was about touches of nostalgia. It began with Michael explaining the history of DJO and how the members range from regularly gigging musicians to members who love their instrument and wanted an outlet to perform. He quipped that what we were about to see “wasn’t a performance, but a rehearsal.”


I’d respectfully disagree. It is a stellar performance that everyone should make their way to see, a joyful celebration of music that isn’t often appreciated or heard in 2016.


Special mention to Chef Peter, who insisted on cooking up something off-menu just to make sure this vegetarian was well fed. Your hospitality is greatly appreciated.

Nikki Hedrick



If you’ve been to a great gig recently, send us the details, a photo and short review. Email The Downbeat Jazz Orchestra returns to Fud’s Thursday, May 12.

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