Jack founded the Jacksonian Music Factory in July of 2013. He plays rhythm guitar and his solos are performed in his own "flat-picking" style. He also sings lead and harmony vocals and is mostly self-taught on guitar, bass and mandolin. He selects and arranges most of the material for the group and has a passion for audio recording and sound reinforcement.
A native of rural Tyler County, West Virginia, Jack was introduced to music when he was five years old. As a child of the '60's, he learned to play many styles of music -- "from Bach to Rock" -- and learned to play a host of instruments.
While in high school, Jack taught entry-level music students to play instruments for marching band, and while serving in the US Navy, he played saxophone and bass guitar in the ship’s band.
In the mid 1970's, Jack was re-introduced to Bluegrass Music and since, has enjoyed leading and playing in several bluegrass groups. His musical passion has been grounded in Bluegrass Music for over 40 years and his Bluegrass musical influences include Clarence White, Jimmy Martin, Bill Monroe, Tony Rice and David Greer.
"I love Bluegrass for its soul touching lyrics, soaring melodies and rhythms. It's universal! I'm thrilled to meet up with "perfect strangers" to play this music and share that High Lonesome Sound!"
In addition to the JMF band, he has been a member of the Shade Tree Pickers Bluegrass Band since March 2011. Jack is a retired Medical Imaging field engineer since 2012, and lives in Lake Worth with Audrey, his wife of 30 years.
Our Bass player comes from the great state of Missouri. Dean Roberts got his early musical influences from his fiddle playing father, who was a great inspiration for Dean to get into the music when he was young. He was introduced to Bluegrass while serving in the Army in the Washington DC area, and in the late 1990’s he joined The New River Boys, a local Bluegrass band in South Florida. Since then he has become a much sought-after bass player among this fellow South Florida Bluegrass Musicians! He joined the Jacksonian Music Factory in October 2018 and has been a member of the Shade Tree Pickers Band based in Boca Raton since February 2016. He is always happy to lend a helping hand to any band that comes up in need of a bass player. Dean has been a member of the South Florida Bluegrass Association since the 1990’s and held the position of Vice -President and board member.
His work in promoting Bluegrass includes the SFBA’s Everglades Bluegrass Festivals in North Miami Beach and the Red White and Bluegrass events on Hollywood Beach, FL. He has a great interest in the craft of Luthiers and is currently learning the fine art of stringed instrument repair and construction. He already has several successful instrument repair projects to his credit. Dean lives with his wife Yvonne in their home in Plantation FL where he spends a little of his time….as a closet banjo picker! We say “Not for long!”
Andra Beames is our mandolin player and joined the Jacksonian Music Factory in November of 2017.
She sings lead and supporting vocals and is a career school teacher in the Broward County Public School System.
Andra grew up in a musical family in Delaware. She represented her home state in the Miss America Scholarship Pageant in 1980. Andra soon moved to Florida to begin her teaching career. She has enjoyed working with young teenagers for over thirty years. Keeping to the tradition of a musical family she raised her two children, Sam and Sarah playing fiddle and Irish tunes. Andra directed Pickin’ Hats, a group of three families who played musical programs for senior citizens centers, public libraries and national parks for five years. She plays bluegrass music with the South Florida Bluegrass Association and enjoys making new friends and singing new tunes.
Our fiddle player, Andre Cox, joined the Jacksonian Music Factory in July of 2018. A South Florida native from Miami, Andre started playing the violin at age eight when his father, a music teacher, urged him to join the afterschool orchestra. He took classical lessons through elementary and middle school, and was concert master in the school orchestra. The admiration of the “fiddle” occurred when he was in fifth grade when his father, Larry Cox, bought them a vinyl record player. The first record played for him was Jerry Lee Lewis’s country album “Touching Home”. The young violinist immediately fell in love with the fiddle playing of Kenneth Lovelace and subsequently bought fiddle tune books to try and make that sound (have it be noted that the classical violin instructor was not too fond of the slides in fiddle playing). Unfortunately, Andre grew overwhelmed of playing the violin at age thirteen and took a hiatus. However, at the age of fifteen, Andre got back into playing music when he and a friend formed the band, “Wooden Roots”, a folk and Celtic band. He also started playing with his dad in Outtatheblue, a folk, blues, and rock band formed by family friends. Andre continues to play in both of these bands. More recently, Andre has become enamored with bluegrass music since playing with the Jacksonian Music Factory. He is learning the method by listening to various groups, learning fiddle tunes with sheet music, transcribing other fiddlers’ solos, and showing up to jams. He gets a lot of influence by listening to Bobby Hicks, Darol Anger, Vassar Clements, and Kenny Baker. Andre currently lives in Miami where he studies business at FIU.
Harold Wells has been our banjo player since July of 2015. He also sings and plays guitar during segments of our shows. He sings tenor harmonies on many of our traditional song selections. Harold was born in 1950 in NW Georgia where music and singing were a big part of family life. His family moved to Illinois in 1959 where he lived until 1999 before moving to Florida. When he was 13 years old he started playing guitar and later started with the banjo when he was 26. After a while, he took a leave of absence from his playing for about 25 years before picking up the banjo again around 2014. The Martin guitars are his favorite brand and he has collected various ones over the years. He also enjoys collecting various makes of banjos including Gibson, Stelling and Deering, from vintage 1928 to 2018. Harold’s musical influences include the Louvin Brothers and Flatt and Scruggs. Don Reno was also one of his favorite banjo players.