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What does it mean to be a Southernite?

To be a Southernite, one must keep the sacrifices of our founders and predecessors engraved in our minds. ​

John's Bio:

John Gray is a musician & educator born and raised in Baton Rouge. He is a graduate of McKinley Sr High School, and an Alumnus of Southern University where he attained his Associate of Arts Degree in Jazz Studies & Louisiana Ethnic Music (2001), as well as his Bachelors Degree in Music Performance (2005).

As a performing artist, Gray leads two of his own bands, The JGray Jazz Trio, and The Soul Jukeboxx. He is a long time member of The Michael Foster Project, and is also a member of Delfeayo Marsalis’ Uptown Jazz Orchestra, and performs regularly with The Treme Brass Band.

John also runs Continuum Music, LLC. A music promotion and production company started by Gray and his classmates while at Southern. John is currently the sole owner of Continuum and continues to operate as a professional musician through this company.

As an educator, John has taught at North Dale Academy, Lee High School, and The Dunham School. He is also a go-to speaker and teaching artist for various arts integrated programs and camps throughout the community. He is on the community artist roster for the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, as well as the Louisiana Division of the Arts.

As a professional musician and educator he is a member of several professional organizations, including the National Recording Academy, The American Federation of Musicians Union (Local 174-496), The Louisiana Music Educators Association, the Jazz Education Network, and the Baton Rouge Blues Foundation - where he serves on the board as Education Committee Chair. He is also a 2015 graduate of the Baton Rouge Chamber’s Leadership Program.

John has been recognized with several awards and distinctions in his career including, the Arts Ambassador Award from The Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, the Role Model of the Year Award from the Baton Rouge Chapter of THE LINKS, Inc. , Teacher of the Year from the Baton Rouge Symphony, Liz Peters Master Teacher Award from The Dunham School, Louisianan of the Year by Louisiana Life Magazine, and The Legend Award from The McKinley High School Alumni Association.

John is continuing his education as a Graduate Assistant at LSU’s School of Music, where he is pursuing a Masters in Jazz Studies. He continues to teach and perform locally and internationally.

You can keep up with his schedule by going to

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