The Alley Sessions: The Backstreets of Jacksonville’s Elbow

Hidden in the back alleys behind Underbelly, 1904, and the Florida Theatre lies the setting for the Alley Sessions, a takeaway show, interview, and performance video featuring a wide range of some of Jacksonville’s greatest and most unique musical acts. The alleys behind the two to three story high brick buildings are donned in graffiti and murals, creating the perfect background for these intimate and revealing shows.

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Premiering in November of 2015, the video series is presented by Downtown Vision, Inc., and the Downtown Investment Authority, produced and funded by The Elbow, in association with Kumar Pictures and Stay Tuned Studios. Within each episode, the Alley Sessions seeks to explore the history of the featured Jacksonville band with an interview, while also providing viewers with a performance from the band that cuts in and out of the interview.

Not completely unknown, the bands of the Alley Sessions so far are well played artist and very familiar within the Jacksonville music scene. Hip-hop duo, ND 20/20 (DJ Northstar and D.A.R.Y.L.) graced the backstreets in the series’ first episode. Host Trey Hebron spoke with the duo about their inception and where they find inspiration in hip-hop. Speaking on the hip-hop scene in Jacksonville, D.A.R.Y.L. states that there is an untapped reservoir of artists and underground performers, to which something like the Alley Sessions helps bring to light.


071215_Tambor Video_ (19 of 52)The first three episodes, including the unreleased Tomboi interview/performance set for January 2016, were shot on a single day in June all over the Elbow in downtown Jacksonville. From inside the Underbelly to the courtyard of 1904 to the backstreets of the Florida Theater, the Alley Sessions explore the ins and outs of one of Jacksonville’s most thriving entertainment districts. Episode two highlights Tambor, an instrumental band comprised of six very talented Jacksonville musicians, whose inspiration is derived from all types of music including jazz, Latin, minimalism, indie rock, and electronica. Simply put, Tambor is an amalgam of everything under the sun, which is explained in their interview Hebron.

In the future, this video series can be a prodigious catalyst in showing how the Jacksonville music scene is on its way to be in contention with other major cities. The Alley Sessions also provides natives with an unseen look at their local culture. If Jacksonville can support the scene and its musicians, and the musicians can support one another, there is no telling what may become of the ever-thriving and exploding scene of music and culture in Jacksonville’s urban core. All videos and updates can be found on Keep an eye out for the next release of the Alley Sessions featuring Tomboi, the omnipresent, politically active, indie-pop and electronica trio.


About Ricardo Maldonado