Jorel “JFly” Flynn has a passion for mastering the drums and impacting the lives of young artists. He is a Humanitarian, the Recording Academy® Atlanta Chapter President and Education committee co-chair. He works with artists such as Peabo Bryson, Jeff Lorber, Aretha Franklin, Bobby Brown, and After 7, while producing his own music. Television appearances include Top Rated WSB Centennial Olympic Park’s 4th of July Celebration, Soul Train Music Awards, BET’s Sunday’s Best, Heisman Trophy Awards, and Tyler Perry. Jorel is endorsed by numerous drum equipment companies and is the founder of the How Big Is Your Dream Foundation, Inc.
You've played with a lot of entertainers what was your most memorable performance?
The most memorable live performances are from when I played the Soul Train Music Awards and BET’s Sunday Best but I also had a studio session that I'll never forget. In 2014, I was honored to play drums on the track “Nothing Compares” for The Queen of Soul on her final studio album Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics.
When did you start playing the drums?
I started playing drums when I was just 5.
Instagram : 1JFly
Facebook : JFlytheFlytrap
Twitter : JFlyTheFlytrap
Google : The Real JFly
Tell us about your foundation and annual event.
The How Big Is Your Dream Foundation began as a question (How big is your dream?) that came to me on my first tour while I was simultaneously in college pursuing, without a real passion to pursue it, a degree. But, while in college, I was asked to go on a tour with a well-known R&B artist, and that’s the tour that started it all. I begin to realize that music was more than a hobby or talent. It was a business that could be a sustainable business. Now, through the 501(c) 3 nonprofit, we service student-artists in the community through mentorship, education, and access to the industry to show real life sustainable business models. In other words, we take dreams and help turn them into reality.
We have two annual events. Our Unity Concert is a fundraising event that brings together many inner-city schools and partnerships we have made in the community to display our success in connecting legacy artists with aspiring artist.
Our annual Academy of the Arts is a summer program where we bring industry professionals in as instructors to train our student-artists that are between ages 6 and 18 years old. Student-artists receive training in dance, music theory, vocals, production, music technology (sponsored by the Georgia Tech School of Music) and several other disciplines. At the end of the three-week Academy, the student-artists perform a finale concert to showcase what they've learned and allow them to see a full professional production from set up to break down.
What's next for you?
I’m always traveling the world, in the studio working with artists, or producing shows. I just released two singles ("Love Song" featuring Frank McComb and "I Feel for You" featuring Marcus Anderson and Adam Hawley) from my soon-to-be released album, Dream. Proceeds from the sales of Dream benefit the How Big Is Your Dream Foundation. I was also recently elected President of The Recording Academy (GRAMMYs) -- Atlanta Chapter, where I lead and work alongside some of Georgia’s most influential and respected music professionals as we work to keep our industry innovative and present career opportunities to industry professionals