By: Maritza Bannerman
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) alumnus Jesse Hamilton Jr. returned to the “Hill” March 17 with a seasoned performance entitled “Come Croon with Me.”
Hamilton grew up in a musical family and developed a passion for music. He eventually earned a music scholarship to FAMU. During his student days at FAMU, Hamilton strengthened his musical foundation as a member of the Marching “100.”
“Being a part of the Marching “100” really changed my life,” Hamilton said. “I got exposed to a lot more than I would have at a smaller university. I was meeting people from everywhere,” he added.
Hamilton said he also matured a great deal during his time in the primarily female clarinet section of the world renowned band.
“That section taught me how to respect, treat and work with women in a different way than I would have had I been in a male dominated section,” he said.
A key point Hamilton emphasized is the importance of students working hard toward accomplishing their goals and dreams.
“One of the biggest things for us is to stay the course. We tend to give up a lot quicker these days. Stay the course because right down the road is the avenue to success,” Hamilton said.
A 12- member orchestra and four background vocalists helped Hamilton give guests an exciting performance. As a “crooner” Hamilton’s singing style is infused with gospel, pop, R&B and blues that takes his audience back to an era long gone. His performances include hits from artists such as Teddy Pendergrass, Luther Vandross, Sam Cooke and even Frank Sinatra.
“I try to bring in a little piece of every genre that has meant something to me,” Hamilton said.