Contemporary jazz group, The Southern Gentlemen, reunite after an eight- year hiatus to release their first single, Back In The Game, with plans for a 2024 tour. 

Trumpeter, Joey Sommerville, guitarist Eric Essix, and violinist Michael Ward created The Southern Gentlemen in 2011 after playing a gig together in Atlanta, Georgia. It was clear to them that their collective experiences of living in the South, the unique combination of instruments, and their onstage chemistry brought a distinct style and sound to the music. Supported by an A-List rhythm section, The Gents began to perform in venues and at major jazz festivals across the U.S. and were an instant hit with audiences everywhere they played. 

Individually, the members have toured the world, performed and recorded with some of the biggest names in the music industry, and have nearly 40 albums between them. Now The Southern Gentlemen are “Back In The Game” with a new single release. They return with the same raw energy and excitement but with a stronger sense of purpose and camaraderie.


Eric Essix – Guitar and Bass Joey Sommerville – Trumpet Michael Ward- Violin Marcus Finnie – Drums  Kelvin Wooten – Keyboards

Produced by Eric Essix and Joey Sommerville

Written By Joey Sommerville
(Like You Mean It Worldwide, BMI) and Eric Essix (S Six Music, BMI)

Radio Promotions:                                      Adam Leibovitz                                      ASL Music Media & Promotion                      28541 El Peppino
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677
PH: 949.448.9444

Label: Essential Recordings

Distributor: Lightyear Entertainment/Virgin Music/UMG


Eric Essix

Over a period of more than 34 years and now 28 full length album releases, Eric Essix has maintained a steady flow of new music that continues to push the boundaries of contemporary jazz. Following the success of his Songs From The Deep project, Eric recently released his 28th album entitled STRiDE on his Essential Recordings label, again distributed by Lightyear Entertainment/Virgin Music/UMG.


Joey Sommerville

Joey Sommerville aka Papa J, is a trumpeter, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist. He honed his effervescent stage persona as a protege of legendary bluesman, Big Joe Burrell. Joey has collaborated with numerous celebrated artists including Earl Klugh, Jeff Lorber, Marion Meadows, Wayman Tisdale, Najee, Jeff Bradshaw, Bob Baldwin and more. His 4 solo albums have received worldwide airplay and critical acclaim, including a ringing endorsement from USA Today. Joey has received numerous awards and accolades including The American Society of Young Musicians All That Jazz Award. He was a featured soloist on the Cirque du Soleil's Juno Award-winning and Grammy-nominated album, Alegria. He is an active community servant and is on the Board of Directors of The How Big Is Your Dream Foundation, an Atlanta-based charity that provides music education programs to students in underserved communities. He is also an active member of NARAS/The Recording Academy (Grammys), having served two terms on the Atlanta Chapter’s Board of Governors.