About Don’t Miss A Beat

Front Row: Juanita Ings, Iris Owens, Felicia Bass
Back Row: Esther Poitier, Ulysses Owens, Gwendolyn Owens

“I love being part of an organization that directly impacts my local community and brings together a group of different, amazing people for the future of Jacksonville’s children.”

Jennifer Ortega, DMD

Don’t Miss a Beat was founded in 2008 by Ulysses Owens, Jr. and his family. Growing up in the Crystal Springs area of Jacksonville’s Westside, Ulysses was introduced to music early on. He started playing drums at just two years old and his mother, Gwendolyn, soon enrolled him in classical piano lessons. In high school, Ulysses attended the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, where he became part of the school’s inaugural jazz program and graduated with a full scholarship to the Juilliard School.

After graduating from Juilliard in 2006, Ulysses traveled the world as a jazz drummer, but his thoughts often turned to Jacksonville. Upon reading about Jacksonville’s high dropout rate and other youth problems. Ulysses and his family decided to act. “In other cultures, I saw so many arts programs for kids,” Ulysses says. “I thought we really needed something like this back home.”

The program began with the singular objective of helping suspended youths stay in school so they wouldn’t “miss a beat.” Since then, DMAB programming has evolved to include the performing arts, academic enrichment and civic engagement as well as job skills training for parents.

In 2010, with help from City Councilman Warren Jones, DMAB was selected by the City of Jacksonville and JaxParks to be “in residence” at the J.S. Johnson Community Center’s Youth Room in Jacksonville. This great honor allowed DMAB to provide programming for underserved youth all year long and enhanced the organization’s sustainability by providing it with a permanent home.

Don’t Miss A Beat Board Members

Jennifer Ryan
Secretary
Vice President, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management

Felicia R. Bass
Director
Owner, SowerGroup

Rudy York
Director
Owner, Rudy York Interior Design

Blyrthe Cessac
Director
The Suddath Companies

Nicole Dana
Director
Realtor Palladium

Dr. Michael Spencer, DDS
Board Advisor

Our Sponsors