"Corey was the first musician to unify the Miami, Homestead, and Fort Lauderdale church musicians with the Boynton, West Palm, even all the way up to Fort Pierce players," says Carlton Williams, a piano player and good friend of Corey Jones, the 31-year-old church drummer who was shot and killed by Palm Beach Gardens police officer
The two friends played music together frequently in various bands, jam sessions, and peace rallies across South Florida. "A lot of times, at his
Jones was known by friends, family, and the local communities he served as a "gentle," "laid back" and "silly" person who would give you his "last shirt off his back if he could do it." His easy-going, reliable personality made him a go-to person when a fellow musician needed a last-minute stand-in, and he naturally brought people together.
"One time, we set up a big spread," Williams remembers of a particularly special night with his late friend. "It was five amps, three drummers, keyboards along every wall. There were 30 to 40 people in the room, from all areas, Cypress Creek, Miami, Homestead, all lining up to play next."
When the crowd of musicians started to get hungry, Williams remembers they went on a food run to Costco, picking up several packages of hot dogs to throw on the barbecue so they could keep the epic jam session going. "His uncle Fred was on the grill that night," he recalls. "I mean, it really unified a group of musicians, and now today that bond is still there. He really brought together a lot of relationships. He was a good friend, he was a brother."
Local musicians from all over gathered at Old School Square in Delray Beach last night to share a moment of silence for Jones. Tomorrow, a "peaceful protest" has been planned in support of Jones that is being called to begin at 10 a.m. outside Palm Beach Gardens City Hall, located at 10500 N. Military Trail.
News of the protest began to spread through social media with the hashtag #JusticeforCorey on
The Bamboo Room is also hosting a
"Corey was not that guy," says Williams, who for his part had never heard Jones mention owning a gun or plans to purchase one. "He was very laid back, very chill, silly guy. He was a 31-year-old guy, and we used to laugh aboutRen and Stimpy
. Williams says he's "baffled" as the tragedy continues to unfold. "I just want the facts to come to light. Let the process come through, and hopefully this will be made right. I believe in the system, I just want to know what happened to our friend that night."
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