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Keri Foster

CEO, Piano Specialist

Keri Foster's musical journey began in the arms of jazz. Raised in a household with her father, jazz pianist Ray Mezo, Keri's early years were marked by the sounds of jazz standards and improvisational melodies. Keri's immersion in music began even before she could walk.

Keri’s formal music education began at LaVilla School of the Arts and later Douglas Anderson School of the Arts where she studied French horn, delving into the nuances of music theory, and exploring the depths of jazz theory, music history, and electronic music. While studying French horn, Keri had the opportunity to perform at national festivals like Bands of America in Indianapolis along with many local performances in symphonic and chamber ensembles. Keri spent enough time lurking in the piano department practice rooms that she was also included in the piano department’s senior trip to tour the music conservatories of Boston.

In 2014, Keri's musical destiny took a pivotal turn when her father surprised her with a piano, a gift which rekindled her passion for playing music as an adult. Her path converged with Katie DePalma’s in 2017 when Keri was seeking out a dedicated practice space, marking the genesis of a profound creative partnership. Within six months, Katie approached Keri about teaching piano for Katie DePalma Music, and by 2019 the pair incorporated as Bold City Music Co providing financially accessible music lessons to all of Jacksonville, FL. 

Beyond the music studio, Keri has been an unwavering presence in Jacksonville's vibrant artistic community for multiple decades, originating and hosting poetry events at Yellow House and CoRK Arts District since 2013. Their stage presence has graced various venues, from performances at Rain Dogs with groups like Girl Scout Fight Club, to playing piano at Bab’s Lab for Johnny Masiulewicz’ Moss Gossamer book release party. Keri currently hosts the long-running spoken word open mic event Bards & Brews at The Silver Cow which is free to all with a unique paid feature each month. Bards & Brews is entering its 10th year.

Community engagement lies at the core of Keri's artistic mission. They have volunteered their musical talents at Autumn Village Adult Living Facility and the Ronald McDonald House, organized community cleanups, and actively championed Jacksonville's thriving arts scene. Collaborating with The Performance Academy, Keri has facilitated opportunities for Bold City Music Co students, securing paid gigs and providing valuable industry insights.

As a steadfast supporter of the arts, Keri proudly identifies as a "professional audience member," ensuring the continued vibrancy of Jacksonville's arts community. She has dedicated her time to four seasons of page-turning duties for the Jewish Community Alliance's Young Concert Artist Series, turning pages of intricate piano scores for highly pedigreed musicians such as Hungarian pianist Daniel Lebhardt and Juilliard piano instructor Rohan de Silva. Keri also serves on the selection panel for the Jacksonville Jazz Festival piano competition, a role that she has passionately embraced for several consecutive years. 

Keri's musical horizons are as vast as her appreciation for the art form itself. She draws inspiration from the romantic composers and possesses an extensive knowledge of jazz in all its forms, from contemporary neo-soul to the timeless classics of "The Great American Songbook.” Her ultimate aspiration is to master the intricate art of playing jazz with her feet—a unique and ambitious endeavor. 

Keri Foster
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