Jump On It was founded by Nook Turner, Dorothy Turner, and Sharon Ellerby in 1997 in Austin, Texas. In 1996, Dorothy Turner an activist and organizer in the city put out a call to the community to see if anyone would be interested in throwing events at Rosewood Park, a historic park on the Eastside of Austin. At the time, Nook Turner was just a teenager but he answered her call! His vision was to unite the Eastside community through entertainment by putting on a summer music festival.
Nook’s mother named the event and helped him create the vision. Dorothy Turner his mentor affectionally known as “Miss T ” recruited people to help with the event. She was even able to convince everyone to work off IOUs for the first year. Dorothy would later secure funding from the City Manager. With her determination and Nook’s vision Jump On It, quickly became a hit in Austin! In 1997, 1999, and 2000 the event was declared the largest outdoor urban concert series in the state by the Texas Music Office. Over the years, Jump On It has had a plethora of local and national performers such as BOB, Trina, Plies and so many more including the Austin legend and founder Nook Turner.
In 2006, he started facing challenges that resulted in him taking a hiatus from Jump On It. However, he continued to throw at least one neighborhood gathering each year during this time. In 2014, his wife Brea Byrd urged him to bring back Jump On It without financial support from the city. With her support and the birth of their son, he was newly inspired and decided to pick up where he left off! Since the event’s inception, it has taken place at several different locations around Austin including Givens Park, Travis County Expo Center, and 70 Rainey Street.
Jump On It, is more than just a music festival it is an all-day experience with food, vendors, games/rides, and health and job resources. Jump On It has become a pillar in Austin’s Black Community and rightfully so. In addition to producing Jump On It, the concert series, festivals, and community events they also have J. O. I. Community Outreach. The non-profit provides educational programs for the youth and also gives unlimited support to the community. They continue to thrive all while remaining true to their mission to rebuild the fabric of Austin’s urban community while creating a platform to educate and prepare tomorrow’s leaders.
– Miles Bloxson, KUTX Host