Fort Lauderdale’s “top dawg” in the world of spoken word

Former NFL star now makes the stage his playing field

D. Kevin McNeir | 12/25/2013, 9 a.m.
Jerris Evans, a proud Ft. Lauderdale native, was recently reminded by his third grade teacher, Mrs. Maltimore at Nova Middle, ...
Jerris Evans

Jerris Evans, a proud Ft. Lauderdale native, was recently reminded by his third grade teacher, Mrs. Maltimore at Nova Middle, that he has always had a penchant for reciting poetry and being the center of attraction. Since those formative years, he’s honed his skills in efforts to become a formidable force in the spoken word entertainment business. And from most accounts, Evans, known on stage as “QuickThePoet,” is doing very well.

In January he will mark the second anniversary of his company, FLO’etry (FLO4ME) Entertainment, LLC, which he and three other partners formed with the goal of blending music and poetry — even comedy, painting and other art forms, in a new, unique format. But the key to the puzzle and the one that keeps the show going is Quick — a cross between the energetic Kevin Hart and the charismatic Tyrese.

Add to that his signature fedora worn at a 45 degree angle and his hand gesture of the “L” (signifying loyally living life and a salute to his hometown) and you’ll realize that this brother is a rare breed.

Quick and his band of equally-talented performers can be seen every first and third Sunday at the Koppa Lounge (3802 N. University Dr.) in Sunrise. And he says he’s got a bag full of surprises for the Jan. 5th show when they celebrate two years of a wonderful ride together.

“We’re going to have an all-star line up and I’m bringing some of the best spoken word poets as well as singers and musicians that I know,” he said. “Some are from right here in South Florida — others are from around the U.S. You’ll have to come to find out.”

The business of spoken word

Quick traveled a circuitous route before settling in the world of spoken word. He played Little League and then varsity football at Nova High before going on to Missouri Western State University on a full scholarship where he earned a degree in business. He played a few years in the pros with the Chicago Bears and the New York Jets and admits it was fun.

“Getting to the NFL was always my dream but the pen and paper has been my passion for as long as I can remember,” he said. “After I was released and was on a plane headed home, some brothers may have been depressed or disappointed but I wasn’t. I was working on a piece of poetry.”

Quick, a devoted father and husband, says his family has always supported him — first when he was pursuing a football career and now in his life in entertainment. But he adds that having great fans helps a lot.

“I love people and consider myself to be a humble guy,” he said. “The spoken word circuit is like a family and I have been supported and mentored by spoken word wizards like Terri, Asia and the late Will “The Real One” Bell, and then I’ve been at the table with great business minds like Edwin Sheppard and Richard Milhomme. But most important, I travel all across Florida to support other artists.

My show is all about having a good time with others and I like to encourage that sentiment wherever I go. One day I plan to fill the BB&T Center — like the stars do with the Fillmore in LA or the Garden in NYC.” There’s nothing wrong with dreaming big.”