These are difficult days in the concert business, with artists’ fees and audience expectations continuing to rise despite a stubbornly sluggish economy and a music industry now wholly focused on creating one-off hits rather than enduring stars.
The situation is more dire still for promoters whose passion runs to jazz, blues, classical and the like. They must in addition overcome the challenges of an aging audience and the genres’ diminishing media exposure. Now more than ever those people putting themselves on the line to present the music we love need and deserve our respect and monetary support.
Case in point: the Healdsburg Jazz Festival. The organization presents a year-round calendar of music culminating each June in its signature event, the only authentic jazz festival north of the Golden Gate Bridge. Healdsburg Jazz led by artistic director Jessica Felix has presented more than 20 NEA Jazz Masters over its 15-year history and all amid the natural beauty of the Sonoma County wine country. Simply put, this is why you live in California.
Healdsburg Jazz has launched an Indiegogo.com campaign to raise $20,000 in support of an innovative project, “Celebration of the Blues” featuring harmonica legend Charlie Musselwhite.
Over the two days, May 31 and June 1, 2014, Charlie will take us on a musical journey through the birth of the blues, its importance to jazz and other music, including Latin jazz. As well as playing solo and with his own four-piece blues band, Musselwhite will share the stage with additional artists of his choice including saxophone giant Joshua Redman with his amazing quartet, and Latin jazz maestro John Santos with a special program of Cuban son that includes some of the leading Cuban artists living in this country.
Charlie and Joshua will join each other's group during the second evening of the two-day program, exploring the mutual roots and branches of jazz and blues. The first night, Musselwhite will re-create with Santos some of the legendary music he recorded in 1999 with Eliades Ochoa (of "Buena Vista Social Club" fame) on the album “Continental Drifter.”
We are in the planning stages for 2014 and need your early support. If we can raise $20,000 dollars by the end of October, it will enable us to start booking these and other musicians, and expand our ability to advertise and promote the 2014 Healdsburg Jazz Festival. In return for your help, we have some great perks for jazz and blues fans, including the option of advanced reserved seating for one or both days of "Celebrating the Blues" with Charlie Musselwhite.
Check out the website here for more details and please support this important addition to Northern California jazz and blues.
Want to keep up with the best in Bay Area jazz and blues?
Subscribe to us: Have our jazz Examiner columns sent to your inbox. Click the SUBSCRIBE button on this page. It's free. (And we won't spam you or give out your information.) Bookmark us: http://www.examiner.com/jazz-music-in-oakland/brian-mccoy