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Having recorded with John Lennon in 1974 on the "Walls and Bridges" album, I will be producing my jazz tribute to Lennon and his songs.
136 backers pledged $5,519 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$5,519

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Hi!  I'm Ron Aprea,  jazz saxophonist & arranger, and I’ve been recording and producing albums for over 30 years. In 1974, I had the honor of being one of the “Little Big Horns” on John Lennon’s 1974 “Walls and Bridges” album. John was an amazing human being, and my vision is to honor the music and spirit of John Lennon with a jazz tribute album. ( You can read more about my experience with John Lennon below.)

This album will include 12 songs, most of which are Lennon or Lennon/McCartney collaborations, with a gem by George Harrison.

I’ll be writing all the musical arrangements, but here’s what we need to budget for:

  • ·Rhythm section (piano, bass, drums)
  • ·Full string section
  • ·I’ll be on alto sax and flute, and we’ll be inviting world-class horn players to join us
  • Studio time:  Recording sessions & Mixing & Mastering
  • Photography, Artwork
  • CD production and pressing
  • Royalty fees (Harry Fox Agency)
  • Marketing: Radio, PR (probably 1/3 of the budget)
  • Domestic and international distribution
  • Kickstarter fee: 5% of funded project
  • Amazon: 5% of funded project (credit card fees)

I’m confident this project can be completed with $7,500…but I’ve set the Kickstarter goal at $5,000, as this is an all-or-nothing fundraiser.

FYI...please remember that your pledges are not collected or distributed unless we reach 100% of our goal.

Take a look at the rewards that you can have for your support.  They include t-shirts and gifts with reproduced images of two of my favorite souvenirs from my stint with John Lennon (see photo above).  It would be my pleasure to send them to you.  Thank you and  bless you for your generosity!

Below are excerpts from my “John Lennon Story” which can be read in its entirety at http://ronaprea.com/john-lennon.html

Shortly after I had finished another road stint with Lionel Hampton's band in the spring of 1974, I got a call from my friend, trumpeter Steve Madaio, who asked if I was busy the next Wednesday. I thought he was talking about jammin' or hanging out, so I told him I was open. Eventually I found out it was for a record date. From his nonchalant demeanor I figured it was probably for a demo or maybe a project that he was producing, so I said sure. We small talked for a while, and at the end of our conversation I asked him for details about the session. Steve said, "Oh, it's with John Lennon."

________________________________________

The project was an album to be called "Walls and Bridges." John was no longer a Beatle, and this was to be his first attempt at producing an album with horns. The recording sessions were held at the Record Plant in New York City, and there were five horn players. Howard Johnson played baritone and bass sax, Bobby Keys and Frank Vicari played tenors, Steve was on trumpet, and I played alto.

Lennon's "Little Big Horns"
Lennon's "Little Big Horns"

After the introductions to the other musicians and Lennon, I asked Steve if I could have a look at the alto book. Steve looked a little uneasy, and said, "There's no music, but everything's cool." I chuckled and asked if I could take a peek at the music. Steve repeated, there was no music. I said, "Five horns, and no music? You're kidding, right?" Steve said, "Don't panic, it's pretty simple stuff. Just listen to me and it does get easier as you go."

I knew playing "head charts" was easy for Steve, who had toured for years with the Butterfield Blues Band, Stevie Wonder and the Rolling Stones. My background was in big and small jazz bands. While it was common for small jazz groups (and rock bands) to make up unwritten arrangements, bigger bands rarely played without "charts." Also, most bands that I played with during that time did not live in the keys of E, A, and B. About a dozen times during the first session, I came pretty close to splitting. I kept remembering Steve's line about it getting easier as you go.

Partial view of Lennon's photostated face
Partial view of Lennon's photostated face

During a break, I went into a small room at Record Plant to copy some lead sheets. Lennon entered and walked over to the copy machine that I was using. Without a pause, Lennon bent over and, still wearing his eyeglasses, put his face on the glass plate on the copier, and hit the "Copy" button. Two blinding lights later, two copies of John's smiling face, with a slightly flattened nose, came sliding out. My first thought was, this guy's gonna go blind. John then straightens up, smiles, and says, "Hang on to these (photostats) 'cause some day they will be worth a fortune." Steve Madaio and I each kept a copy. We rolled them up and stuck them in our instrument cases. Given the pressure of the recording itself, these photostats seemed pretty insignificant at the time. I could not know then that it would become one of my most cherished possessions. My copy has been framed and has been hanging on my wall ever since. I also saved copies of the lead sheets that we used for the recording. They're pretty funny, all covered with scribbling. The music looks like a road map, complete with arrows navigating me through a maze of penciled-in notes. And it all worked. After one our multi-track overdubs, complete with lines and counter-lines, Steve cracked, "Man, when those arrangers are sitting around listening to this shit, they're gonna say, 'Who wrote those mother f-king charts!'"

Ron with John Lennon & Steve Madaio
Ron with John Lennon & Steve Madaio

Risks and challenges

There are no risks. I've successfully produced dozens of albums. I've already written all the arrangements, have a studio for recording, and am ready to hire musicians and get this project up and running.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions, and thank you again for your support!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $2 or more About $2.00

    EVERY BIT HELPS...You get a Digital Download of your choice of one single track from the upcoming Lennnon tribute CD, and a thank you on our web page.

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    3 backers
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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    THANK YOU...You get a digital download of the full Lennon tribute CD, and a thank you on our web page.

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    16 backers
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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    SUPPORTER...Receive a hard copy of full Lennon tribute CD, beautifully packaged and signed, and a thank you on our web page.

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    40 backers
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    CONTRIBUTOR...You receive a digital download of full Lennon tribute CD, PLUS
    Hard copy of Lennon tribute CD, beautifully packaged and signed, and a thank you on our web page.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    DONOR...Digital download of full Lennon tribute CD, PLUS
    Hard copy of Lennon tribute CD, beautifully packaged and signed, PLUS
    Canvas tote bag with reproduced image of Lennon's photocopied face,
    and a thank you on our contributor page.

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    20 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    PLATINUM DONOR...Digital download of full Lennon tribute CD, PLUS Hard copy of Lennon tribute CD, beautifully packaged and signed, PLUS
    T-Shirt (choice of design-Lennon face photocopy or Ron with Lennon and Steve), and a thank you on our web page.

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    7 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    SPONSOR...Receive a digital download of full Lennon tribute CD, PLUS
    Signed and personalized Lennon tribute CD, PLUS
    T-shirt (choice of design-Lennon face photocopy or Ron with Lennon and Steve) PLUS
    Cellphone case (IPhone or Samsung) with reproduced image of Lennon's photocopied face on back, and thank you on our web page.

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    5 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    PLATINUM SPONSOR...5 Lennon tribute CDs, beautifully packaged and signed, PLUS
    5 T-shirts, design of your choice.
    These make great gifts, and should be available for the 2014 holiday season! Gift cards available..and a thank you on our webpage.
    Contact us for shipping charges outside continental US.

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    Ships to Only United States
    1 backer
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    BENEFACTOR...You receive a beautifully framed reproduction of photo of Lennon face photocopy, signed and personalized by Ron Aprea PLUS
    Hard copy of CD, signed, PLUS
    T-shirt (design of your choice)
    and a personal thank you on our webpage.

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    BRONZE PATRON...You receive a beautifully framed reproduction of photo of either Lennon face photocopy or Ron Aprea/Lennon/Madaio photo,signed and personalized by Ron Aprea PLUS
    5 signed Lennon tribute CDs, PLUS
    5 t-shirts (design of choice) PLUS
    a Cell Phone case (IPhone or Samsung) with reproduced image of Lennon's photocopied face on back,PLUS
    a Canvas tote bag, to put all your goodies in, and a personal thank you on our webpage.

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    1 backer
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    SILVER PATRON...You receive a beautifully framed reproduction of photo of either Lennon face photocopy or Ron Aprea/Lennon/Madaio photo,signed and personalized by Ron Aprea PLUS
    10 signed and personalized Lennon tribute CDs,PLUS
    10 t-shirts (choice of design) PLUS
    5 Cell Phone cases (IPhone or Samsung) with reproduced image of Lennon's photocopied face on back,PLUS
    5 Canvas tote bags (Lennon photocopy image), and a personal thank you on our webpage.

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    0 backers
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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    GOLD PATRON...You and a guest receive a personal invitation for dinner and show at Ron's CD release party, PLUS
    Beautifully framed reproduction of photo of either Lennon face photocopy or Ron Aprea/Lennon/Madaio photo, signed and personalized by Ron Aprea PLUS
    5 Signed Lennon tribute CDs,PLUS
    5 t-shirts (choice of design) PLUS
    a Cell Phone case (IPhone or Samsung) with reproduced image of Lennon's photocopied face on back,PLUS
    a Canvas tote bag for all your gifts, and a personal thank you on our webpage.

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    0 backers
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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    PLATINUM PATRON...You get a live private concert with Ron Aprea Quartet, anywhere within 150 miles of NYC metro area (or add travel and lodging if further) PLUS
    Beautifully framed reproduction of photo of either Lennon face photocopy or Ron Aprea/Lennon/Madaio photo, personally signed by Ron Aprea PLUS
    Signed and personalized copy of Lennon tribute CD,PLUS
    choice of T-shirt PLUS
    Cell Phone case (IPhone or Samsung) with reproduced image of Lennon's photocopied face on back,PLUS
    a Canvas tote bag, and a personal thank you on our webpage.

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    0 backers
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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $7,500 or more About $7,500

    DIAMOND PATRON..You get a live private concert with Ron Aprea and his sextet, anywhere within 150 miles of NYC metro area (or add travel and lodging if further)PLUS
    Beautifully framed reproduction of photo of either Lennon face photocopy or Ron Aprea/Lennon/Madaio photo, personally signed by Ron Aprea PLUS
    5 signed Lennon tribute CDs,PLUS
    5 t-shirts PLUS
    a Cell Phone case (IPhone or Samsung) with reproduced image of Lennon's photocopied face on back,PLUS
    a Canvas tote bag, and a personal thank you on our webpage.

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    Ships to Only United States
    0 backers
    $
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Funding period

- (45 days)