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The Paul Dietrich Jazz Ensemble, a 17-piece group with special guest Clarence Penn, will record an album of Paul's compositions.
The Paul Dietrich Jazz Ensemble, a 17-piece group with special guest Clarence Penn, will record an album of Paul's compositions.
97 backers pledged $7,815 to help bring this project to life.

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"Forward", the Paul Dietrich Jazz Ensemble's Debut Album project video thumbnail
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A project quite a few years in the making, I'm finally undertaking the task of recording a big band album, something I've been thinking about doing since I started writing big band music regularly in 2011. The result will be the album "Forward," featuring music written over the past four years.

I'm extremely excited to announce that we will have the privilege of being joined on this recording by the drummer Clarence Penn, one of the best jazz drummers in the world. I've been a huge fan of his for years from his work with Dave Douglas and, notably, the Maria Schneider Orchestra. I can't wait for the opportunity to hear Clarence play this music!

The incredible band reflects my own personal path, featuring musicians I played with as an undergraduate at Lawrence University, a graduate student at DePaul University, and as a freelancer in Chicago and Madison. (And my dad.) The band:

Saxophones: Greg Ward, Corbin Andrick, Tony Barba, Dustin Laurenzi and Mark Hiebert

Trombones: Andy Baker, Jamie Kember, Kurt Dietrich and Tom Matta

Trumpets: Chuck Parrish, Russ Johnson, Jessica Jensen, Eric Siereveld and David Cooper

Rhythm Section: Matt Gold, Carl Kennedy, John Christensen and Clarence Penn

Voice: Megan Moran

I'm also thankful to be welcoming the inimitable Joe Clark to help produce the session!

We're planning to record five pieces of original music:

"Rush" (2014), "Settle" (2014), "Chorale" (2016), "Like Water" (2016), and the four-movement work "Forward" (2017), which was written with the support of the Greater Madison Jazz Consortium's Artistic Development Grant. The concept behind "Forward," which will take up half of the album, was that I wanted to write a piece of music that reflected my impressions of the state of Wisconsin, both as my home and as a natural habitat. "Rush" and "Settle" were both recorded on my small group's last album, but they were actually big band pieces first, and I can't wait to record them in this format!

You might be wondering: what will you be using my money for? That's a good question! The bulk of the money I am trying to raise will end up going to payments to the musicians: it's very expensive to hire a 17-piece band and pay them a reasonable wage, and we're also using a guest artist on this album, which is amazing and a wonderful opportunity. It is also an expense!

Beyond that, there will be regular production costs related to making a CD - studio time, mixing and mastering, artwork, physical album production costs, and promotion. The amount I am trying to raise will about cover all the costs through the recording dates (musician payments and studio/engineer fees): if we raise anything beyond the goal, great! That would help to cover post-production (mixing, mastering, artwork, production, promotion) costs, but I am prepared to pay for that part of the process out of my own pocket.

Risks and challenges

This project has already gone through the most difficult phase: the music has been written, our guest artist is set to go, the band has been hired and the recording dates have been set (we'll be recording in August 2018).

The only remaining difficulty is time - we're on a fairly tight schedule to get a fairly large amount of music recorded. But given the high level of musicianship and professionalism of the band members, I have no doubt that this will not be much of an issue. After the recording is finished, there is nothing else I am worried about, having gone through the process of mixing, mastering, and production with two small group albums.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Digital Download of the Album

    You will receive a digital download of the album and the artwork.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Physical Copy of the Album

    You will receive the physical CD, plus digital download and album artwork.

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    37 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Digital Composer's Package: Album + PDFs

    You'll receive the physical album, plus the PDFs of the scores for the entire album.

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    15 backers
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Composer's Package: Album + Book

    You will receive the physical album plus a limited edition spiral-bound book of scores, which includes composer notes about each piece.

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    10 backers
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Educator's Package no. 1

    You will receive the album plus PDFs of the score and parts to one of the pieces on the album - your choice!

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Poster Package

    You will receive the physical album plus a poster signed by the whole band.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Silver Contributor's Package

    You will receive the physical album and your name will be included in the album's notes as a Silver-level contributor.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Educator's Package no. 2

    You will receive the physical album, the limited edition book of scores, plus PDFs of the score and parts for every piece on the album. Your name will also be included in the album's notes as a special contributor, and you will receive a poster signed by the band.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Gold Contributor's Package

    You'll receive the physical album, a signed poster, plus your name will be included as a Gold-level contributor in the album's liner notes.

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

    Executive Producer Package

    You will receive the physical album, a signed poster, and your name will be included in the album's credits as Executive Producer.

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

    Commission Package

    In addition to receiving the physical album, a signed poster, and your name in the notes, I will write a piece for the big band of your choice, tailored specifically for that band. If in a reasonable area, I will come and work with your band on the piece at a date determined in the future.

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Funding period

- (34 days)