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With your help, the music and magic of a Chicago jazz legend's 95th birthday gala can be shared with the world & a legacy will live on!

A SPECIAL ADDITION TO THE CD COVER!

I have recently been informed that jazz greats Marian McPartland and Ramsey Lewis - two iconic, Grammy-winning jazz musicians - will be providing quotes about Franz for the cover of this CD! 

WHO WAS FRANZ JACKSON?

Legendary Chicago jazz saxophonist, Franz Jackson, played with virtually everyone who was anyone in jazz during his long career spanning nearly 8 decades.  Louis Armstrong, Roy Eldridge, Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Lena Horne, Fats Waller....just a few of the greats with whom he was associated over the years.  Read Franz's full bio here.

FRANZ'S 95TH BIRTHDAY CONCERT!

In November 2007, nearly two dozen of the some of the best jazz musicians and vocalists from across the country made their way to quaint little Dowagiac, Michigan for one purpose:  to honor Franz - their friend, colleague, mentor - with a 95th birthday concert, "Still Swingin':  Franz Jackson Celebrates 95".

What transpired that night was nothing less than magic.  Franz was onstage for the entire 3-hour concert and played every tune.  Not only was it extraordinary to watch the musicians create once-in-a-lifetime music together (without any rehearsals, mind you!), the glow that Franz had that night was priceless.  It was an opportunity for him to reunite with people that he hadn't seen in years and make the music that he lived and loved all his life.  "Franz Jackson:  Milestone" is the CD-set that will allow the magic from that night to be shared with the world.

SHARING THE MAGIC

We were fortunate to have recorded the concert and, with your help, I will be honored to be able to release the CD set featuring the music from that extraordinary evening this November at the 6th Annual Franz Jackson Jazz Celebration - in celebration of what would have been Franz's 100th birthday!

As Franz's daughter, this is a project that is close to my heart and means a great deal to me.  This concert was literally an event that will never be repeated.  The most profound reason for that is that my father passed away just six months later.  This was his last live concert and without even knowing it at the time, we gave my dad a final gift that meant the world to him.

I have the tracks for the CD ready to go - all I need now is some support from Franz's amazing fans and the Kickstarter community!  The funding from this project will be used specifically for finishing production of the CD (licensing, mastering, graphic design, manufacturing and packaging) and promotion of the release (marketing the CD and organization of the CD release party).  Any amount in excess of the goal (God willing!) will be used toward the 6th Annual Franz Jackson Jazz Celebration in Dowagiac, Michigan in November.

Here's a sample raw track from the CD - bear in mind that this audio hasn't been mixed or mastered yet, so what you hear on the finished CD will be even more amazing!

Remember, this is a 2-disc set with over 2 hours of amazing music and celebration that you will enjoy over and over!  I intend to have the CDs produced on discs resembling mini vinyl LP's in the spirit of this legedary music.  The CD booklet will include color pictures from the concert of Franz and all of the musicians as well as brief bios and quotes from some of the performers about what their participation in this event meant to them. 

A PART OF JAZZ HISTORY - FRANZ and YOU

I have little doubt that those who know and love Franz and his music will want to be a part of this little piece of jazz history.  But of equal, if not greater, importance to me is the opportunity to introduce those who aren't familiar with him to his immense talent and history through this project.

I'm asking for your help in preserving the last piece in my father's amazing musical legacy.  Your contribution gets you some pretty cool rewards, but knowing you were part of a project that will continue to entertain those who loved his music for years and inspire those who have yet to discover Franz's unique style (or jazz in general), is absolutely priceless.

Join me on this journey. 

Be my partner in solidifying "Franz Jackson:  Milestone" as part of my father's legacy.

BE PART OF JAZZ HISTORY. 

IT'S ALL OR NOTHING, FOLKS!

Please remember that this is an all-or-nothing venture.  Either I am able to raise $9,000 by the end date or this project remains on the shelf.  And that would be a loss for music lovers everywhere.

And just so you know, you won't be charged for your donation unless and until the entire funding amount has been reached. 

Thank you for your support!!!

Michelle Jewell

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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    2 backers

    Personal Thank You note

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    1 backer

    Personal Thank You note + online acknowledgement of your support on Franz’s website and his Facebook page

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    5 backers

    All of the above + one digital download of the entire album prior to release

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    67 backers

    Pre-Order Level: All of the above + one physical copy of the CD including full color booklet about Franz and the musicians as well as photos from the birthday concert (by the way, the CD will be retailed for $30, so you're not only helping to get it made, you're also saving some money, too!)

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    20 backers

    Everything in the $25 level + a 2013 "Franz Jackson: Milestone" calendar + Franz’s CD “I Is What I Is”

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    1 backer

    Everything in the $50 level plus Franz’s CD “Night At Red Arrow” (total of three CDs + one download of new CD)

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    15 backers

    Everything in the $75 level plus Franz’s CDs “Yellow Fire” and “Snag It” (total of five CDs + one download of new CD)

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    3 backers

    Everything in the $100 level plus Franz’s CDs “The Fabulous Franz Jackson” and “No Good Tune…If It Doesn’t Have A Story” (total of seven CDs + one download of new CD) and two tickets to the CD release party (November, 2012 in Dowagiac, MI - exact date and venue TBD) (transportation and accommodations not included)

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    0 backers

    Everything in the $150 contribution level, commemorative promotional postcards from the 2008 and 2009 Franz Jackson Jazz Celebration, two tickets to the 2012 Franz Jackson Jazz Celebration Concert (November, 2012 in Dowagiac, MI - exact date and venue TBD) (transportation and accommodations not included)

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    2 backers

    Everything in the $200 contribution level, acknowledgment in the “Special Thanks” section of the CD liner notes, a commemorative program and promotional postcard from the 2007 Birthday Gala Concert including Franz’s bio, pictures, and information on the musicians who performed

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    2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)

    Everything in the $300 contribution level with acknowledgment in the “Very Special Thanks” section of the CD liner notes, four tickets to the CD release party (transportation and accommodations not included), two VIP seating tickets to the 2012 Franz Jackson Jazz Celebration Concert (transportation and accommodations not included) , a generous home page banner on Franz’s website with your name emblazoned under the heading “Very Special Thanks” for one week, a commemorative poster from the 2007 Birthday Gala and a beautiful 8x10 framed photo of Franz surrounded by the musicians who performed at the gala

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    0 backers Limited (4 left of 4)

    Everything in the $500 contribution level with “Executive Producer” acknowledgement in the CD liner notes, VIP seating for two at all future Franz Jackson Jazz Celebration concerts, a beautiful 11x14 framed photo of Franz and the gala ensemble, a framed vinyl LP album cover from one of Franz’s out of print recordings, a 9x7 keepsake hardcover book of photos from Franz’s 95th birthday concert and your choice of either a delicious 10" gourmet made-to-order cheesecake in your choice of over 80 flavors (delivered to you within a 50 mile radius of Niles, MI at a mutually agreed upon date - unfortunately shipping of this item is not possible) or a limited edition photographic print by nature photographer David Jewell (the list of available images will be sent to you after pledge is made)

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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    Everything in the $1000 contribution level + a display-quality commemorative framed copy of "Franz Jackson: Milestone" with your name as Executive Producer + an autographed copy of Franz’s CD “I Is What I Is” (one of the last 10 that Franz signed two years before he passed) + a framed copy of an original pencil sketch by Franz when he was a student at Tilden Tech in Chicago + a framed copy of sheet music from an arrangement by Franz + up to 2 minutes of voiceover/commercial audio work (commercial, PSA, promo audio) by voiceover professional extraordinaire, David Jewell (project and contract to be mutually agreed upon) + an exclusive daffodil (Narcissus Franz Jackson) named in honor of Franz by Oakwood Daffodils in Niles, MI (please note that shipment of the daffodil bulb will be dependent upon the growing/shipping season of Oakwood Daffodils)

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- (45 days)