The Idea: My band, John Yao & His 17-piece Instrument (JY-17 for short), has been playing around New York City for the last 3 years and last June we released our debut album “Flip-Flop” on See Tao Recordings. With all the the positive reviews from the press so far (see critics' quotes below), the next step for the band is to find a home here in New York City--a regular place for us to perform.
The Reason Why: The NYC Jazz scene has numerous opportunities for groups that fit into small spaces, but unfortunately, for large ensembles requiring greater space, there are limited venues in which to perform. And venues can't support the budget for a large ensemble. It’s hard to believe, but as big as this city is, there is still not enough space for up-and-coming groups like JY-17 to perform.
The Plan: With your support, I plan to launch a three-part concert series starting December 10, 2015 and continuing into the spring of 2016. I will be renting performance space at the Greenwich Music House, centrally located in the heart of NYC's jazz scene, the vibrant West Village. I'll be commissioning myself to write two new works for JY-17 to be premiered at each concert.
Your pledge will go towards: Artist fees, commissions for new works, performance space rental, rehearsal space rental, marketing materials and advertising. I would be eternally grateful for your support of this concert series and for helping us continue the momentum we've gained since the release of “Flip-Flop”. It will allow us to expand our contribution to the big band genre and the landscape of big band music in NYC.
Please take a look at the rewards offered for your contribution. Thank you for taking time to read about the band I hope you will be a part of this projects next big step.
What the press is saying about Flip-Flop:
“A must set for big band fans that want to hear something that takes the form in to the future, this blows the ears open in a mighty way. Hold on to your hat and then check it out. Well done.” - Chris Spector
“Yao not only puts a fresh coat of paint to big band sounds, but redoes the foundation and expands a few rooms. Exciting through and through.” - George Harris
NEW YORK MUSIC DAILY
“John Yao is one of New York’s elite trombonists and is also a first-class, ambitious, and witty composer and leader . . . the album is a big, bright, brassy extravaganza. But it’s also full of unexpected dynamics, dips and rises, imaginative voicings and occasional sardonic humor.” - Alan Young
ALL ABOUT JAZZ
“At times burnished and melodious, at others loose and strident, it forms a colorful tapestry that is never less than alluring . . . an admirable maiden voyage on which John Yao shows considerable promise as a composer/arranger whose eyes and ears are unalterably focused on the future of big band.” - Jack Bowers
Risks and challenges
I. On any given night there are many entertainment options in NYC, so drawing a crowd can be a challenge. Because I believe so strongly in the talent behind JY-17, I'm budgeting a portion of the proceeds to advertising and publicity. I also plan on giving out free tickets to several NYC schools. It's my hope that I'll reach not only jazz enthusiasts but the next generation of jazz artists and music lovers.
II. Three months between each concert may seem like a lot of time to write two new works for JY-17, but as a composer I can tell you it's not that much time at all. I teach music and play gigs full-time to support myself, so dedicating time to composing music can be logistically and financially challenging.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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