I’m Orbert Davis, the Artistic Director of Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, and I am so excited about this CJP Trilogy Recording Project. To explain exactly why, let me tell you some of my story.
In 2004 I got a call from the Jazz Institute of Chicago, asking me to “think big” for the upcoming Chicago Jazz Festival. Well, you know it didn’t take me long to come up with something!
It had always been my dream to create a musical ensemble that would be 100% classical, 100% jazz – an organization with the rich, full sound of a classical symphony orchestra that could swing like the coolest combo around. The result was the 60-piece Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, an amazing collection of talented, passionate musicians.
Over the years we’ve had some amazing experiences, and performed some amazing music in some amazing venues. But the best part of it has been you, our amazing audience, supporting, challenging and encouraging us every step of the way!
So what is this campaign about? We are recording the music that you told us that you like best, creating a “trilogy” of CD’s, and we're inviting you to be part of making this happen.
We plan to go into the studio this fall to record "Havana Blue", "The Chicago RIver", and "Sketches of Spain (Revisited)". Just think -- once these recordings are produced, you'll be able to have CJP
next to your hearts, and your ears, at all times, and you'll have the satisfaction of knowing you helped make it happen.
One of the recordings of the trilogy, “Sketches of Spain (Revisited)” is a new arrangement of Miles Davis’ and Gil Evans' classic collaboration recorded in 1960. This work is an outstanding example of what's called Third Stream: a blending of jazz, European classical, and world music elements, and a perfect fit for the CJP. A few years ago, I had the opportunity to perform the original “Sketches of Spain” under the brilliant orchestra leader Bill Russo. Now, as a composer, I was honored to be able to put my personal interpretation on this great jazz opus. I hope you will like it.
“The Chicago River,” another part of the trilogy project, was commissioned by Symphony Center and inspired by the images of the reversal of the Chicago River in the book “The Lost Panoramas” by Richard Cahan and Michael Williams. I created a sonic picture of the river and the way it looked – and smelled – in the days when sewage and industrial waste flowed in the river to Lake Michigan. The five movements of the piece show the city from its early days through its growth into a modern city.
“Havana Blue”, the third recording, is actually a suite of live music and dance, in which I collaborated with Cuban-American choreographer Frank Chaves of River North Dance Chicago. We had a chance to travel to Havana Cuba in late 2012 where I met some incredibly talented musicians. There seemed to be music everywhere I went!
I came home inspired to write about these experiences.”Havana Blue” is many things:It’s a jazz ballet, it’s a symphonic love poem, it’s a tribute to the people I met there. Everything I heard, everyone I spoke with, and everything I saw strolling along the Malecon, the famous oceanfront walkway, is in “Havana Blue”.
So now you know why I’m excited about this trilogy project. I hope you are too, and that you’ll join me in making this happen!
Our Budget and Timeline - The funds we raise on Kickstarter will go towards paying the studio and musician fees, mixing, mastering, and disk manufacturing. If we exceed our goal, we can invest more in marketing and distribution.
These three recordings will be released individually over a period of 18 months or so, beginning in May 2014. Which will be the first release? We haven't decided. We encourage you to tell us your preference!
Marketing and Distribution - Fortunately, the founders of Chicago Jazz Philharmonic also manage their own established record label, 3 Sixteen Records, through which we can release and distribute the recordings. The recordings will be available on CD as well as on-line (iTunes, CDBaby, Amazon, etc.) Expect to see these releases marketed widely on-line via CJP's social media outlets, national radio play (including on Orbert Davis' own weekly radio show "The Real Deal"), CD release events, and on-site at all Chicago Jazz Philharmonic performances. 100% of the proceeds from sales will come back to Chicago Jazz Philharmonic to further support our performance and education programs.
Backer Rewards - We've got some great rewards lined up as our way of thanking you for your support. You can get pre-release music downloads, invitations to the CD launch event -- or even be named an Executive Producer!There are lots of support levels and rewards to choose from.
Remember, with Kickstarter we don’t get any pledged funds unless we reach 100% of our goal by the deadline. No donation is too small, and we are grateful for any amount you decide to give.
Thank you for joining us on this journey!
Co-Founder, Artistic Director
Chicago Jazz Philharmonic is recognized as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization by the IRS. Therefore, any contribution above the value of goods or services received is tax-deductible. You will receive an acknowledgement of your donation for tax reporting purposes.
Risks and challenges
The risks and challenges with any project are many, but we have put out several recordings and have confidence in our team. We have the best musicians in Chicago on this project, and they know the music and are prepared. The recording studio is one we have worked with before. In my opinion, it’s got the best facilities and sound technicians in the city.
In short, we’ve done everything we can to ensure the quality of the project. The only things we are not sure about are the exact launch dates of each CD, and in which order. That will depend on a lot of factors, but we will be releasing them between May 2014 and December 2015. We will keep you posted along every step of the way.
I have faith that with your help we will raise the money needed to produce these recordings. I know that we have many fans who believe in what we do and I thank you for your support over all these years.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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