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A genre-expanding, big band spin on the classic symphonic work by Holst. Professional studio recording in Los Angeles.
179 backers pledged $13,846 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$13,846

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I first fell in love with Gustav Holst’s “The Planets” as a high school student in Missouri. As a trombonist who also loved Star Wars, it was a perfect match. Little did I know how influential it would become for me. As I went through college and studied more classical music, I began to understand how it became such a groundbreaking work that spawned an entire genre of film music. After moving to Los Angeles, I began my career in orchestration and again and again “The Planets” was always a reference score for any musical situation. The harmony straddled romantic and jazz languages. It's massive scale showed the way forward for the largest of film orchestrations. When I had the opportunity to help write some additional music on the Star Wars: Battlefront videogames, I did an even deeper dive into Holst's harmony and textures. It was truly the musical equivalent of the bible. In 2017, I attended a performance of “The Planets” at the Hollywood Bowl. That night it all clicked. I was looking for material to adapt for a followup big band record, and I immediately knew what I had to do. Reimagine “The Planets” for modern jazz orchestra.


Mars - Demo

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If you don't already know me, you may be wondering, "Why does this guy think he has the right to mess with Holst?" A bit about me:  I'm currently a busy Hollywood orchestrator and arranger.  I help other composers realize their scores on paper. My body of work can be found here.  That's great and all, but why jazz? Well, that just happens to be my first love. I have a Masters Degree in jazz arranging and have been a prolific big band composer in Los Angeles since I moved here in 2007. "From There to Here," my first big band album by the Budman/Levy Orchestra (with co-leader Alex Budman) was released on OA2 Records in 2012. Also, as the former lead trombonist with the Brian Setzer Orchestra, I've paid my dues on the bandstand, as well. This project is the perfect fit for me, combining my extensive love and knowledge of the orchestral world, along with my first love of large ensemble jazz.


Here's the game plan:

Step 1 - Write 50 minutes of genre-expanding Classical/Jazz/Latin fusion. DONE!

Step 2 - Program a world premiere - DONE! I'll be performing the entire suite with the University of Miami's Frost Concert Jazz Band on March 5th, 2019. Big thanks to 3-time Grammy winner, John Daversa, for the invitation.

Step 3 - Put together a budget for the studio recording. That's where Kickstarter comes in.

Step 4 - Record my Los Angeles band in a professional studio.

Step 5 - Edit, mix, and master the record.

Step 6 - Release this project to the public!


Jupiter - Demo

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Why Kickstarter?

Quite frankly, producing these types of recordings is very expensive. I have already self-produced my first record on OA2, "From There to Here." It took nearly two years from recording to release, mostly due to budget constraints from self financing between Alex and myself. I'm hoping I can speed up the process with your help. By the way, if you haven't heard my first record yet, please purchase it or listen on the major streaming services. I'm very proud of it, and the album received very positive reviews.

Please know that your donations will go directly into the recording budget to help pay the musicians on AFM Union contract, as well as the cost for studio time.

The Planets: Reimagined - Complete set of scores
The Planets: Reimagined - Complete set of scores

Risks and challenges

The budget for a project of this scope is very costly. I am only asking for $10K to help start the project, as the rest will come out of my own pocket. Anything over the initial request would go directly back into the budget. Due to the expense of this undertaking, please understand that the proposed timeline may take longer than stated. I hope to have the album finished by the end of the year, but I still have a baby to feed, and a mortgage to pay!

Here is how the costs will break down:

Studio costs for 2 days of lockout recording - $4000
Musician costs - 18 players - $8000
Mixing and Mastering - $4000
CD Reproduction and Record Label Costs - $2000
Publicity - $5000

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    Pre-Release Digital Album

    This is the fastest way to hear the album. You will get a download link before the CD's have even been reproduced.

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    Two Autographed CDs and digital media

    You'll get two early copies of the CD as soon as it is reproduced. Makes a great gift for a music loving friend or family member! Digital media also included.

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    Early access to rough mixes

    You will receive access to rough mixes during the recording process. Get the inside scoop on how the recording is getting put together!

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    • Autographed CD
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    Single Movement - Score & Parts

    NEW! I've gotten a lot of demand to purchase only a single movement to play with your big band. Now available, purchase one movement of your choice, from The Planets: Reimagined. To be delivered in digital PDFs upon the close of this Kickstarter.

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    • Autographed CD
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    Pledge US$ 150 or more About US$ 150

    NEW! Invite to Planets Rehearsal

    Can't wait to hear this music on record? Come to a rehearsal in Burbank and watch my band finely polish this music before we head to the studio to record. As a bonus, any participants can join me for a coffee afterwards where we can discuss The Planets: Reimagined. Or, anything else you may be curious about!

    Includes:
    • Autographed CD
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    Pledge US$ 200 or more About US$ 200

    SALE! The Planets - Score & Parts

    I will send you download links for the complete score and parts of the entire seven-movement suite, in digital PDFs.

    Includes:
    • Access to rough mixes
    • Autographed CD
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    Pledge US$ 300 or more About US$ 300

    The Planets: Reimagined - Score & Parts

    I will send you download links for the complete score and parts of the entire seven-movement suite, in digital PDFs.

    Includes:
    • Access to rough mixes
    • Autographed CD
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    Pledge US$ 300 or more About US$ 300

    SALE! Jeremy Levy Big Band Catalog

    You'll receive complete score and parts in PDF format of my entire big band catalog. That includes "The Planets: Reimagined,"as well as all 11 songs off of "From There to Here." This is a $900 value. As a bonus, you'll also receive these additional charts:

    Ode to Abbott
    Blues for Pembroke
    Sus It Out
    More Changes

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    • Access to rough mixes
    • Autographed CD
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    Pledge US$ 400 or more About US$ 400

    SALE! Group masterclass - The Planets

    I will host a masterclass at my home studio in Los Angeles, where I will discuss the process of adapting The Planets for jazz orchestra. We will go in depth into the arranging techniques and harmony.

    Travel costs not included.

    Includes:
    • Access to rough mixes
    • Autographed CD
    • Complete Jeremy Levy Big Band Catalog (PDF)
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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    SALE! Composition and arranging lesson

    ON SALE!

    This is a one-on-one lesson at my home studio in Los Angeles, where we can discuss composition and arranging techniques for big band. I will also show you all the secret tips and techniques of film orchestration. If you've ever wondered how film music is put together, this is for you!

    Travel costs not included.

    Includes:
    • Access to rough mixes
    • Autographed CD
    • Complete Jeremy Levy Big Band Catalog (PDF)
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    Complete Jeremy Levy Big Band Catalog

    You'll receive complete score and parts in PDF format of my entire big band catalog. That includes "The Planets: Reimagined,"as well as all 11 songs off of "From There to Here." This is a $900 value. As a bonus, you'll also receive these additional charts:

    Ode to Abbott
    Blues for Pembroke
    Sus It Out
    More Changes

    Includes:
    • Access to rough mixes
    • Autographed CD
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    1 backer
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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 750 or more About US$ 750

    Group masterclass discussing The Planets

    I will host a masterclass at my home studio, where I will discuss the process of adapting The Planets for jazz orchestra. We will go in depth into the arranging techniques and harmony.

    Travel costs not included.

    Includes:
    • Access to rough mixes
    • Autographed CD
    • Complete Jeremy Levy Big Band Catalog (PDF)
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
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    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    SALE ! VIP Access to Recording Session

    ON SALE! Join me at the recording studio as a special guest to watch the band record "The Planets: Reimagined."

    Travel costs not included.

    Includes:
    • Autographed CD
    • Access to rough mixes
    • Complete Jeremy Levy Big Band Catalog (PDF)
    • Private Composition and Arranging Lesson
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Funding period

- (58 days)