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Oakland songwriter sings I Wanna Work for You: 10 timely tunes ranging from pop jazz to Brazilian partido alto to blues funk to salsa.
85 backers pledged $8,540 to help bring this project to life.

About

I Wanna Work For You: Alexa Weber Morales' 3rd album! project video thumbnail
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$8,540

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Listen to my originals from previous albums:

Her Ways Wander

Así es el Amor

Down in the Everglades

The Goddess of War

Play That Song of Love and Rage

Why Do I Wanna Work For You?

Because I know what it's like to be passionate, to spearhead a team making something each person on it is proud of, to feel like your contribution is crucial, to laugh and complain and argue and know that the end result will be better because you questioned convention.

That's what songwriting and record production and gigging mean to me. I'm working for you, and we're all getting in a groove together. In an increasingly virtualized, mechanized, recessionized world, we desperately want to be useful, irreplaceable, and paid a living wage. This is a feeling I think everyone shares in 2011.

Why now?

I wrote the title track in a moment of desperation, but the truth is I'm always writing songs and then wondering when if ever I'll produce them. So now we're almost done arranging tunes for a third solo album (4th if you count the EP I made last year), titled I Wanna Work For You.

My two previous albums, Jazzmérica (2004) and Vagabundeo (2007) did well (the latter was praised in DownBeat and made top 20 jazz radio nationwide!). This time I'm working with someone new, the talented bass player Sam Bevan, to make my tunes "me, only better."

Even though we've gigged together before, I didn't realize Sam was a skilled arranger until last fall. I gave him a salsa tune of mine, Catastrofe de Amor, and he turned it into a slow-burning timba thruster. So then I gave him I Wanna Work for You. Whenever we play this pop-jazz anthem at a gig, someone always comes up and asks me to play it again for their unemployed friend.

What Will It Really Cost?

Unlike my previous albums, produced by 5-time Grammy nominee Wayne Wallace (thanks to Wayne I too am now Grammy-nominated), this time I'm out gigging the songs before getting into the studio. Another difference is I'm self-employed and support my family of four 100% via music and writing.

That means I can't spend what I did with my other albums. It's hard to budget a full-length album for under $10,000, however. So the closer we can get to $10,000 or more, the better. I know money is tight! What I fervently hope is that you can help us cast a wide net for this project. I've seen some amazing victories on Kickstarter. I've kicked in dough for a fellow musician who nearly lost his house and another whose axe was stolen. I also have raised over $6000 myself in 2008 and 2009 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. So I know crowd-sourcing works.

Also, this isn't charity, because the rewards you get for your pledges include the music from the upcoming album you want to hear PLUS other unusual, delicious or once-in-a-lifetime opportunities!

What Is the Money For?

Your pledges will help defray the largest costs: Paying musicians (which supports a lot of deserving Bay Area musicians and their families), the studio and the engineer. Sam and I have talked about ways to make this recording session and production super-efficient.

We have 10 tunes on the list, and this time they are ALL ORIGINAL! Two in Spanish, one in French, the rest in English:

  • I Wanna Work For You
  • Catastrofe de Amor
  • I Think of You
  • Let’s Not Ruin This Affair (English/French)
  • I’m Your Man
  • Quisiera Retroceder el Tiempo
  • When the Night Is Cool & All the Boys Are Sleeping
  • I Didn’t Drill That Deep
  • The Names of the Winds
  • Into the Stratosphere

The styles range from pop-jazz to Brazilian partido alto to blues funk. We'll mainly have acoustic instruments--plus maybe a synth or two.

Will you help me get this done? I can't wait to update you on our progress (we've got lots more video where our "trailer" came from). Please remember that we need to make our minimum goal to have the pledges turn into real money, but there is no maximum! Please help us spread the word to potential donors because it will take $10,000 or more to complete the project. Let's get kickstarted!!!!!

Praise for Vagabundeo (Patois Records, 2007)

"Her large-scale skill and talent encourages her all-inclusive dreams... Gorgeous articulation, flowing time sense and warm tone." —Ken Micallef Downbeat, June 2008

“Her passion for exploration suffuses her music, and whether interpreting tunes in French, Spanish, Portuguese or English, Weber Morales communicates a song’s emotional essence with an ardent, throaty alto that soars effortlessly into a crystalline soprano register.” —Andrew Gilbert, San Jose Mercury News, August 16, 2007

"I find her command of Latin idioms completely convincing, entrancing even." —Tom Hull, former contributor to The Village Voice

"Beautiful and bewitching." —Arnaldo DeSouteiro, producer of such stars as João Gilberto, Luiz Bonfá, Yana Purim and João Donato

"With a voice sweet, pure and strong, Alexa Weber Morales is poised to ride the Bay Area Latin jazz scene to national recognition." —San Francisco Chronicle, June 17, 2007

“One of the greatest Bay Area recordings in recent times." —Luis Tamargo, Latin Beat, September 2007

"Morales is a mix of jazzy sweetness … and Latin brightness." —Mary Kunz Goldman, The Buffalo News, June 22, 2007

"Very much the kind of singer you want to hear more of, more often, Morales is on the money throughout with a jazz/world date that open-eared adults will pass the word on quite easily." —Midwest Records, June 2007

"Alexa Weber Morales is a San Francisco Bay-area singer whose star is rapidly rising. … her lush, rangey, sensuous voice reminds me of Basia, another boundary-busting, powerhouse singer... Is this jazz with a pop/Latin sensibility, or Latin with a jazz/pop sensibility? In purist circles, 'pop' is a four-letter word, but how crucial is that when music is so high-spirited and rendered with such care, talent, and heart? Vagabundeo/Wanderings is a good name for this wide-ranging, engaging journey. If Weber Morales ever decides to tackle some jazz standards, she could blow away half the current crop of vocalists. At least." —Dr. Judith Schlesinger, All About Jazz, July 2007

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    I will think a glowing, thankful thought about you. And then I will send you an MP3 from my new album. When it is complete. Which I will be able to do if you send me a dollar 6,500 times. Yeah! Hit me!

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    One MP3 off one of Alexa's previously released albums, and an MP3 off the new album too! Woo hoo!

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    Pledge $9 or more About $9

    In this beautifully produced PDF eBook (Alexa was a magazine editor for 10 years), you'll get a list of the books about music, voice, theory, composition, art, inspiration, life challenges and business, among other topics, that Alexa highly recommends. She also includes her favorite works of fiction. Alexa's List of Books. It's like the New York Review of Books, only shorter and artier -- oh, and no politics either. NOTE: This eBook is not included in the $35 reward.

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    Pledge $9 or more About $9

    Another beautifully designed PDF eBook, this one is called Alexa's Guide to Practice. This is filled with inspiration, tips, ideas and reporting on what famous musicians, dancers, athletes, artists and writers have found works to keep them practicing their craft or calling. Also comes with checklists you can use to create your own perfect practice routine. NOTE: The eBooks are not included in the $35 reward.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A high-quality download of the complete, final album before the release date!

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    A signed physical copy of the completed album!

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    All of the above, plus a sensual signed poster of Alexa that is sure to change your life, or at least your wall!

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    The $35 reward, plus a collection of Alexa's previous CDs and three different, unique signed promo posters!

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    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    One 50-minute voice lesson with Alexa in person or via Skype.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    The $50 reward, plus a batch of two dozen of Alexa's delicious homemade chocolate chip cookies mailed to you!

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    Pledge $85 or more About $85

    The $50 reward, plus go running with Alexa in a picturesque Bay Area location, anywhere from 3 to 7 miles (unless Alexa is injured or way out of shape, or you are). But hey, we will get to the picturesque location and we will go the distance, somehow. Let's do it.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    The $50 reward package, plus one personal weight-training session, salsa aerobics class or salsa dance lesson with Alexa.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    The $50 reward package, plus I will personally bake and decorate a child's birthday cake for you! I love doing this for my boys. See the video for examples. San Francisco Bay Area only (I don't know how to mail a birthday cake).

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    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    The $50 reward package, plus two 1-hour voice lessons in person or via Skype with Alexa!

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    The $50 reward package, plus I will cook you a homemade meal of my secret recipe cracklin-good chicken tenders and homefries and lemonade (local only). My kitchen or yours.

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    The $50 reward package, plus dance onstage with Alexa at a gig (so long as you don't knock anything over or fall off stage)!

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    The $50 reward package, plus Alexa paints your family's faces for Halloween or for a children's birthday party! Note: Alexa does not know how to do balloon animals. Don't ask unless you want things to get ugly.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    The $50 reward package, plus another award above under $200 of your choice, plus Alexa will send you handwritten sheet music for three songs off the new album! And yes, you get the $50 reward too.

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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    The $50 reward package, plus another award above of your choice, plus: Handwritten sheet music, exclusive artist photos and lyrics for five songs off the new album, beautifully bound in a one-of-a-kind book!

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

    The $50 reward package, plus: Your very own house concert with the Alexa Weber Morales Band (Northern California only)! We bring the sound system, songs and smiles right to your livingroom or back yard! If you are outside the Bay Area you'd need to pay us for travel/lodging/food. But if you are rich this may make perfect sense! Yes!

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    The $50 reward package, plus another award above of your choice, plus: You get an executive producer credit on the album!

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    Pledge $3,000 or more About $3,000

    The $50 reward package, plus another award above of your choice, plus an executive producer credit on the album, plus.... drumroll

    An original oil-on-canvas painting by Alexa inspired by the songs on the new album!

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Funding period

- (57 days)