Jazz Coalition Grant Projects Now Posted

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Sarah Elizabeth Charles, one of more than 100 artists to receive a Jazz Coalition grant

(Photo: Shervin Lainez)

The Jazz Coalition, an artistic and financial support initiative for jazz musicians during the pandemic, has announced that the works of art resulting from the group’s Commission Fund grant-making process will be posted in an online gallery at jazzcoalition.org.

The Coalition awarded $1,000 grants to 104 musicians in support of new music to capture this moment and point a way toward transcendence. The grantees were announced in two groups. Artists in the second group were asked to focus their commissions on the movement for racial justice, building on a long legacy of political engagement in jazz.

Among those earning commission grants were Morgan Guerin, Sarah Elizabeth Charles, Michael Formanek, Keyon Harrold, Brandon Ross, Monnette Sudler, Tom Harrell, Ben Williams, Roy Nathanson, Wayne Horvitz, Greg Ward, Eric Revis, Fabian Almazan, Melissa Aldana, Michele Rosewoman and Jaimie Branch.

Vocalist Theo Bleckmann, a second-round recipient, said his grant offered a ray of hope in hard times, “making me feel that I am still part of this family, this fabric of creative forces, young and old and of all backgrounds, styles and heritages.”

The results ran the gamut of produced video shorts, remote collaborations, studio and home footage, and excerpts of live-streamed gigs. The projects ranged from short self-contained pieces to entire programmed suites, such as Amirtha Kidambi’s “New Monuments,” which premiered at Roulette Intermedium, and Amir ElSaffar’s “Alone With The Alone,” presented by Sacred Music at Columbia University.

Calling on industry professionals, artists, advocates and fans to contribute as individuals to this larger effort, some of the initial funders were Terri Lyne Carrington, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Nicole Mitchell, John Scofield, Joe Lovano and Joshua Redman.

Spearheaded by jazz industry veterans Brice Rosenbloom (NYC Winter Jazzfest), Gail Boyd (Gail Boyd Artist Management) and Danny Melnick (Absolutely Live Entertainment), the Jazz Coalition was formed to bring unity among in the jazz community at a time of mass unemployment, lost opportunities and increased struggle.

The goal, in Rosenbloom’s words, was “to create a new canon of work reflecting our collective resilience.”

To learn more or donate to the cause, visit jazzcoalition.org. DB



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