Having had the opportunity to tour, perform overseas and to participate at length with some "Major Label" Artists, most of which were pleasant experiences, some not so much; what's incredibly obvious from those instances is that while The Majors always (and perhaps - SHOULD - note: I did say perhaps) get the most exposure, biggest paychecks, best dressing rooms and all of the perks in similar jazz festivals, the utter disparity between 'the little' artists who are in most instances far more talented and professional than the Major Label dudes they are opening up for is sometimes mind-boggling (think Twilight Zone...)
So, when presented with the task to choose the entertainment, I thought a different approach should be implemented. With Spyro Gyra's brilliant display of why they've been trendsetters in Modern Jazz for the past 30 years last year, coupled with the tenacity of David Benoit's aggressive band still in my head, I knew I had to come up with a "Killer Line Up" that, still somewhat under the radar of Star Status (although, each group has performed or recorded with an artist of note) would absolutely WOW You with their performance prowess. I also wanted to put together a show that would rival what the larger surrounding cities are presenting, while simultaneously appealing to every sub-genre that Jazz has to offer...only with completely INDEPENDENT ARTISTS!
Yes, that's right, each of these Artists have No Major Label Funding, No International Distribution, No Corporate Pocketbooks backing them - but each and everyone of them have to sing for their supper each night by doing their own booking, promotion, management & marketing and selling their product from city to city while playing their patooties off, honing their craft.
Through this blog, you'll get to know a little more about each one and I invite you to visit their websites (Click The Bands Tab on This Site) and purchase their music in advance, so you'll have the pleasure of enjoying them while you wait for them to light up the stage.
To whet your whistle a little - check out the video below by Phillip K Jones II - a Graduate of Oberlin College Conservatory, this young, unsung genius of the piano plays a famous hymn three different ways - Gospel, Classical & Jazz - yet - he's not represented by a "major" - so Niayana Recordings picked him up (another company I have some dealings with) and we are certainly happy to present him to you. You're going to Love The Video - You're Going to Appreciate his God Given Talent - AND You're certainly going to go bananas over the band he brings to town on July 9th.