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Where are the DIY music patrons?


This month's issue of JazzEd magazine (page 32) has an interview with Elvin Jones from 1971.  His voice on the page sparkles with life and intelligence, the same way his drumming did when I saw him at the Regattabar more than 10 years ago.

He speaks to the music scene in Detroit when he was coming up. I'll quote him here (emphases mine):

There was an elderly man then who was a jazz patron of the arts, you might say.  He was quite walthy and had retired from business. He used to run one of Ford's plants in Ohio, as the general manager or something like that.  He lived in Royal Oak, Michigan, so he used to come to the Bluebird a lot.  He decided that he wanted to sponsor concerts like Norman Granz.  He asked Thad and me to get some musicians together and from there we would see about hiring a hall, get publicity out, and put on a concert.  So we did it.

I love the do-it-yourself attitude here.  An individual who felt that music was important to the culture of his community spent his own money, talked to some musicians and made it happen.  Elvin doesn't say whether the concerts made or lost money, but surely that was not the point.

In the United States today, there are surely no shortages of individuals with the wherewithal to sponsor concerts and the passion to encourage the growth of music that builds intelligence, soul, and culture.  Are they out there?

Posting shows again

Hello Friends! I want to apologize for neglecting my performance postings on this site. I have been announcing my shows only on Facebook for a while, which was a mistake. Not everything needs to fly under that banner. I have a few exciting shows coming up this month, and I'd love to see you at one or more of them. June 8: Press Room, Portsmouth, NH June 15: Nave Gallery, Somerville, MA June 18: Andiamo, Newburyport, MA June 22: Amazing Things Performing Arts Center, Framingham, MA June 27: Demeters Steakhouse, Portsmouth, NH Check out the Calendar section of this site for more info. Jazz and creative music! It's worth your time. Love, David

Wyoming All-State

Had a wonderful time at the 1st Annual (right Ben?) Wyoming All-State Jazz Festival! The cats in the band were Ed, Ben, Scott and Matt -- great players, made it look easy. The high school students worked their tails off for two days and ended up swinging their way through 4 songs. Met lots of nice people -- is there such a thing as an unkind Wyoming-ian? Maybe, but I didn't meet one.

Maine All-State

I worked with 32 of the sweetest kids you'll ever meet at the Maine All-State Jazz Choir. They worked up 4 arrangements: Stardust, the Waters of March, I Thought About You and Sing For Your Supper. 3 days of pretty-much-constant rehearsal and exposure to my frantic search for vocal jazz perfection and they all kept their sanity. Made some new friends, made some good music.

Singing with Paula Cole!

Got to sing with 4 amazing singers: Paula Cole, Yumiko Matsuoka, Steven Santoro and Tom Baskett. Check out the video:

Open letter to the Canadian government

Dear Mr. Kenney, I read with dismay in the Calgary Herald that the Canadian Government is making it much more expensive for Canadian venues to hire musicians from outside the country. While I have long respected Canada's promotion of its sovereign music business and support of Canadian artists, this kind of protectionism is not in Canada's interest. Canada has a lot of talent to share with the world, but isolating Canadian musicians from international musicians in this way will deter the artistic and commercial growth of both groups. As a musician from the U.S., I and many of my colleagues will look elsewhere for performance opportunities. To this you might perhaps say, "Good riddance!", but I can tell you that Canadian audiences will be the poorer for missing the opportunity to hear us. I hope that the government changes course and creates a more welcoming environment for musicians from outside Canada. Sincerely, David Thorne Scott

Ali Amr at Newport

Congrats to my former students Ali Amr and Elisa Lomazzo for their performance at the Newport Jazz Festival. Long live qanun!

Berklee Vocal Summit

Wow! 211 students from all over the world came to the Berklee Vocal Summit over the past few days to learn from Berklee faculty and from each other. Thank you for making this event such a big success! As the director of the Vocal Summit, I am grateful to all the faculty and staff from Berklee that made things go click and BOOM.

El Sistema Benefit

Concert with the amazing Matt Glaser for the El Sistema Somerville music education program. These people are the real deal. Diane Cline has done incredible things for music in my town in just 9 short months.

Late night bike in the rain

On my way home from a private event I got caught in a minor downpour on my bike. I also discovered a great way to get to Somerville from downtown Boston. Go through the North End into Charlestown and then UNDER the Zakim Bridge to the Museum of Science. A beautiful blue-lit totally empty zippy ride.

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Next appearances

  • February 14, 2018
    Arsenal Center for the Arts, Watertown, MA
  • February 17, 2018
    Parish Center For the Arts, Westford, MA
  • April 7, 2018
    Linda Marks Salon