Cafe CODA: A Home for Great Music
I am an educator and Contemporary Jazz artist, with a career spanning throughout the United States, Europe, Scandinavia, Asia Minor and the West Indies. I hold a Batchelor of Arts in Design, a minor in African American Studies and a Master of Science in Music Therapy from Southern Illinois University, Where I was elected Student Body President in 1972.
I moved here from Chicago in 1993, in hopes of being close to my young son living there, but far enough away from all that bedeviled me with the passing of my mother.
In the mid nineties, there was a music scene in Madison that harbored all genres of music. As an artist seeking his place in the community, I wanted to make a contribution to the scene. My idea was to open an all-ages venue that would serve as a space for musicians and enthusiasts, presenting a more eclectic style of live music, dance and poetic presentations.
The House of Soundz opened in 1994, at 951 Williamson St., stayed in business for over two years, with concerts, workshops, private gatherings and special events. Unfortunately, our landlord at the time decided not to renew the lease, as he opted to rent the space to a less active tenant.
In 2003, Kuumba Renaissance, a non stock corporation of which I am Artistic Director, opened the Madison Center for Creative and Cultural Arts, at 306 W. Dayton, in the heart of Madison's Arts District. This place was great. Together with my best friend and cohort, Susan Fox, the MCCCA presented concerts, workshops and events showcasing local, regional and world class artists in music dance poetry and visual arts. The Center was open for almost four years before developers opted to purchase the property and to demolish it for a fresh new high rise.
Ten years have past since that time. And as places for live music disappear, there are still those who wish to have another 'scene' emerge for good acoustic music in an energetic but safe and dignified enviornment.
In my forty plus years as a professional Jazz artist, I have played and befriended many musicians both here and abroad, who would love an opportunity to perform in Madison, if there were a place that would offer suitable staging, a fair contract and knowledgable fans of the music.
As a former proprietor of two music/art spaces in Madison, I honestly believe that past experiences have taught me both what and what not to do in the business of art and the correct approach to community engagement.
We are excited to report that Kuumba has found another space that would be ideal for a reincarnation of our past efforts. It is over 3,700 square feet, with a floor plan most suitable to our needs and equipment, ready for light beverages and food service. It is located at 329 W. Mifflin, in the Metropolitan Place complex.
Our hope is to generate the enthusiasm of artists, business friends, parents, students and lovers of great music to support the seeding of this project with a donation of any size. The money will go to paying the security deposit, first month's rent and move-in expenses, which could be as early as January 1.
We have well seasoned relstionships, through our Board of Directors, with community businessmen who are willing to come on as co-lease holders, if Kuumba is able to raise the initial funds.
As a musician and educator living in Madison for the past 20+ years, I hope that there are those who recognize my efforts in this community to be sincere, and will join in the creation of a great new music venue for a city that well deserves it.
Hanah Jon Taylor
The New Year is upon us and the re-emergence of Cafe CODA is gaining momentum.
Thanks to all who have followed our progress and for your continued financial support of what will blossom this spring.
We should all be delighted to know that the Madison Common Council is scheduled to approve CODA for a Full Liquor License at 1222 Williamson Street, at its next meeting on January 2nd. This is major, of course, because it will allow us the revenue to contract performances and concerts respectfully, hire staff at a decent wage and present the place in suitable manner, with solid marketing.
It is only because of you, my friends, that we have come this far. This campaign which began in September 2016, has generated the funds, not only for equipment and the start-up of the first Cafe CODA, located downtown, but also for application fees, consultant fees and permits for the new space.
From the beginning, it has been clear that the establishment of a Music Listening Room in Madison would not be easy. However, it has been quite humbling and exciting to know that there are so many of you who know that this is exactly what this city needs. From the Mayor to the Players, we know that Madison deserves this.
So, here are the details regarding what we need next:
On January 2, we will be granted permission to purchase a Liquor License. We must then purchase the license within 90 days. The one-time fee will be $10,000.
We would like to sign the official 5-year-lease on January 15. At that time, we must provide a 'security deposit'. This deposit allows us official occupancy of the premises. Upon payment of the security deposit, we will be allowed to begin build-out of the space and given a rent abatement period of 90 days. The security deposit is $4,400.
From the very first day of occupancy and into the Grand-Reopening, we need to be fully insured for inventory and liability. According to our business advisor, the first quarter of commercial insurance may be about $1,500.
We are fortunate to have the commitment from Scott Brandt, the property owner, to begin reconstruction of the room with the funds necessary to make it acoustically cool and fire safe, using materials recommended by our Design and Architect advisors. In addition to that, CODA will have a great bar area and seating, contracted to be built and designed by Pieces Re-imagined. The cost is closely estimated to be about $8,000.
The remainder of funds requested of this campaign will be allocated to Marketing and preparations for the re-opening.
I hope that breaking down our needs in this specific manner will clarify the status of things and give some light to the urgency of this particular time period.
So, please, let us all do what we can to bring the CODA mission to the finish line.
I believe this community and its progressive way. Thank you and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!
Your Brother in the Music--
Hanah Jon Taylor
Just a note to wish everyone all the best that this season has to bring.
To all the musicians, who practice and pine to harness the air; to bring a little joy to the world.
To all the listeners and followers of the art form, who resinate the joy of the music through their meaningful work and good nature with others.
And especially to those who have a difficult time during this part of the year, missing loved ones who have passed on or those who are too far to kiss.
Happy Holidays and may God continue to bless us all with good fortune, great music and an ever-growing appreciation of one another.
We are one!
Hanah Jon Taylor
I first wish you all a most peaceful Holiday Season, whatever you wish to call it. The Taylors call it 'HanuChrisKwanza', when we come together in Chicago from near and far to catch up, trade gifts and tolerate each other...really looking forward to it.
But, hey, life graces us with the concept of 'family'; being connected and identifying with others; not merely by blood, but by love, commitment and a common sense of purpose.
As steward of the Cafe CODA Family, I need to let everyone know of our progress and our time table for re-opening at 1222 Williamson St. on Madison's progressive East Side.
I am happy to announce that we have just recently received the endorsements of Captain Jason Freedman of the Madison Police Department, City Alder Marsha Rummel and the Marquette Neighborhood Association in favor of our business presence in the community and our application for a liquor license. This is big. The official display of confidence from neighbors is major to us.
Please know that our needs, at this point, are becoming more specific. Your support has made it possible for us to purchase good equipment, contract professional consultation (business plan), establish and maintain a web presence and pay application fees and insurance.
The next level of support from this campaign will be allocated to cover the security deposit for the space, bar and room build-out, publicity and initial inventory.
We are targeting Mid March as an opening time. We are quite excited that things are moving as they are.
Please help us to the finish line, which is now so close.
Thanks you so so much, Family!
Hanah Jon Taylor
Let me first thank all of you who have continued to support this effort to make a permanent space for Jazz music in Madison, Wisconsin; to serve as a hub for creative artists in Midwest America.
Your faith and generosity has made Cafe CODA already a reality. And as we move from our first downtown site, into a larger, more congenial space at 1222 Williamson St, we are confident that the music will blossom and the arts community of Madison will be made whole.
It is rather nice to know that in this week of 'BLACK FRIDAY'(which is also the following Saturday), SOFA SUNDAY', there is also a day for giving. It is 'GIVING TUESDAY'.......which is today!
I must confess; most days that are, seemingly, manufactured to get Americans to cough up money are a bit unsettling to me. However, the idea of having a day in the midst the holiday shopping season that solicits the urgency of giving as part of the American tradition is pretty cool.
So, as we wish all of you the warmest of holiday wishes, we hope that you may honor our mission with a contribution to what will be the GREAT NEW SPACE FOR JAZZ IN MIDWEST AMERICA.
We still have a great financial challenge if we are to open by spring. So, please, let's all do what we can to help make CODA's transition a smooth and timely one.
Imagine...Spring...Flowers...Sun...and beautiful music emanating from a people-friendly space, with good wine and a tapas menu.
We can do this!
Happy GIVING TUESDAY!
Your Brother in the Music--
Hanah Jon Taylor
please help my parents http://gofundme.com/x8hj5-giving-back-to-my-parents
I think the Regent Street location will probably run into more problems with maintenance over time. The energy cost is probably more as well. With upstairs neighbors, heat loss is minimized. Mifflin Street is also closer to downtown, where there is a great density of clientele.
Sounds like the Regent street option might be a better option although I'm sure there are many details to get it up to code. When I have visited Madison I love to visit Willie street and feel like your venue would fit in there nicely. Its a bit more earthy and has eclectic restaurants. Maybe the rent might be a bit lower?
Hi Hanah....I think the Mifflin St. site will be a big headache for everyone. The attitude of the big guys says it all. Who needs that kind of hassle? I can't think what is at the Regent st. site now. The north side...is it the TAS building? Not residential...that's good. Will there be sufficient parking? That is crucial, as you know. Keep looking, if there are major problems with the Regent site. Have you considered asking John Wiley for help in negotiating this? He's a fan...knows everyone. Thank you for your passion and efforts. THIS WILL HAPPEN.
I love the idea of the Regent Street space (I know exactly where you're talking about). Sorry I wasn't able to get back to you in time to arrange to check it out with you and others. Sounds like the Mifflin St. space may be turn out to be even more of a headache going forward, having to deal with residences upstairs. If you end up going with the Regent St. space are you still planning on it being a cafe during the day? Do you have to jump through all of the zoning and licensing hoops again with this potential new space?