Document Historic Queer Jazz Festival
$3,650 of $3,500 goal
While the jazz world is pretty much a straight, male 'man's world', documenting the existence and emergence of female jazz instrumentalists in the field became another subject for my cameras. While exploring that aspect, and digging deeper into the culture of jazz, I found that it is quietly accepted that 'gay' or 'lesbian' composers and players in the genre are largely overlooked or go unrecognized entirely. It's mostly a 'Don't Ask - Don't Tell' culture, and one I feel needs to have a light shone upon it.
Here's a resource that talks about the subject & lists known 'out' jazz artists in the past: www.glbtq.com/arts/jazz,2.html
With only a handful of 'out' 'Queer' jazz artists, some good people in Philadelphia are hosting the first-ever 'Queer Jazz Festival' that will showcase a good population of these current musicians.
I'd like to travel there and capture as many interviews, presentations and concerts as possible, and in my unique 'guerilla' style. In order to accomplish this journey and production of content for this project, I need to come up with funds. Airfare, lodging, car rental, festival ticket, gear for my cameras, oh...and I have a nasty habit of eating! Figuring in loss of wages back home places me about $3,500 as my goal.
What do you get out of this adventure of mine? Reports from the front lines! I'll post photos from location via Twitter & Facebook and uploads of short clips within hours of shooting. You'll get to be near this historic event through my lense, and be part of something bigger than us all. Upon returning to California, I'll get working on production of a longer mini documentary of the event in Philadelphia. Probably a series of them :)
Here is a clip I created in May 2014 from covering a rally that took place in front of San Francisco's Jazz Center calling for blind auditions at Jazz at Lincoln Center: www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFZ5JCZkuZ8
In 2012 I documented a 10th Anniversary celebration of a straight couple in the bay area who decided to throw a fundraiser for marriage equality: http://vimeo.com/46561202
Here is one of my better pieces capturing jazz guitarist Terrence Brewer in action at Stanford Jazz: http://vimeo.com/44969762
Here's are examples of my jazz videos:
Won't you join me in this journey as I capture footage that you may not get to see or hear any other way? I hope so. And I look forward to sharing my work with you!
Thank you so much for your consideration. Let the music begin!
I've been busy each evening with cameras in-hand, and I may have inadvertently damaged my camcorder the other night while climbing stairs inside the Philadelphia Museum of Art where pianist Fred Hersch was going to perform with his trio! I took a bump with my foot on a stair and my camcorder bumped the ground slightly as I was balancing myself so as not to fall myself. Mind you: this is the very same museum where Sylvester Stalone as ROCKY famously runs on the FRONT of the steps to the building I'm told! Geez! But I gathered myself and shot some great footage - just can't load any up due to horrific internet issues at my hotel :(
I have now had a light bulb go 'off' in my head about east coast- west coast jazz styles and am anxious to see some more players this afternoon.
Until I return and can load up some concert footage, here is one photo that I caught (not a good one - the club was super dark) of Terri Lyne Carrington just ripping up her drums at Philadelphia's one jazz club, Chris' Jazz Cafe. I did manage to get my camera at the edge of the tiny stage and shoot her from 5 feet away for a lengthy time! Very exciting and I can't wait to share this soon! Wishing you all a great week ahead.
This is really nice because it will help me put some cash towards covering another expense I wasn't quite sure I'd need to bother with:
daily ground transportation to-and-from the venues.
A friend-of-a-friend told me that I'd better be very careful of traveling around with my cameras & gear taking public transportation in downtown Philly like I was thinking of doing. When I thought about it, it makes sense to take this precaution because if I were staying in downtown Oakland and having to travel blocks away every day carrying camera gear and a backpack and doing this late at night, I'd for sure get a cab or an on-demand car instead of risking robbery and worse. It's funny to think that I'll be relying on just the type of service job I had a few months ago myself and wanted to get out of so badly!
The number of acts OUTBEAT has on their roster has grown, but I'm feeling MOST excited about experiencing Terri Lyne Carrington who will be offering up BOTH of her Grammy winning projects: 'Mosaic' and 'Money Jungle'. I'm not sure who all will be joining her to perform, but I'm already getting goose bumps just thinking about it!
I'll close here with a photo of all the venues involved, and also a clip of Terri Lyne's, 'Money Jungle: Provocative In Blue'.
Thank you and have a great week!
This update serves as a reminder that my campaign WILL continue until September 25th, and I believe I will surpass my goal and HOPE to as anything beyond that goal will help compensate me for the production time involved in any final work I create. So, please pass along to your friends in these final days that they might consider taking advantage of my reduced painting services while this lasts!
Just give them the link & tell them to scroll down to the REWARDS LEVELS :) Thank you ahead!
Also….I just posted the first comment to this recent article in the online zine, AfterEllen.com, and I laid out some passionate feminist & queer activism, so I hope you take a read. The article posted is one where 4 of the performers in the line-up of OUTBEAT were asked to respond to their feelings about the use of the term, 'Queer' as well as their relationship to the festival and jazz in general.
I found the comments that Jennifer Leitham made particularly important to speaking to the issue of having received far less money NOW as a female identified jazz bass player than when she was 'John Leitham'- a male bass player. This basic gender-based employment in jazz is being brought up more and more, and I would like to add to that conversation whenever I see it arise.
Here's the link: http://www.afterellen.com/the-women-of-outbeat-riff-on-sex-music-and-the-definition-of-queer/09/2014/?xrs=synd_facebook_ellen