Cafe CODA: A Home for Great Music

Madison Wisconsin is a jewel of a mid-sized city in midwest America. 
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.

Thank you
Hanah Jon Taylor

Donations (0)

  • Mitchell Nussbaum 
    • $20 
    • 19 mos
  • Pam Porter 
    • $50 
    • 21 mos
  • Rebecca May and Matt Turner 
    • $100 
    • 21 mos
  • Gerald Campbell  
    • $200 
    • 22 mos
  • John Feith 
    • $35 
    • 22 mos

Organizer

Hanah Jon Taylor 
Organizer
Madison, WI
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