The live stream was available every Sunday from 4pm-6pm and archived for 48 hours at https://www.facebook.com/imanirecordsmusic.
Throughout his career, pianist Orrin Evans along with his Dawn, have strived to nurture what they call "The Village," a congenial network that embraces not only their ever-expanding circle of collaborators but the audiences they welcome into the music's celebratory atmosphere.
That spirit has obviously been dampened over the tumultuous past year as The Village, along with the rest of the world, has been quarantined, social distanced, and locked down. With jazz clubs shuttered and festival stages shut down, Evans decided to start Club Patio, a weekly performance live-streamed from his home in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia and featuring a rotating cast of guest musicians and an intimate audience on the front lawn – all safely masked and practicing social distancing.
"This is a new world for us," Evans says, "and we have to figure out how to make it work. Club Patio gives us a chance to play in front of an audience, while the people watching it virtually are getting a real concert with real reactions, real applause and real laughter."
Club Patio took place every Sunday throughout the summer from 4pm-6pm; while the in-person audience was limited to an invitation-only group of ten to fifteen, each show was streamed live via the Imani Records Facebook page. Guests included jazz legends like bassist Buster Williams and drummer Lenny White; modern jazz greats including Russell Malone, Nasheet Waits, Ari Hoenig, Dezron Douglas, and Johnathan Blake; regular Evans bandmates such as Anwar Marshall, Byron Landham, and Luques Curtis; and rising stars. Concerts were archived for 48 hours, allowing anyone who misses the live event two days to catch up on their dose of "Vitamin M."
The streams were free, but donations were encouraged via Venmo, Paypal, or Cash App. Those funds helped support the high standards of video and audio that Evans insists upon for the presentation, provided by longtime collaborator Jason Fifield of Slife Productions. Along with donations, Club Patio received some assistance from The Pittsburgh Jazz Festival.
By stressing the idea of music as "Vitamin M," Evans is pointing out the very real value of music in our lives – something that's been profoundly missed as we've all tried adjusting to our new reality. Hearing and seeing live music came with a ticket price before, so the pianist hoped audiences would recognize the need to pay for this vital and enriching service even from a digital distance.
Dedicated to Club Patio's success, Orrin & Dawn presented 13 concerts and ended the series with an all-day Festival at a unique location.
"People sometimes think of this as helping out starving artists," Evans says. "The reality is that when I played music before the pandemic, I got paid. The only thing different now is I'm playing music during a pandemic. The audience should still feel like that's worth paying for."
Now is the time to do all WE can as a community to make sure Club Patio returns this summer. We need your donations to continue to present these concerts. This year we will join forces with Bump Jazz Productions to offer a few shows from their beautiful live studio.
With your support, Club Patio begins Sunday, May 2nd, and continues with an exciting lineup throughout the summer. Please do what you can to keep the music playing! If you're wondering what would be a good donation, we'll first say all donations are appreciated and accepted but listed below are suggested donations.
$20-$25 per show if you see a particular show you'd like to support
$25 per show for Live Audience (list date of the show you'd like to attend in the memo) *Live Audience includes concert, refreshments, and meet the artist reception.
$350-$400 receive an Imani Records Gift Basket
$600 special VIP Live Audience Season Pass with reserved seating plus signed CD's from each weekly special guest. Includes 16 concerts.
$1000 special VIP Live Audience Season Pass with reserved seating plus signed CD's from each weekly special guest. Includes 16 concerts. Along with VIP Pass with reserved seating to Club Patio Festival 2021
With your support Club Patio begins Sunday, May 2nd and continues with an exciting lineup throughout the summer. Please do what you can to keep the music playing!
One positive outcome of this quarantine year has been to force artists to reimagine the venues for their music in the virtual world, thereby removing physical geography as a consideration in reaching both established fans in underserved locales and new audiences wherever they might be found. But in many cases, livestream concerts and recorded performances have taken place in the same clubs and concert halls as they always have – an important continuation of these sites’ vital missions, but also a missed opportunity. Seeing bands play to empty seats, with songs ending to nervous silence, can make for an uncomfortable comparison to the way things used to be. With Club Patio, Evans reinvented the jazz club as a neighborhood hang, one as casual and familiar as it is intimate. In that way, Club Patio removes the most daunting aspects of visiting a jazz club, especially for new listeners. Those intimated by unfamiliarity with the music will necessarily find something comforting in seeing musicians in the familiar setting of home, playing joyously and enjoying one another’s company. From his earliest attempts at the format Evans saw real, in-person results with neighbors stopping on the street to enjoy the music on their daily rounds, walking their dogs or strolling to the grocery store. Club Patio is a reminder of the key role that jazz, and music in general, play in daily life.
2nd Joanna Pascale
9th Imani Records All Stars led by Caleb Wheeler Curtis
16th Victor North
23rd Imani Records All Stars led by Caleb Wheeler Curtis
30th Orrin Evans with Joanna Pascale
6th Mark Whitfield/Matthew Parrish/Jeff "Tain" Watts
13th Alexander Claffy and Ancient Grains
20th Buster Williams, Clarence Penn & Sean Jones
27th Buster Williams, Orrin Evans and Jeff "Tain" Watts
Stay Tuned For July and August!
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