Help Me Release My Debut Jazz Album

Hi folks! I am Ian Sinclair, Toronto area jazz pianist. I became a musician growing up in the province of Saskatchewan due, in large part, to the strong tradition of music education in that part of Canada. Since then, I have performed in the United States and Canada at international jazz festivals and prominent venues with many highly acclaimed musicians. I have also had faculty positions teaching jazz performance at US and Canadian universities. In recent years, I have been an active performer in Toronto's jazz scene while pursuing and as of March completing a doctorate in music  at the University of Toronto (the only doctoral jazz degree in Canada). While I recorded an EP with my electronic trio A Series of Tubes in 2012, in recent years I have been especially interested in recording a full-length acoustic jazz album.

I am excited to share that I have just recorded a full-length album of my original jazz compositions with my quartet at world-renowned Canterbury Studios (you can hear clips of these tunes in the background of the video above). The album will be called Know the Reflection. It features my quartet of fantastic award-winning Toronto musicians - Jim Lewis (trumpet), Nick Fraser (drums), and Mark Godfrey (bass) - as well as special guest, internationally acclaimed tenor saxophonist Kelly Jefferson. They all put considerable work into mastering these new challenging works and I am eager to share this music.

My original compositions reflect my interest and professional experience in a wide range of musical traditions. These inspirations not only include elements culled from many jazz performers, but also aspects like the harmonic and structural aspects of some classical music as well as the rhythmic and melodic inflections of many genres of popular music. I think the results are distinctive and diverse, and this band interacts with these compositions in exciting ways.

It was thanks in part to grants from the Toronto Arts Council and FACTOR that this project is already at this point but... before I can release it, I will need to complete the final "post-production phase." 

The post-production phase entails these costs:

1. Audio ($2000)

Right now, the audio is in its “raw” state without any changes since going to the studio. First, this audio will need to be mixed. This means that, for each tune, an engineer and myself will carefully adjust and combine the recorded instruments together, until every selection sounds balanced and clear.

Once that is done, this audio is sent away to be mastered. This is basically a kind of digital polishing for the entire album - it makes sure the the album sounds like a cohesive whole. (You could think of mixing as the basic car wash and mastering as the buffing.)

2. Reproduction / Physical ($1250)

Obviously, I will need to pay for reproducing the actual CDs. Also, while the CD sleeve will have beautiful cover art thanks to a donation from Saskatoon artist Allison Fairbairn (see below), I still need to pay to finish the sleeve's overall design and reproduction.

Finally, there are additional costs ($250) related to shipping CDs, the use of this website, and other material expenses.

In conclusion...

With your support, our creative work be presented and released as early as the fall or early winter. (I anticipate that there will be a CD release date booked in Toronto that I will share with all supporters.)

Beyond sharing this music for its own sake, I hope to use the album as an important career tool. To that end, I will use it to seek future engagements and tours with this group; to apply for creative grants from funding agencies; and to seek employment as music educator/academic. 

Thanks to everyone for your potential contributions. Any level of support is appreciated though there are exclusive rewards (including getting the album itself first) at various levels of support that you can see. 

You can find out more about me and my work at Please feel free to contact me through my website about this project.

I can't wait to share this music with you.

 Q & A

What happens if you go over your original goal?

If there is a lot of momentum and I get closer to $4000, this would allow me to take a few extra hours in the studio to take some additional time editing and polishing.  (This could cost as much as an additional $600.)

If there is a lot of demand and I can get to $5000, this would allow not only for longer mixing, but also for my CD packaging to have an even nicer case and liner notes. Also, at that point, the number of backers would result in ordering more CDs to meet demand so that would also be a cost.

I will close the campaign regardless at about $5000.

What happens if you don't make all of your goal?

This isn't like kickstarter's all-or-nothing approach. If I don't make all of the goal, that is less than ideal but I still have access to the funds.

However, I need at least $1000 to go ahead with mixing, the first step of post-production, so I have decided to make that the minimum. (Actually, $1000 would only fund part of that cost but it would be enough to make a start.) Of course, not making close to my $3500 goal will mean that the release date will be delayed. In that case, I would update everyone about the revised timeline.

If I raise less than $1000, however, I will refund everyone's money and reconsider my options. 


(If I donated $25+) when will I receive the CD?

It will depend on the scheduling of mixing and mastering sessions and how long the duplication takes. Also, as stated, if I don't make 100% of my goal this will also slow down my progress. If all goes smoothly, I do not anticipate the shipping could start sooner than October and could be as late as January. I will update everyone as progress occurs.


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Ian Sinclair 
Toronto, ON
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