This is very interesting; using crowdfunding to finance artistic projects is hardly news – it’s been happening for years and has clearly picked up a great deal of pace recently, in the world of films, games, journalism and publishing. In the music world, a number of indie rock bands which I follow have used it to get records off the ground, and in each case have done so in keeping with a level of independent spirit which makes the decision unsurprisingly. (Interesting, Darren Hayman is a vocal opponent of this method of funding creativity).
This article points to a more traditional area of music which has been benefiting from this new world; jazz.
Not long ago, Wayne Escoffery—trusted saxophonist with the Mingus Big Band, the Tom Harrell Quintet and Ben Riley’s Monk Legacy Septet—had an idea for a new album. He’d already released five under his name, and a couple with his wife, the singer Carolyn Leonhart. But this one would be different: a concept album inspired by his early years in London, and the hardships of his single mother, and the circumstances around their emigration to the States. In essence, a portrait of the artist as a young man.
It would also be his first album of entirely original music, which he’d conceived for a blend of acoustic and electric instruments. But when he presented the idea to the record label he was affiliated with at the time, he found no traction there. “They felt that the music wasn’t accessible or radio friendly,” he recalled recently. So Escoffery turned to Kickstarter, the popular crowd-funding website, and took his pitch public. The decision literally paid off. He exceeded his $10,000 goal, and went on to make his album, The Only Son of One, which was released on Sunnyside this spring. (To the likely chagrin of his previous label, it has met with some success on jazz radio.)
He’s not the only one; click here to read the rest of the article.
And here’s the LP he made.