Saturday, April 28, 2012

The interviews begin; 14 days left in the campaign!

This weekend, I'm interviewing three different musicians for my Women In Jazz book project, including Sofia Rei, who I met when I lived in New York City. She's an incredible singer, composer, and band leader, and I am very pleased to have her perspective on music included in the book. The video below show Sofia and her ensemble in action.

There are 14 days left in the campaign, and I'm almost half way to my goal. Please consider making a donation. Any amount is helpful. Sharing the campaign with friends via Facebook and Twitter is also incredibly helpful.

Thanks everyone for your support!


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Women In Jazz decoupage

23 days to go. And so's going well. With each level contribution comes a perk. If you elect to donate $100 dollars to my Women In Jazz Promotional Video campaign you'll receive a handmade, one of a kind, women in jazz decoupage (pictured above) created by mezzo-soprano Lainie Diamond.

Binarium Productions Demo Reel

This is the demo reel for Jonathan Jindra’s video production company Binarium Productions. ‘m hoping to raise funds with this campaign to hire Jonathan to produce a promotional video for my Women In Jazz book project. Check out the reel to get an idea of the quality and inventiveness of Jonathan’s work. And thanks for your support.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The campaign has begun!

Last Wednesday, I launched my Women In Jazz Book Promotional Video campaign on Indiegogo. I'm hoping to raise a little bit of money to produce a video to promote the book project and function as a tool for reaching out to potential interviewees. I'm in the early stages of the book, but so far, saxophonists Mindi Abair, Jane Ira Bloom, and Tia Fuller, and Houston-based pianist singer Pamela York have agreed to be interviewed for the book. More names will be added soon.

To get an idea of the breadth of topics I plan to cover with each participating musician, please check out the interivew I did with Mindi Abair for CultureMap Houston in November 2011.

In less than a week, I've managed to raise $200 towards my $1000 goal, which is very encouraging. The concept of the book seems to be resonating with people. If you'd like to read more about the book project and contribute to the campaign, click on the image to your right.

Later this week, an article I wrote about crowdfunding will appear on the Consumer Media Network blog will go up. In the article, I describe the crowdfunding efforts of three different artists using three different platforms, as well as my own Women In Jazz book project. I'll share the link to that article soon.


Chris Becker

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Women in Jazz Book Project

I am a full-time writer for Consumer Media Network and a music and arts columnist for CultureMap Houston. I've written for the Houston Press, Option Magazine, and the contemporary classical music blog Sequenza 21. In addition to writing, I co-host a monthly radio show on called "Composer Talk" with pianist and composer Hsin-Jung Tsai. I'm also active as a composer and arranger.

I especially enjoy interviewing musicians from the world of jazz in all its forms and permutations. My column and personal blog has featured conversations with pianist Bobby Lyle, saxophonist Mindi Abair, singer Dee Dee Bridgewater, guitarist Russell Malone, conga maestro Poncho Sanchez, New Orleans pianist Larry Sieberth, and saxophonist and composer Matana Roberts, to name just a few. It was my conversation with Mindi Abair that sparked my idea to compile a collection of my interviews with women who play jazz in all of its forms. The working title of the book is Women in Jazz.

Does such a book currently exist? There are plenty of books about jazz featuring men, and it is a genre that, in spite of the groundbreaking advancements several notable women, is dominated by a male worldview. So what about the women composing for and directing big bands? Or shred with the best of them in the world of jazz-fusion? Or proudly play a kind of music that is a hybrid of styles and influences and called "jazz" just for the sake of a label?

I imagine a young musician, girl or boy, somehow coming across this proposed book and finding information and inspiration they didn't find before. Before that day comes, I look forward to and will enjoy, contacting women across the field of jazz and asking them to participate. The questions will focus on the nuts and bolts of building a career in music, so that the information practical as well as enlightening. One friend, a publicist, jokingly suggested I subtitle the book "Beyond the hair!"

This blog will document the book project as it comes together. I appreciate your stopping by, and hope you'll come back as I update this space with news and exclusive content.


Chris Becker