I was pleased on several levels. As an ex-pat Chicagoan it is great to see some of the cats on that scene doing great things. But, on another level I am pleased to see the trend of musicians taking ownership for the scene continuing. I wrote in an earlier post about how musicians like Dave Douglas and Matt Otto are changing the paradigm from a "label-centric" jazz world to more of an "artist-centric" one. The idea of musicians owning and managing the performance space is a logical step in that continuum. It isn't really new, though. Tesser cites Ahmad Jamal owning a club as well as the AACM model. I would add Seventh Avenue South, the Greenwich Village club owned and operated by the Breckers in the 1970s as well as Free Life Communication, the artist's collective of the 70s that counted David Liebman, Michael and Randy Brecker, Steve Grossman, Dave Holland, Chick Corea, Don Grolnik, Richie Beirach and many more.
I think that we as artists have to move in this direction. As long as we continue to rely on outside entities such as club owners or record labels to provide venues for the exhibition of our art, there will always be a market influence on said art.
Business models like these above as well as self-distribution and places like AS220 in Providence, RI place the art first. It is our music, lets support each other in the presentation and distribution of it!
Go out and hear some local music. Buy art from local artists, buy a CD from a player at a gig. Find a local theater and see a play. Buy a book by a local author. Seek out local artists and support them.
We want to play, write, perform, show for you!