ColaJazz Community Discussion & Jam Session Summary

Thanks to everyone who came out this Monday night, March 19th, 2018. Amos, Sam and Brendan played a brilliant set of jazz standards to launch the event and it was nothing short of inspiring. Lee Snelgrove from OneColumbia filled us in on Amplify Columbia. Let your voice be heard! Fill out the survey now! We then opened up a group discussion on the question, “How do we grow our audiences?” Below are some of the highlights from the ideas offered minimally presented so you can use your imagination to make the most of the concept. After which, we had a jam session that started too late and ended too soon. 🙂 I think it will wet our whistle of future jam sessions around town.

Very importantly, I cannot thank Blue Moon Ballroom enough for freely opening their doors to us. They are a strong supporter of our jazz scene and went beyond the call of duty to give us a free space to gather, talk and play. They deserve your attention and they are very open to hosting jazz events, rehearsals, performances, et al. Contact them now!

“How can we grow our audiences?”

1) Think of complimentary arts groups, reach out to them, involve them.

2) Jazz in the church. Jazz vespers.

3) Create unique shows that appeal to groups outside of your norm. Be creative. For example, bring in Trahern Cook to paint your jazz show live. Work with a dancer. Create a show doing jazz versions of Led Zeppelin, then reach out to the rock audience to check it out.

4) Busking. Hit the streets and excite the community. Live music on the streets creates vibrancy.

5) Make Music Day. Be a part of it!

6) Reach out to folks creating eNewsletters. Look for opportunities to advertise in print media. Not everything is Facebook driven.

7) Play music to make people dance. Play music relevant to your audience. Skipp Pearson said, “Always leave the audience humming.”

8) Use multimedia in your performances. Have a slideshow or a video playing behind you. This is not a new concept, but it is still very effective.

9) Promote each other. Post about other gigs in town besides your own. It’s simple math. You shouting about yourself is one person. If we’re all willing to shout for each other, we all grow our audiences. You can have 10 different people posting about your one gig. And then you do the same for them. It is a simple win-win. When you promote others, you actually promote yourself. You become more interesting because you’re not just talking about yourself. We’re in this together. This is OUR scene to grow TOGETHER.

Obviously, there is not one answer. There are many ways to achieve the goal of growing our scene. We all have our strengths and we all have something to contribute. I believe in you. I believe in this city. We can do this. Practice. Study. Play. Promote. Grind. Go get it. Let’s make this city a vibrant place where we can all create art and make a living while doing it. Teamwork. Go!

colajazz roundtable march 2018

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