Founder Brown Miller and brownian productions new business partner Mike Mickiewicz are in Atlanta, GA right now for the an international photographers convention known as Imaging USA.
The event is normally a few hundred dollars for an all access pass but our passes were included as a perk of joining the Professional Photographers of America (PPA). This professional associations is one of the oldest in the country at 150 years in operation.
The free passes are just icing on the cake. The membership unlocks a world of knowledge and resources collected and curated and over generations to support and enhance our professional imaging business.
This is going to be a great weekend meeting all kinds of different people that get paid for taking pictures and learning how they do it, why they do it, and what success they’ve had doing it.
There are a ton of educational sessions and a 600+exhibitor tradeshow plus a couple really wild parties I hear. We’ll be posting updates whenever we get a chance.
In November 2011, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) officially designated April 30 as International Jazz Day in order to highlight jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people in all corners of the globe.
Each year on April 30, this international art form is recognized for promoting peace, dialogue among cultures, diversity, and respect for human rights and human dignity; eradicating discrimination; promoting freedom of expression; fostering gender equality; and reinforcing the role of youth in enacting social change.
International Jazz Day is the culmination of Jazz Appreciation Month, which draws public attention to jazz and its extraordinary heritage throughout April.
Brian Nova leads the Fantasy Big Band debut at the LIT Lounge in Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, CA. This event celebrates the successful completion of the first year of monthly jazz concerts at the southern Californian resort. The concert series “Jazz at the Twelve” is a unique gift from the tribal council that owns and operates the casino—the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians—to the local California Desert communities, their hotel guests, and the general public.
brownian productions™ is spreading the word about International Jazz Day and encouraging everyone to tune in to the live broadcast Global Concert from St. Petersburg, Russia on April 30th.
In addition to the legend-laden music festival, with performances by the likes of Herbie Hancock, The Manhattan Transfer, and Dianne Reeves, there are also thousands of participating events all across the globe. From tiny listening parties in private homes to massive multi-day festivals, the impact of jazz music can be heard in every corner of the world on this day of its celebration. Participation is free, easy and open to everyone.
The host nation for this year’s Jazz Day concert is particularly poignant considering the current state of international politics. The Russian Federation is the host and the recent, shaky diplomatic relations between the RF and several other countries just serves to sharpen the point that music bridges the cultural and political divides that separate us.
The host city, long considered Russia’s cultural capital, is St. Petersburg and it has played a vital role in the development of the jazz scene in Russia. It started in 1927 with the appearance of the “First Concert Jazz Band” at the St. Petersburg State Capella, followed by the creation of the first jazz collective in 1929.
To this day it’s the only city in the country to have a Jazz Philharmonic Hall.
The venue for the Global Concert is the Mariinsky Theatre, home to the acclaimed Mariinsky Ballet and one of the most cherished landmarks in a place known for its UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Nearly three dozen acclaimed artists representing 14 countries will be performing at the global concert.
Herbie Hancock (USA) and Igor Butman (Russia) will serve as co-artistic directors, and John Beasley (USA) will serve as musical director.
Additional confirmed artists include:
Cyrille Aimée (France), Oleg Akkuratov (Russia), Till Brönner (Germany), Oleg Butman (Russia), Terri Lyne Carrington (USA), Joey DeFrancesco (USA), Fatoumata Diawara (Mali), Vadim Eilenkrig (Russia), Kurt Elling (USA), Antonio Faraò (Italy), James Genus (USA), Robert Glasper (USA), David Goloschyokin (Russia), Hassan Hakmoun (Morocco), Gilad Hekselman (Israel), Horacio Hernandez (Cuba), Taku Hirano (Japan), Anatoly Kroll(Russia), Gaoyang Li (China), Rudresh Mahanthappa (USA), The Manhattan Transfer (USA), Branford Marsalis (USA), James Morrison (Australia), Moscow Jazz Orchestra (Russia), Makoto Ozone (Japan), Danilo Pérez(Panama), Dianne Reeves (USA), Lee Ritenour (USA), Luciana Souza (Brazil) and Ben Williams (USA), among others.
As the city of Indio, California rests up after hosting another week-long Coachella festival and prepares to receive droves of Americana music fans for the Stagecoach festival, Paul MacKey is busy preparing for his own special event this weekend. It isn’t Coachella or Stagecoach… Yet. But, it is a significant growth spurt for the jazz concert series he has produced for the past year.
A few years ago jazz guitarist Brian Nova, who has credits on a number of Grammy® Award winning albums,played a charity show at Fantasy Springs, in the new LIT Lounge. The show went so well that Brian’s buddies, bassist Larry Holloway and drummer Andy Fraga, asked their good friend and singer Paul MacKey, what he thought about doing a jazz concert series at Fantasy. Fast-forward to the present: Andy, Larry and Paul’s jazz series, “Jazz at the Twelve“, just celebrated its first anniversary of year-round monthly shows and now has a very special event coming up this weekend.
On Sunday, April 29th at 2pm in theLIT Loungewe will see the culmination of two years working to bring the best jazz artists to the desert for free performances, courtesy of the Cabzon Band of Mission Indians, the owners of the resort. This event will introduce the brand new “Fantasy Big Band“, a large jazz ensemble comprised of musicians from southern and northern California sponsored by Fantasy Springs. What better special guest to kick off the second year of the series than the man that sparked the whole idea for it after that charity show… Brian Nova returns to the LIT to lead the new big band’s debut performance.
Jazz Day Afternoon
The Fantasy Big Band show is a participating event of International Jazz Day—April 30th, the day after the big band show—an annual, global event organized by Herbie Hancock and the Thelonius Monk Institute aimed at promoting and educating publics around the world about the extraordinary genre. MacKey said “It’s such a wonderful thing to be a part of, the whole world uniting together in the name of jazz. It’s inspiring… especially for the young people. And believe me, they need it these days.” He went on to explain how easy it is to register any event of any size on the JazzDay.com website and follow and mention @IntlJazzDay or use the #JazzDay hashtag to boost your posts and draw interest from an international community of jazz lovers.
A Little Help From Our Friends
The Fantasy Springs jazz series’ media sponsor is 107.3 ModFMwith radio personality Jeff Wolf, who interviewed the series’ host, Paul MacKey, on air at 9:30am on Tuesday, April 24th. Also, Brian Nova will do an on-air interview with Wolf on Friday, April 27th at about 8:30am. MacKey and Nova will also be interviewed on local TV news station KESQ‘s lifestyle segment “Eye on the Desert” with Patrick Evans airing on the Friday evening news. Also, AllAboutJazz.com and JazzNearYou.com, the online community started in 1995 by Michael Ricci, and their local Palm Springs events calendar admin, Brown Miller, have been promoting the show sitethe series on their platform.
The Boy$ in the Band
The Fantasy Big Band is sort of less than the some of its parts in a way. Many of its members are actually highly successful, even famous, for non-musical endeavors. Don’t get it wrong, they are all accomplished musicians and can roll with the best of them; they didn’t just buy their way into the music business. But, these guys are playing music for fun, because it’s their passion (maybe second passion) and because they love jazz! Does that make them more authentic… or, less authentic? Talented? Relevant? Present? No one can truly answer that until they’ve heard ’em play! So, if you’re curious to know what jazz sounds like when it’s played by a bunch of rich guys on their downtime instead of struggling musicians who drive Uber 5 days a week to pay the bills you might want to check this gig out.
Some of the most notable musicians’ stories are Dan Gordon and Brian Switzer.
Dan Gordon is the “Gordon” in “Gordon Biersch” the world renowned brewery based in the Bay Area. Gordon got his taste for beer and jazz in Göttingen, Germany where he was an exchange student. Today, his brewery is booming with nearly 30 restaurant locations worldwide, and the
San Jose Summer Jazz Fest which he helped to create is a massive success with 12 stages of entertainment for three days. Dan Gordon will be playing trombone in the brass section of the Fantasy Big Band on the 29th.
Brian Switzer is a career musician and educator who works with NorCal Jazza jazz camp and private instruction service in northern California. He is the creator and publisher of the JazzDeck®, a musical “textbook in a box” that helps players of all levels build confidence and sharpen their chops as jazz soloists. Switzer also went on tour with the Grammy® Award winning band Train and has performed songs like “50 Ways to Say Goodbye” at some auspicious events such as The David Letterman Show, The Today Show, VH1, The Talk and a live concert on PBS. Brian Switzer will be playing trumpet in the brass section of the Fantasy Big Band at the LIT Lounge.
Jessica Taylor is one of the hundreds of talented musicians that have had the honor of performing with one of the legendary Platters groups. After 20 glorious years with her Platters outfit, Jessica decided to go solo and settled into the SoCal desert jazz scene near Palm Springs.
While photographing and video recording the second Jazzville show at Oscar’s Cafe in downtown Palm Springs, Brown Miller of brownian productions™ noted Ms. Taylor’s vibrant stage presence and command of the audience’ attention. He decided she would make an ideal spokesperson for his latest project: Jazz Near You: Palm Springs
On Wednesday, Taylor accepted a request for her to support the JazzNearYou.com outreach campaign as a spokesperson and photo model.
“An artist with her notoriety and talent will be invaluable to us as an advocate and ally,” said Brown Miller the local admin of PalmSprings.JazzNearYou.com
In a Facebook message Wednesday night Taylor wrote “I would love to be a part of making this something the masses will come to know and recognize how great it already is! It’s way overdue!”
And, she concluded her message with “I know it’s destined for greatness and I’m honored to be part of it!!”
Miller says “brownian productions™ and Jazz Near You are excited to have such a great performer and charismatic personality as a brand ambassador. Really looking forward to working with Jessica, and we are so grateful to her.”
All About Jazz (AAJ), the most advanced online community for local and global jazz scenes, has partnered with brownian productions (bp) to launch a brand new local events site for the greater Palm Springs area.
The web address PalmSprings.JazzNearYou.com is now an active node in AAJ’s events platform, “Jazz Near You”, and it is dedicated to the local California Desert scene.
Previously, all the local listings in the desert were part of the Los Angeles metro site. Brown Miller of bp says he has been talking to Michael Ricci, founder and publisher of All About Jazz, for some time about Palm Springs’ growing jazz scene needing to differentiate itself from the massive, urban LA scene.
“The desert scene is really diverse, and it’s quirky, it’s just starting to coalesce. A group that’s doing a weekly show in one city may know nothing about another crew doing a monthly somewhere 5 miles away. I am hoping that Michael’s network can be a platform for unifying the local scene so everyone can see what everyone else is up to, and also to connect our scene to the others through this awesome global community he’s built.
This is a key difference between us and LA, which is a very saturated market. Urban audiences can be very jaded. I mean, that’s great because you have incredible talent there and a lot of our acts come from LA. But, this is a pleasure for them to play a laid back gig in the desert. They have a lot more creative freedom here and audiences are grateful and enthusiastic. So it’s important for the desert to be recognized as a unique market.”
— Brown Miller of brownian productions™
Miller has been advocating and promoting the arts in the desert for several years. As a commissioner on the Community & Cultural Affairs Commission and board member of the Art Foundation in Desert Hot Springs he worked with groups like the DHS Classical Concerts series and the Palm Springs Orchestra. It was this work that prompted Miller to start bp and offer high quality technology and promotional support to struggling arts groups at affordable prices.
bp has been providing photography and social media services to Paul MacKey, host of “Jazz on Twelve” (formerly “Jazz at The 12th Floor”), a monthly event at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, CA.
MacKey is a well known public figure in the valley, having held several prestigious positions with organizations such as the Coachella Valley Chamber and has appeared in many local theatre and music productions including performances at the McCallum theatre. His latest venture into jazz vocals has put him on a path to lead some new segments of the local scene into the public spotlight.
“Jazz on Twelve” and its presenting artists, Larry Holloway and Andy Fraga, have brought extraordinary musicians to the intimate and inspiring venue atop the Fantasy Springs hotel. Master musicians like Laurence Hobgood, Tom Scott, Gary Novak and Marshall Hawkins have given one-of-a-kind, virtuality unrehearsed performances with no cover charge courtesy of the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians, the owners of the resort.
Another project Miller did photography for was “Jazz Meets Latin Jazz” at the Annenberg Theater in the Palm Springs Art Museum. MacKey also hosted and performed at this event produced by Marcel Castaneda. Carol Welsman and Chuchito Valdes headlined this multicultural concert.
These projects gave Miller insight into the burgeoning jazz scene in desert and inspiration to help develop it. Realizing that genre non-specific platforms for music event promotion were not reaching the audiences nor featuring the players well enough, Miller searched for a jazz specific solution.
“AAJ is a dream come true for genre specific arts marketing. I wish there were dedicated networks like this for each music genre and visual art style. Jazz demands a lot of special features and hand crafted content. You can’t stick it into a generic music marketing model and get good response” says Miller.
“Jazz fans are discerning and they abhor mediocrity and mass production. That’s why every message you receive from AAJ is from Michael Ricci’s email account and bears his signature. Of course he utilizes automation but he does so sparingly and he is able to give personal attention to any issue that requires it.”
All About Jazz (AAJ) has been serving the jazz community since 1995 with independent media, events listings, promotional tools, and an enthusiastic and loyal user base of over 500,000 subscribers. AAJ is a 13-time winner of the Jazz Journalists Association’s “Best Web Site Covering Jazz” award. It has also been recognized as the top jazz web site by Google, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, BBC6, Time Magazine, and Forbes Magazine.
Miller says he is excited to be in a position to evangelize this platform in the desert. He hopes to take full advantage of the fledgling jazz scene’s relaxed atmosphere and minimal competitiveness. Seeing these as qualities that may allow for more creative and innovative projects, culturally progressive social interactions, and technological experimentation, Miller and his associates look forward to a fun future for jazz in the desert and a successful partnership with All About Jazz.
“I’d really like to see the desert becoming a nexus for different musicians, songwriters, producers, with unique styles from different cultures to mesh and mingle and create really unique sounds. We already have a lot of this kind of thing happening in the art scene here, we just need to activate the music and performing arts with the same bohemian energy.”
“Jazz is a conduit for bringing creative people of different disciplines and from varied backgrounds together; it always has been. Jazz, like America, was built to withstand change and embrace new and different influences while keeping a core of integrity and authenticity.”
Miller is encouraging everyone to take a look at what AAJ has to offer and get listed and involved in the local desert jazz scene at PalmSprings.JazzNearYou.com
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