Saturday, November 19, 2011

The value of partnerships

Two announcements this week underscored the importance of partnerships in building or sustaining the jazz audience - and keeping the music fresh. That approach - including the role of corporate sponsorship - is something vital in the arts. George Wein was a pioneer in this area for jazz and, indeed, the performing arts, when he developed naming rights opportunities for sponsors at his jazz festivals in the early 1970s. So it is not surprising that Wein figures in one of the newest developments.

In brief:

· The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation has awarded a $50,000, 29-month Arts Program grant to the Newport Festivals Foundation, Inc. support presentations by DDCF grantees at the Newport Jazz Festival® from 2011 to 2013. The source of the funding is not a surprise here since the late Doris Duke was a regular, low-key Newport Jazz Festival attendee from the 1950s into the early 1990s.

It is interesting that this announcement came after the first round of support. Composer / drummer / bandleader John Hollenbeck and saxophonist Miguel Zenón debuted new works or arrangements, commissioned by this grant, at the 2011 NewportJazz Festival presented by Natixis Global Asset Management. PercussionistDafnis Prieto has been commissioned to write a new piece for his sextet to debut at the 2012 Newport Jazz Festival, which is set for next August 3 to 5. (
Read more here)

Jazz at Lincoln Center revealed plans to expand abroad, creating a new jazz club in Doha, Qatar, and four other cities as part of an unusual partnership with the St. Regis luxury hotel chain. The new club is scheduled to open in Qatar’s capital city next April. J@LC has been sending its musicians abroad on tour for years, but this is the first time the NY-based nonprofit has established a permanent subsidiary abroad.

The 120-seat club in Doha will be modeled after the Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola that is part of the Lincoln Center complex on Columbus Circle in Manhattan. J@LC Executive Director Adrian Ellis said the agreement with St. Regis Hotels and Resorts includes opening four more clubs in new hotels being built around the world over the next five years, though deals on specific sites have yet to be negotiated. (
Read more here)

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