Healdsburg Jazz Announces Online Fundraising Campaign
“Celebrating the Blues” theme of two-day festival event featured on Indiegogo
Starting today, Healdsburg Jazz is turning to the Internet for income though the popular “crowdfunding” site Indiegogo, and plans to raise $20,000 in the experiment. A project called Celebrating the Blues – Healdsburg Jazz Fall Fundrasier launches this week, with “perks” or incentives for donating at various levels from $10 to $2500 .
The blues part of the project is a two-day program of blues and related music, featuring local resident and blues legend Charlie Musselwhite. It will mark the first time that blues – seen by many as an early relative if not parent of jazz – has had an overt role in the annual Healdsburg Jazz Festival.
“We need to continue raising money year-round to keep our organization healthy,” says artistic director Jessica Felix on the Indiegogo project page. “That’s why we need to reach out now through Indiegogo for funding to make sure we can continue to build towards next year’s Festival.”
The project page includes a video pitch from Felix, founder and artistic director of Healdsburg Jazz, outlining the reasons for and benefits of the donation campaign. Musselwhite himself appears in a second video on Indiegogo, playing a few bars on his harp and encouraging donations.
“You might know that jazz evolved from blues,” says Musselwhite in the video. “So it’s only fitting to have blues at the jazz festival.”
Indiegogo fundraising campaigns usually offer “perks” for donations, ranging from website or program recognition of supporters to autographed CDs from participating artists. That’s true of the Healdsburg Jazz campaign as well — in this case the CDs are from Musselwhite and Joshua Redman, the contemporary jazz artist scheduled to play in the blues celebration in this case.
Advance purchase of tickets for the May 2014 blues-jazz event are also offered through the campaign. Tickets usually go on sale in March or April before the festival.
Perks for contributors accrue with increased donations, in customary Indiegogo fashion. These include an archival quality poster designed and signed by Healdsburg artist Chris Blum, promoting a mid-1990s blues concert at the Raven Theater, with Musselwhite and Albert ” The Iceman” Collins.
There’s also a level that includes a blues harmonica, certified by Musselwhite as having been played in concert.
There’s even an intimate dinner with Charlie and his wife Henrietta at the celebrated Healdsburg restaurant, Chalkboard, for a true fan who has $1500 to pony up in support of the fundraising effort.
As well as the above perks, the campaign is offering advance purchase of “Gold Circle” ticket seating at one or both nights of the planned two-day “Celebration of the Blues” to be held May 30 and 31, at the outset of the 16th annual Festival. On both nights, Musselwhite will be featured in solo and small group formats, as well as play with special musical guests that reflect the blues roots of jazz.
The first night, Musselwhite will re-create with Bay Area Latin jazz maestro John Santos some of the legendary music he made with Eliades Ochoa (of Buena Vista Social Club fame) on the 1999 album Continental Drifter.
The second night of the event will feature Bay Area jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman. Again, Musselwhite will play with the guest artist in Redman’s jazz quartet format.
The Healdsburg Jazz Festival has been held every year since 1999 in the popular wine country destination of Healdsburg in Sonoma County. The Celebration of the Blues concerts will be at the Jackson Theater, located at the Sonoma Country Day School mid-way between Healdsburg and Santa Rosa.
Blues great Charlie Musselwhite – recently named Most Outstanding Musician (harmonica) by Living Blues Magazine, whose show-stopping performance with Ben Harper was the highlight of the White House Tribute to Memphis Soul earlier this year – will be the musical director for the special mini-festival within the 16th annual Healdsburg Jazz Festival.
The Indiegogo campaign will attempt to raise $20,000 in donations between now and the end of October, a 45-day period. Donations will be probably accepted past that time, said Felix, though all of the promised perks may no longer be available.
Interested parties are encouraged to visit the Indiegogo project page at igg.me/at/healdsburgjazz to contribute or find out more.