Jazz Coalition Announces First Awards

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Friday May 22, 2020


Jazz Coalition Announces the First Wave of Awardees From Its Commission Fund
By: Nate Chinen

Organizers of the Jazz Coalition had a lot of phone calls to make this week.

The industry collective, which formed in response to the hardships of the coronavirus pandemic, spent the last month mobilizing behind its signature initiative: a Commission Fund designed to award $1,000 grants to an array of artists, in support of the creation of new work.

Now ‘” after a whirlwind fundraising campaign, a public nomination process, and the consideration of jury results ‘” the Jazz Coalition has finalized its first wave of awardees. ‘We wanted to make a personal call to each of the winners,’ says Brice Rosenbloom, who conceived of the Commission Fund. ‘So over the last couple of days, we’ve been having conversations with the artists, and hearing the inspiration that they got.’

The Jazz Coalition did make an effort to diversify beyond the New York scene, awarding grants to artists in other American cities, as well as Cuban singer Daymé Arocena, South African pianist Nduduzo Makhathini and British saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings. What the recipients all share, at the risk of stating the obvious, is a massive disruption to their livelihood. As Hutchings told me in mid-March, for an NPR news story about the coronavirus’s impact on jazz: ‘This is really the time to become creative about survival.’

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