Western-based Jazz Artists Among 31 to Receive Nearly $360,000 to Support Tours Through Jazz Road

Nov 06 2019
Featured image of Jazz Road Tours recipient Meklit Hadero (Photo by James Duncan Davidson/TED)

Last month, Jazz Road, a national initiative led by South Arts, announced the recipients of the first round of Jazz Road Tours funding. The thirty-one artists and ensembles from throughout the United States will receive $359,600 to build tours with an emphasis on reaching rural, isolated, and underserved communities, in combination with dates at more traditional venues. 

Jazz Road is funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation with additional support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The initiative is conducted in partnership with the five other Regional Arts Organizations (Arts Midwest, Mid-America Arts Alliance, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, New England Foundation for the Arts, and Western Arts Alliance/WESTAF).

“Jazz Road Tours enables both lesser-known and mid-career, more established artists to tour the country, accessing areas that were previously out of reach,” said Sara Donnelly, director of jazz for South Arts. “Artists can plan these small tours knowing they will be compensated equitably for fees and travel, which smaller, less-resourced presenters often find too risky to cover or pay in advance.”

Earlier this year, more than 200 artists began the application process, each requesting up to $15,000 to build tours between October 2019 and September 2020. A national panel—comprised of New Orleans-based sound artist and multi-instrumentalist Aurora Nealand, Vermont Jazz Center director Eugene Uman, consultant and prior American Jazz Museum CEO Greg Carroll, Portland-based artist-manager Kim Gumbel, Washington DC jazz club proprietor and producer Omrao Brown, and MacArthur Fellow violinist Regina Carter—recommended the 31 applicants to receive funding based on the applicant’s artistic excellence and merit of the proposed tour, as demonstrated by the impact of the tour, range of presenters involved, and potential to engage new audiences in new areas.

“We are glad that this initial round of grants supports a vibrant grouping of tours, defined by a significant number of Black artists and female bandleaders as recipients,” continued Donnelly. “Additionally, we may begin to identify new patterns in urban-to-rural routing across the country—all the while promoting such an eclectic mix of what can be considered jazz music and its extensions.”

“This is just the start of our efforts to offer direct support to jazz artists in building their careers,” continued Surkamer. “Along with future rounds of Jazz Road Tours funding to be posted in early 2020, we will launch Jazz Road Creative Residencies where artists can develop multi-week custom programs meaningful to their careers and artistic development while connecting with a new community.”

For further information about Jazz Road or other South Arts programming, visit either jazzroad.org or southarts.org.

About the Funded Jazz Road Tours Artists

Check out the recipients touring in the Western region below. For a complete list, visit the Jazz Road’s interactive map and touring list here: https://jazzroad.southarts.org/touring-grants/jazz-road-tours-grant-reci...

Damon Zick / Quarteto Nuevo
Burbank, CA
Grant amount: $13,569

  • April 3, 2020. On Stage Ogden/The Monarch, Ogden, UT.
  • April 4, 2020. Basalt Regional Library, Basalt, CO.
  • April 5, 2020. Blue Sage Center, Paonia, CO.
  • April 8, 2020. Artcore/The Lyric, Caspar, WY.

Jessica Jones Quartet
Brooklyn, NY
Grant amount: $6,275

  • March 8, 2020. Moon and Sixpence Music and Art House, Modesto, CA.
  • March 11, 2020. Hillview Middle School, Menlo Park, CA.
  • March 12, 2020. Bird and Beckett, San Francisco, CA.
  • March 13, 2020. California Jazz Conservatory, Berkeley, CA.

Jonathan Barber & Vision Ahead
Windsor, CT
Grant amount: $9,998

  • March 1, 2020. Portland Jazz Festival, Portland, OR.
  • March 4, 2020. Spokane Falls Community College, Spokane, WA.
  • March 7, 2020. Drum Channel, Oxnard, CA.

Judy Carmichael
Sag Harbor, NY
Grant amount: $14,131

  • May 23, 2020. Riverton Piano, Scottsdale, AZ.
  • May 24, 2020. The Nash, Phoenix, AZ.
  • May 26, 2020. Schmitt Piano, Denver, CO.
  • May 27, 2020. Love Recital Hall, Grand Junction, CO.
  • May 28, 2020. Montrose Pavilion, Montrose, CO.
  • May 31, 2020. House Concert, Denver, CO.

Lucian Ban & Alex Harding / DARK BLUE
Brooklyn, NY
Grant amount: $9,915

  • October 12, 2019. An Die Musik, Baltimore, MD.
  • October 14, 2019. Artlore Studio, Erie, PA.
  • October 15, 2019. Filament, Columbus, OH.
  • October 21, 2019. Milestones at JazzFresno, Fresno, CA.
  • October 22, 2019. Bakersfield Jazz Workshop, Bakersfield, CA.
  • October 23, 2019. Mr Musichead Gallery, Los Angeles, CA.

Mads Tolling Duo
Albany, CA
Grant amount: $12,860

  • October 12, 2019. The Danish Club of Washington DC, Rockville, MD.
  • October 13, 2019. Danish American Center, Minneapolis, MN.
  • October 14, 2019. West Denmark Parish Hall, Luck, MN.
  • October 15, 2019. The Norwegian Lutheran Memorial Church, Leiv Eriksson International Festival., Minneapolis, MN.
  • October 17, 2019. Kopleff Recital Hall, GSU, Atlanta, GA.
  • October 19, 2019. San Ramon Library, San Ramon Jazz, San Ramon, CA.

Meklit Hadero / Meklit
San Francisco, CA
Grant amount: $15,000

  • March 16, 2020. Carolina Performing Arts, Chapel Hill, NC.
  • March 17, 2020. Creative Alliance, Baltimore, MD.
  • March 18, 2020. Celebrity Artist Series (Berklee College of Music / Berklee 160), Boston, MA.
  • March 19, 2020. Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts / David Rubenstein Atrium, New York City, NY.

Naughty Professor
New Orleans, LA
Grant amount: $15,000

  • March 1, 2020. 2020 Green Country Jazz Festival - Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, OK.
  • March 4, 2020. Cervantes’ Other Side, Denver, CO.
  • March 6, 2020. Fox Theatre, Boulder, CO.
  • March 8, 2020. Ullrs Tavern, Winter Park, CO.