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2012 was the year when the Ottawa jazz scene asked for – and got – direct financial funding from its listeners.

©Brett Delmage, 2012
©Brett Delmage, 2012
Obviously, OttawaJazzScene.ca was happy to have received so much support in our first fundraising campaign this June/July. But 2012 also brought a number of successful local fundraising campaigns and concerts run by jazz musicians to enable them to fund CDs and festivals.

This is a worldwide trend inside and outside jazz, with performance artist Amanda Palmer probably leading the pack after having raised more than $1 million for her next CD. Our local campaigns were on a much smaller scale, but they indicated a real change from the standard funding model of grants, savings, families, and bequests.

Locally

  • Florquestra Brasil raised $2611 (more than their target of $2500) for their upcoming CD, Flortografia
  • The Improvising Musicians of Ottawa/Outaouais ran a $1000 campaign to help fund their first IMOOfest improvised music festival
  • Montreal musician Mike Rud raised $11,330 of his $18K goal to fund his upcoming CD, Notes on Montreal, including a fundraising concert here in Ottawa
  • Renée Yoxon and Mark Ferguson raised $10,119 (slightly over their goal) to fund their new CD, Here We Go Again
  • Ryan Purchase reached his $3,200 goal to fund the CD release of his 9-movement suite titled Morphology of a Lover.

In other news, it was an evolutionary year in the Ottawa jazz scene, despite difficult economic times in the area. Sadly, some venues closed; more happily, some expanded their jazz offerings. Local musicians continued to write and release music, and play in venues big and small across the region. Local festivals presented some wonderful concerts. We continued to see a wide range of artists from across Canada and the U.S., and even some from Europe. Where but in Ottawa could one see Dutch pianist Michiel Borstlap jamming with the Dutch ambassador to Canada playing electric guitar?

At least one critic forecast doom and gloom for the Ottawa jazz scene this fall.

As it turned out, OttawaJazzScene.ca published listings for 2232 jazz and improvised music events in 2012 – a 20% increase over 2011 (1850 listings). Some jazz purists may argue that we drew the boundary too widely; we remember having to politely turn down a number of fine musicians for a listing, or only list them in Extra jazz affairs because they just weren't within our jazz/improv realm.

    – Alayne McGregor

Read more about how the Ottawa-Gatineau jazz scene shaped up in 2012, around these 2232 musical events::