Disclaimer: I am not a jazz enthusiast because most of the music is straight instrumental and no vocals. I’m a singer, so I need vocals in my life. Until I found out about Esperanza Spalding a few years back. A young woman of color (with a huge afro) that plays acoustic and electric bass (which is my favorite instrument) and I have two of her albums, Chamber Music Society and Radio Music Society. I believe the music world has taken notice, since she won the Best New Artist Grammy award in 2011. I play her music daily and it soothes my soul.
Madison the City will soon have a Jazz Society. This past Sunday, I attended the first meeting held by the city’s Community Development Director Alan Hoops at Corner Bakery on Grandview. About 15 men and women from Madison and Ridgeland were there, interested in learning more about the upcoming society. I was there to learn as well, and take notes and begin following the progress. It was my first time meeting Hoops, who plays the guitar and loves Jazz music. He said no such organization exists in Madison, yet the city has a performing arts center. The goals are to develop the hidden Jazz culture in Madison and bridge the gap between youth Jazz musicians and adult Jazz musicians that already play in the metro area.
Most of the people at the meeting play instruments and are in local groups like Mississippi Swing and Bill & Temperance. Big Band and Swing enthusiasts also appreciate Jazz and want to incorporate that music in the society. The group wants to find out how many other musicians are in the city, establish a website of some kind to communicate on events, and plan a big dance or concert with all kinds of Jazz musicians. They are interested in reaching out to young people in the schools and colleges, and I mentioned social media as a main avenue. Hoops said the Society could reach nonprofit status later on, take membership dues and get sponsorships for various events.
Anyone in the metro area is welcome to attend Madison Jazz Society meetings on the first Sunday of each month, at 5 p.m. at Corner Bakery on Grandview Boulevard. Visit the new WordPress site, mjsociety.wordpress.com, or contact Hoops at firstname.lastname@example.org; (601) 941-5837.