ENTERTAINMENT JILL PRESENTS:
What is Homeslice?
A recording project linking Minnesota hit songs with the jazz aesthetic, and Minnesota youth (ages 16-24) vocalists with seasoned jazz professionals.
Homeslice Vol. 1 Available for download and streaming June 28th, 2018!
Scroll to read more about the process of bringing Homeslice to life!
december --> audition material and guidelines announced
february --> audition finalist Leila Lowry announced
may --> recording at wild sound in ne minneapolis with engineer steve kaul and pianist bryan nichols
The back story behind the project? It all started when…
Winter of 2017 I was talking with Kevin Barnes of Jazz88 Radio about the modern state of Jazz.
I told him I'd noticed this trend in all the places I'd lived (Texas, New York, Idaho, and Minnesota): A room of broody intelligent men listening to obscure, angular, note-heavy music. Maybe a few women. Often the number of audience members was barely more than the number of musicians on stage. In other words, the audience almost exactly mirrored the demographic of the people playing the music. Musicians playing for other musicians. Where was the audience?
I told Kevin that it was my opinion that jazz has gone so far down the academic hole that outside of that circle, few incorporate it as a regular part of their "cultural enjoyment."
We discussed the need to create more collaboration, to re-engage audiences, and bridge the ever-widening gap between modern candy pop, and tired, over-done run-on choruses of jazz solos. Production with improvisation. Young learning from older and vice versa. Music that honors the jazz tradition of harmonic and rhythmic complexity, but challenges it with approachability, and excites the modern listener with something new, using production techniques that are more interesting and familiar for the modern average listener.
Kevin chimed in about the radio station's legacy funding, and their commitment to youth in jazz. He encouraged me to write a program similar to a project I'd produced with my students in Idaho to combine a professional band with featured young vocalist, and apply for a grant.
So I did. And this is chapter one. (Fingers crossed for chapter two, three, four... please purchase the track or donate additional support to help grow the program!)
- Calley Bliss