Over the last month-and-a-half, the band and I have been working hard on a number of fronts leading up to our premiere on September 30th (if you follow us on social media, you may have seen bits and pieces already).
First, obviously, is practice! This band is very steeped in the jazz tradition in that we had never played together as a group in the past. Brandon and Dhara are long-time collaborators of mine, and I've played with Trevor before, but Nick and Garrett, while having played with Dhara and Trevor before, were new faces to me. Their personalities and energy are perfect for the project, so it was easy to get acquainted and start things off on the right foot.
Marketing the show is an ongoing initiative. Writing and fine-tuning a press release can be tedious, especially when you have only a little experience in the area, but I'm happy with the end result (shout out to friend and ex-colleague Jenn Chambers for bloodying up my first draft!). Response has been minimal from publications, though we did get the attention of the local non-profit Charlottesville Jazz Society as well as WTJU, the local jazz station.
While I do love writing, I love designing things more, so working on the poster and seeing that come to life was super rewarding. Local artist, friend, and colleague Thomas Kovach took my rough idea and transformed it into something incredible. On Facebook I posted the majority of the drafts, so if you're interested in some more meticulous changes, I'd check that out, but here's the basic evolution:
I can't say enough about Thomas's professionalism and craft, and seeing the poster in print was even more gratifying than seeing the final art for the first time.
Thomas also was eager to distribute the posters around town, so he, my fiancee Jen, and I went out on Saturday to ask people to put them up. I have two-sized posters - one 17" tall and the other 11" - and I thought that I'd be getting rid of more of the small ones, but people were happy to put the 17" ones up (leaves more small ones for giving out at the show). Also, it was really fun to see folks take interest in the premiere and the idea of jazz mixing with VGM--I'm hoping that interest will produce a solid turnout.
It's crunch time! Our last two rehearsals before the show are tonight and Tuesday. I'll be all over social media during them (well, if I can remember--I've been really in the zone the last two rehearsals and have done less than I thought I would).
Looking forward to sharing more and seeing you out on the 30th!