Be There In Spirit For My First Performance of 2016

low fi concert jan 26Update: Thanks to everyone for being a part of this experiment! I wrote about the experience for the Ethnomusicology Review Sounding Board, which also includes a live recording of one of the songs we recorded. Click here to check it out!

Here’s the original post I wrote to announce the event:

So this is really happening! I’ll be performing this Tuesday, 26 January at a house concert with four Chilean musicians. My set will focus on the music of Ornette Coleman and also include a pair of my own Ornette-inspired compositions.

You can read below the fold for more about why we’re putting this event together. But before you do, please consider attending the event! Whether or not you’re in Chile, you can be there in spirit–here’s how:

First, buy a ticket at the website. At the concert, we will acknowledge your presence and support during the show. Afterwards, you’ll receive a high-quality recording, including your glorious shout-out, as a token of gratitude. Easy!

Buy your ticket here.

If you can afford to contribute more, please consider purchasing multiple tickets. This also allows us to make sure that those who do attend in person can contribute to the degree that they are financially able. This will also assure that the artists are all paid a fair wage for their work in bringing this music into being. Thank you for supporting this work and I hope you can be there with us!

OK, so a little bit more of the story behind this …

This work stems from my deeply held belief that this music can help people be together in a radically positive way. It came together after our positive first experience hosting a Chilean house concert with visiting Israeli jazz guitarist Rotem Sivan in December. Bernardita was a key figure in making it happen, so we decided that we’d try a double-bill concert with each of us playing alongside the great Chilean jazz trio of guitarist Nicolás Vera, bassist Rodrigo Espinoza, and drummer Rodrigo Recabarren.

Founded by Danish jazz scholar and entrepreneur Anne Dvinge, is a global platform that connects independent artists with people seeking a more personal and authentic musical experience. Its mission is to create intimate spaces for shared music-making that respects the value of musical practice.

By hosting House Concerts with Low Fi in Chile, we expect to generate alternative spaces for live jazz and chamber music, both of which flourish in intimate environments and relate to one another in many ways.

Live music is a billion-dollar industry on the rise, but it is oriented exclusively to large promoters and artists, with 5% of them obtaining 90% of revenues. Our goal is not only change the way we think about live music, but also to create a new paradigm for producing and experiencing it. The Low Fi House Concert is a concept that we believe can contribute to this developing for jazz and chamber music lovers in Santiago–and around the world.

We want the music to be something that happens not only for or by us but between us, and we want to compensate musicians fairly for their skill without forcing people to become consumers in order to listen.

A number of volunteers have already begun to offer their services as organizers, audiovisual producers, designers, and hosts, all in the name of creating this space.

We need help from those of you who know that this project is worthwhile, and that a thriving independent music scene is an essential part of a livable city. The biggest challenge to this project, of course, is financial sustainability.

For this concert, we want to ensure that musicians are well paid without forcing guests to be simply consumers. This is why we are reaching out to you–by joining us in spirit, you are also contributing to a model of music presentation that values the contributions of the artists.

I know that the world is full of jazz enthusiasts who will love what we have in store for this concert–but the trick is finding you, spread out all over the world! We believe that by connecting with you and your love for this music, we can actually create more space for jazz lovers to flourish here in Santiago. There is already a remarkably hip scene here, but the challenge of making a living here as a jazz musician, so far away from the institutions that support jazz in the U.S. and Europe, is real. So thanks again to all of you who step forward to take part in this transnational experiment! We hope to have your spirit with us on Tuesday.

Lastly, I’d like to add a note about my financial stake in this, for the sake of transparency: if we reach our goal of selling at least 40 tickets, then I have budgeted for myself a small fee of $50,000 CLP (about US$75), less than the other musicians are being paid (CLP$75,000). However, if we do not reach that goal, then I will not take a fee to ensure that the other musicians are paid fairly. Along those lines, I am also guaranteeing a minimum fee for all of the other musicians out of my own pocket if we are not able to sell at least 25 tickets. We’ve sold 8 tickets so far.

In any case, please send good vibes and wish me luck for this concert! It has been awhile since I performed, and this will be the first time playing original compositions, so I’m more than a little nervous … but also very excited to share this music. If you’re reading this now, you’re an important part of this unfolding journey, and I’m tremendously grateful for your presence. I hope to have you in spirit with us on Tuesday, too!

Update 2: Also, here’s two short videos that were recorded at the concert!

Alex W. Rodríguez 01/ Low Fi / Santiago / Chile from Hemisferio Derecho on Vimeo.

Alex W. Rodríguez 02 / Low Fi / Santiago / Chile from Hemisferio Derecho on Vimeo.

About Alex Rodríguez

Writer, Organizer, Trombonist
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