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Jason Rapp

Hub E-vents: May 7

You want art. You crave art.

#SCartists and arts organizations want to fill that void. They live for that. It’s a calling. Yet in times of social distancing, that’s hard to do. Through the wonders of modern technology, many are trying and succeeding. So while we’re all staying home to protect vulnerable family, friends, and neighbors,  The Hub is stepping up to fill the void between artists and arts lovers. (Learn more about Hub E-vents here.)

Here are some virtual arts events

Sometimes we do events on the same day, sometimes we promo upcoming ones. Sometimes we do both. There are no rules in quarantine life! (Help yourself by reading all of them.)

Today

Charleston Jazz presents "Blue Note Records" with T.S. Monk

On September 16, 2017 Charleston Jazz Orchestra welcomed jazz drumming legend T.S. Monk, son of jazz pioneer Thelonious Monk, to the Charleston Music Hall stage to perform favorites from Blue Note’s legendary catalog and relive the jazz milestones that influenced so many. They invite you to join them tonight at 7 p.m. on either Facebook or YouTube for the next installment in the "From the Archives Series."

Upcoming

Your event not here? Here's a little more on how Hub E-vents works.

Jason Rapp

Hub E-vents: April 30

You want art. You crave art.

#SCartists and arts organizations want to fill that void. They live for that. It’s a calling. Yet in times of social distancing, that’s hard to do. Through the wonders of modern technology, many are trying and succeeding. So while we’re all staying home to protect vulnerable family, friends, and neighbors,  The Hub is stepping up to fill the void between artists and arts lovers. (Learn more about Hub E-vents here.)

So this is it for April.

The Hub doesn't know about you, but it felt only about half as long as March's approximately 250 days. Progress! (Right?) Let's dance into a new month, and get closer to returning to the people, places, and things we miss.

Here are some events for today. (Or anytime.)

Your event not here? Here's a little more on how Hub E-vents works.

Jazz Artists of Charleston names Mary Beth Natarajan as new executive director

Mary Beth NatarajanJazz Artists of Charleston (JAC), the nonprofit organization that presents the Charleston Jazz Orchestra and Charleston Jazz Festival along with other special events and education programs, has appointed Mary Beth Natarajan as its executive director. “We are very proud of what JAC has accomplished during our eight-year history," said Susan Dunn, president of the Board of Directors of JAC. "At this point, we are committed to taking JAC to the next level by enhancing jazz programs, building audiences, developing and supporting musicians, and providing jazz education to youth. Mary Beth’s drive, creativity, leadership and management ability perfectly fits with our organization’s goals. She has an impressive combination of business acumen, event management, and nonprofit marketing expertise to propel us forward. We’re thrilled to have her join us.” Prior to joining JAC, Natarajan was the president and founder of Jai Marketing, a strategic marketing and branding consultancy serving high-tech clients. Prior to launching her own company, Natarajan was the director of corporate and marketing communication at Blackbaud, where she led the rebranding of the company and grew the annual conference into one of the world’s largest tech events for nonprofits. Natarajan is also a co-founder and marketing chair of the nonprofit organization TEDxCharleston, which curates an all-day conference experience at the intersection of science, art, performance and business meant to inspire, engage and transform. “I am honored and excited to take the helm of this amazing organization,” says Natarajan. “I have been following their success for a number of years and know the positive impact they have had on our community. We want to build on all of that positive history and take the organization into a more forward-thinking and financially strategic direction so that we can provide quality programs for years to come.” Natarajan graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration. She studied international business at the Ecole Superieure de Commerce in Nantes, France, and received a Master of Arts degree in communication and marketing from the University of Dayton. Jazz Artists of Charleston (JAC) is a South Carolina-based, nonprofit organization incorporated to foster a professional environment for jazz musicians, artists, students and enthusiasts in the Charleston area. Its mission is to develop, promote, and support a vibrant and creative jazz culture through concerts, special outreach events, and educational programs. JAC endeavors to preserve and bolster Charleston’s rich musical history and legacy as it explores the various realms of jazz in terms of how it is created as well as its stylistic expressions. Via: Jazz Artists of Charleston

Jazz Artists of Charleston to present inaugural Charleston International Jazz Festival

Jazz Artists of Charleston will kick off the new year by presenting the inaugural Charleston International Jazz Festival, Jan. 22-25, 2015, in Charleston, South Carolina. The festival will illuminate the Holy City’s storied jazz tradition and celebrate today’s vibrant jazz community with a diverse showcase of educational programs and live jazz performances featuring local, national and international jazz artists. Events, venues, artists and additional details are being finalized, and tickets go on sale mid-December. The festival is produced, presented and managed by Jazz Artists of Charleston (JAC), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote musical awareness and education, including the recognition and preservation of the history of jazz in Charleston through performances, special events and educational outreach. Established in 2008, JAC has earned a reputation for presenting, producing and advocating for all things jazz and the artists who bring this music to life in dynamic ways. JAC is proud to partner with the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and many other key community partners for the inaugural Charleston International Jazz Festival. For more information, visit charlestonjazz.com. Via: Jazz Artists of Charleston

Jazz Artists of Charleston celebrates five years and moves forward

Leah Suárez and Charlton SingletonAccording to the Charleston City Paper, Leah Suárez and Charlton Singleton of the Jazz Artists of Charleston have a far-reaching vision for their five-year-old organization, one that is rooted in developing Charleston's jazz culture and creating a strong community of jazz performers, consumers, students, and teachers. (Story by Elizabeth Pandolfi; photo by Jonathan Boncek)

Watching the Charleston Jazz Orchestra perform at the Charleston Music Hall, you'd never think it was operating on a shoestring budget. The men wear tuxedos, the women black evening wear. The 17 musicians sit behind stylish CJO podiums. A curtain of twinkling lights forms the backdrop. And that's just what you see, of course — what you hear at a CJO concert is even more impressive. The orchestra expertly plays famous works by some of jazz's greatest composers, from George Gershwin to Billy Strayhorn to Antonio Carlos Jobim, often bringing in guest artists, vocalists, or even full orchestra sections to perform with them. Conducted by trumpeter, pianist, and bandleader Charlton Singleton, the CJO is nothing if not polished and professional. With that kind of presentation, you'd expect the CJO to be backed by a large administrative staff, or at least a donor base with deep pockets. Yet the CJO is operated by the small nonprofit Jazz Artists of Charleston (JAC), which — among its many other functions — hires CJO players (all of whom are paid) and produces six full CJO concerts each year. "We look 10 years older than we are," says Leah Suárez, the founder and executive director of Jazz Artists of Charleston. "We're working on a very limited budget, probably half of what we ideally should be working at," and 70 percent of that budget is earned revenue, an unheard-of figure for nonprofits, which usually rely on donations and grants to survive. Suárez founded the JAC five years ago with Singleton, the JAC's artistic director, and the late Jack McCray, a jazz advocate and writer who worked at the Post and Courier for many years. The three worked with a small founding board as well. Though the CJO is an integral element of the JAC's mission, it's far from the only one. Suárez and Singleton have a far-reaching vision for their organization, one that is rooted in developing Charleston's jazz culture and creating a strong community of jazz performers, consumers, students, and teachers. To that end, the JAC offers everything from small, intimate concerts to educational discussions to formal jazz history presentations. They also maintain a Jazz Around Town calendar, which lists live jazz performances in bars, restaurants, and other venues in Charleston. What might make them most unique is their focus on in-house arrangements. Rather than performing the same classic arrangements, the JAC encourages its CJO musicians to create their own, like saxophonist Robert Lewis did for this past spring's Porgy and Bess Reimagined. "Everybody knows all the songs from Porgy and Bess," Singleton says. "But the lead saxophonist, he just redid the whole thing. Everybody was in there and they were literally having a wow moment every song." Those in-house arrangements are what really set them apart from other jazz ensembles and orchestras, not just in Charleston but around the country. It's also become a source of great pride for CJO patrons. "Our audience now recognizes the difference in all of that, especially if it's something they're accustomed to hearing. For example, there are recordings that are historic — like when you hear 'Take the A Train' by Duke Ellington, or by Billy Strayhorn, who wrote it. There is one arrangement that everybody knows," Singleton says. "If we do that song, and I say to one of the musicians, 'Could you arrange this?' the audience understands when they hear the song. They know the tune, but they see it's arranged by someone from around here. And they appreciate that." Like most nonprofits — especially those which started in the heart of a recession — the JAC has had its share of struggles in the past five years, most notably McCray's death in 2011. Just three months before he passed away, the JAC had signed a lease to take over the full building at their headquarters at 185 St. Philip St. Suárez had left graduate school to focus completely on the organization, and Singleton had already started as a full-time employee. The three founders were ready to begin strategic planning for the JAC. So while McCray's passing was a devastating blow for Suárez and Singleton personally, it also put the JAC in a difficult position. "Jack was working — he had retired from the Post and Courier and was full-time volunteering with us, essentially," Suárez says. "That's what a lot of people don't know. They don't know that the loss was not just a personal one, not just a board member, a founding member. It was work being done. He was working all the time for the mission of what we were doing, and of course in our community." Fully recovering from the loss of McCray — from a professional standpoint, that is — took them about 18 months, Suárez says. Now she and Singleton feel like they've finally gotten to a point where they can celebrate the five years they've put behind them and start looking forward to the future. They've changed the times for the JAC's season six performances (5 and 8 p.m. instead of 7 and 10 p.m.) and refocused their efforts on promoting gigs by individual jazz performers with the Jazz Around Town calendar. They're also beginning year six in a new, as-yet-unannounced location that will give them double the office and performance space, so they can host more events in-house instead of renting halls. Having a performance space dedicated to jazz and the JAC is important to the two leaders. They started hosting in-house concerts last year during their first JAC Week, which presents several small, unique events — like reinterpretations of classic albums or movie nights — over four or five days. "We started using the space how we intended in doing these tiny little concerts for JAC Week," Suárez says. "This year we did it again, and it just felt right. That's the kind of environment we want to try to be, so the patrons can have direct contact." They'll announce their new home, the Charleston Jazz House, sometime in October, and open their doors to the community soon after that. Eventually, Suárez and Singleton want it to become a kind of community jazz hub, hosting business workshops and lectures for musicians, offering educational programming, and generally supporting and promoting jazz in the Holy City. Ideally the Jazz House would be similar to the SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco, which is the first stand-alone building in the country built specifically for jazz. "People say, well you have the Gaillard and Charleston Music Hall, but they're not just for what we do," Suárez says. "I think that would be a dream come true to one day be able to walk into a building that hopefully overlooks the beautiful harbor, but something that feels the way we live essentially as jazz musicians. There's a long history of that in Charleston. It's not just jazz per se, it's American music." Of course, in order to get there, the JAC will need support. They were recently awarded a small grant from Charleston County, and their season subscriber list continues to grow — at this point, patrons are renewing their subscriptions before the year's performance schedule is even announced. But an organization this ambitious needs committed donors if they're going to accomplish the goals they've set for themselves. "I think JAC gives [our patrons] that ability to feel good that musicians are supported. We've seen our contributions increase, because they see the value of what they're getting and they see musicians working together," Suárez says. "It's not just another organization where their executive director or development director comes to them and asks for money— we're working on, 'Hey, can you pay for the stands, would you pay for the lights, would you help us keep our light bill going, do you want to help this artist get his album out?'" If the organization can continue to grow its donor base, she and Singleton will be able to concentrate more and more on the reason they started JAC in the first place: the music. "This institution is a grassroots effort and has really taken a lot of sacrifice — I mean, we all sacrifice a lot to make sure it survives, because we care about it. My hope is that this is our forward-moving year. This fifth year was a celebration of what we've come into," Suárez says. "Now we're looking at where we're headed."
Via: Charleston City Paper