Continuing its mission to invest in the infrastructure and systems needed to support local artists and community arts organizations, the Kranzberg Arts Foundation (KAF) is launching a new Music Artist in Residence Program that identifies band leaders with original projects and provides them with the performance, rehearsal and recording opportunities that assist them with advancing and building their careers. Performances will take Place at KAF venues and programs within the Grand Center Arts District, including The Dark Room @ The Grandel and the Wednesday Night Jazz Crawl. Artists will also receive marketing support, dedicated rehearsal space, office space, and industry education and access.
The Foundation’s continued investment in St. Louis musicians includes upgrades to The Dark Room like a new Mason Hamlin Model 50 piano, a professional NEXO sound system and an on-staff sound technician to further enhance the patron experience and provide a direct benefit to the musicians. All performances are free to the public and musicians are paid a professional wage. KAF investments in the program exceed $100,000 annually.
The 2018 Music Artists in Residence include:
o Bob DeBoo
o Mo Egeston
o Jesse Gannon
o Anita Jackson
o Ben Reece
o Owen Ragland
o Tonina Saputo
o Kasimu Taylor
o Ptah Williams
“Our goal is to have no barriers between audiences and world-class local musicians,” says Kranzberg Arts Foundation Executive Director Chris Hansen. “This is an opportunity for each artist to grow as band leaders, work on their songwriting and recordings, and make valuable industry connections. We expect each of these artists to grow and rise to the opportunity.”
In support of the new Music Artists in Residence program, KAF has made strategic partnerships with two other local organizations. Clayton Studios will donate studio time to help produce an annual Dark Room compilation with the artists. Listen Live Entertainment, the producers of LouFest Music Festival, will provide the artists with main stage opportunities at the festival and other satellite events, plus other exciting opportunities to be announced later.
“Clayton Studios is excited to be a part of the development of the St. Louis jazz renaissance we see happening these last few years. Our partnership with The Dark Room and KAF has helped bigger events and public interest grow. An important piece of the puzzle will be a series of recordings featuring these incredible artists so that they can be heard on social media, YouTube and all of the new music streaming services,” said Michael Silverman Owner, Clayton Studios/Autumn Hill Records.
“We are thrilled to expand on our partnership with the KAF team through the creation of the Music Artists In Residency program,” said Mike Van Hee, managing partner of Listen Live Entertainment, which produces LouFest. “The program will reinforce our own investment in our efforts to call out the rich musical history and heritage we have here in the St. Louis region while allowing us to broaden our programming and provide even more opportunities to feature amazing local musicians throughout LouFest and other events as well.”
Click here to watch a past performance of Bob DeBoo and the Maxjazz All-Stars.
Click here to watch Ben Reece perform with Jazz St. Louis’ Phil Dunlap.