We hope this note finds you and yours healthy and safe during this uncertain time.
For nearly a decade, Pioneer Valley Jazz Shares has contributed to the cultural and musical vitality
of western Massachusetts, presenting world-class musicians in venues across three counties. We rely on
shareholders, business sponsorships, single ticket purchases, and donations to underwrite a calendar of
unique and exciting events that offer intimate connection between performers and audiences.
Our presenting model is lean and mean. We are proud to report that 70% of all monies we
raise go directly to musicians! And as the pandemic upends our lives, Jazz Shares continues
to support artists. We were able to pay cancelation fees to musicians whose engagements
were postponed last spring. Since March 2020, we have produced seven concerts, both outdoors
We are writing today to ask you to help Jazz Shares weather the current crisis that has
curtailed our traditional live events, but has also revealed opportunities for us to
reimagine and move forward.
We recently entered a partnership with Amherst Media to present live streamed music.
Amherst Media is one of the highest functioning community-based TV stations in the
country, with professional equipment, technical expertise, and the public good in mind.
We have collaborated on two events, thus far: Dreamstruck (Marilyn Crispell, Joe Fonda,
Harvey Sorgen) and the James Brandon Lewis Quartet. The musicians traveled to
Amherst to perform safely in a studio without an audience. You can sample those
concerts here. Pianist Matthew Shipp will perform solo on Dec. 3. Until there is a safe,
accessible vaccine or the New England weather allows us to gather outside, we will
continue to present music in this way.
Since these virtual concerts are offered for free and can be viewed from anywhere,
we are asking jazz supporters everywhere to help us to present more events. These
concerts are more expensive to produce, revenue from individual ticket buyers has
evaporated, and the number of shareholders and business sponsors are down by
about 25%. Additionally, we have increased our typical artist fees. Our end of the
year fundraising goal is $5,000 which will help us keep producing.
Wendell Berry has famously said that eating is an agricultural act; each of us is an
active participant in creating the systems that feed us. In that same spirit, we invite
you to be an active participant in nurturing new systems of supporting creative music.
Pioneer Valley Jazz Shares is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. To get more information
and to donate, please visit: www.jazzshares.org
Glenn Siegel, on behalf of Pioneer Valley Jazz Shares Board of Directors
© 2021 Pioneer Valley Jazz Shares All Rights Reserved.