[JPL] starBUCKS & Concord

Rick McLaughlin rick at rickmclaughlin.com
Fri Mar 23 20:51:00 EDT 2007

I did that, worked at Starbucks while trying to get things happening here in
Boston, and yes, there were several sleepless weekends.  I have to say, it
was great in the mid-1990s when they had Blue Note Blend - nothing like
working all night and then hitting the 5am shift at Starbucks with hours of
Blue Note recordings to keep you awake...oh, and coffee.

Rick McLaughlin 

-----Original Message-----
From: jazzproglist-bounces at jazzweek.com
[mailto:jazzproglist-bounces at jazzweek.com] On Behalf Of Blaise Lantana
Sent: Friday, March 23, 2007 8:30 PM
To: 'Jazz Programmers Mailing List'
Subject: RE: [JPL] starBUCKS & Concord

This Week's JPL Sponsor: GRACE KELLY

Jim, thanks for the Starbucks story; I really enjoyed hearing the truth of
how it all began.  
Sometimes, as a socialist recovering revolutionary I know I'm too eager to
condemn, especially corporate products and agendas.

Another good thing about Starbucks is that although the wages are not the
highest, they do pay health insurance for part time employees.  When I
interviewed some young New York players they talked about how MANY of the
young jazz cats in NY were working in Starbucks part time to get the
insurance and the coffee of course, sometimes working mornings after a late
So Starbucks is already subsidizing jazz in the big apple.

I believe that anyone who is playing music that isn't top forty in their
store, is doing a service to music and musicians and listeners.  If they
make money while they are at it, cool.

Blaise Lantana
Music Director
KJZZ Phoenix


Well, Arturo, I guess you probably wouldn't know that back in the 70s
Starbucks was just one small storefront in the Pike Place Market, a farmer's
market in Seattle. People were drawn to the smell of great coffee and
discovered they liked coffee that was recently roasted, ground and brewed
better than canned Folgers in an aluminum percolator.

After a few years, the young 20-something entrepreneurs who operated this
small independent business had built enough demand for their then unique
product/service they took a chance to open a second store in University
Village, and then a  store at Northgate, and one at South Center, and then
in Tacoma and ....  somewhere along the line, (50 stores? 100 stores?) they
became big, bad despised capitalists in some 
people's minds.   Maybe it was when they opened in Miami, New York or 

While it's not my favorite coffee today, I have to say Starbucks has been
very supportive of jazz. One barista had such a good selection of recorded
jazz playing in his store, people asked if they could get a collection of
music like that - and Hear Music was born.  Timothy Jones was the guy, and
he called me for advice and liner notes for some of the early compilation
CDs.  They began doing an annual "Hot Java Cool Jazz" concert inviting six
top high school jazz bands to perform in the biggest and most prestigious
concert halls in Seattle, and sold it out 
every year... they're still doing it.   They've also had lots of 
informal concerts by young musicians in their shops, paying them, too!

Then Ray Brown recorded a trio album with Geoff Keezer & Karriem Riggins at
a neighborhood Starbucks at 23rd & Jackson in Seattle, near the center of
the old "after hours" jazz scene in the 40s. That CD and one by Dave Brubeck
Quartet at Starbucks on Park Avenue South in 
Manhattan were issued on Telarc.   In short, they're probably the most 
jazz-friendly corporations I can think of.

Like any corporation, accountants and stockholders start having an influence
and the "what's in it for us?" part of the equation gets more weight in
decision making, but by and large it's a surprisingly sensitive organization
for as large as it has grown.  For example, corporate officers served meals
in at the Union Gospel Mission's 100th birthday party in Seattle yesterday.
Starbucks is high on the list of corporate giving in several areas of the
arts and service sectors. 
Their corporate social responsility policy is one of the best I've heard

But it all began with a couple of guys who found a way to make a better cup
of coffee.  That's entrepreneurship, independent business and capitalism in
the best sense.  And incidently, that little Starbucks store is still in the
Pike Place Market in Seattle hardly changed from the way it looked thirty
years ago.

Concord, on the other hand ....   Well, it was Carl Jefferson's baby 
which grew out of a little jazz festival the then car dealer threw in his
town of Concord CA, and they decided to record some of the concerts and
issue them.  "Jeff" only booked musicians he liked and he recorded only
those he liked, just like a lot of the labels (Prestige, Fantasy, Riverside,
etc) that later became part of the Concord family.  But after "Jeff"  things
started to change and the personal concern and 
love for the music seemed to begin disappearing.   We can only hope 
that this huge and very important catalogue stays intact and available.

Jim Wilke

This Week's Sponsor: GRACE KELLY

GRACE KELLY ''Every Road I Walked'':  Saxophonist/vocalist/composer GRACE
KELLY might only be 14 years old, but she kicks out the tunes like the
seasoned pro she is.  ''Every Road I Walked'' is her 3rd cd and features
Terri Lyne Carrington, John Lockwood and Doug Johnson, with special guests
Christian Scott, Adam Larrabee, Rick McLaughlin and Jordan Perlson.

Ms. Kelly  won four 2006 Down Beat Magazine Student Music Awards: Jazz
Soloist, Original Composition (''Fast Metabolism''), Pop/Rock/Blues soloist,
and Jazz Vocalist - Outstanding Performance.

Some other awards include:
-Winner of 2007 ASCAP Foundation Young Jazz Composer Award (''Every Road I
-Top woodwind soloist and the top vocal alto soloist at the 2007 Lionel
Hampton Jazz Festival.
-First place 2006 International Chamber Music Ensemble Competition.
-Grace was the youngest participant at the invitation only  Brubeck Summer
Jazz Colony in 2006.
-Grace has been selected to participate in the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead
Residency Program in 2007 (Youngest) at Kennedy Center in Wash. D.C.
-Selected for Massachusetts All-State Jazz Band 2007.

She has been a student of New England Preparatory School since 2003.  Grace
is or has studied with Lee Konitz, Jerry Bergonzi, Cedar Walton, Phil Woods,
Allan Chase,  Rebecca Parris, James Merenda, and Jeremy Udden. 

''I first met Grace Kelly at the 2006 summer jazz program at Stanford
University. I was amazed at her precocity and talent. Recently she sat in
with me and the Jazz Ambassadors Jazz Band at the Pittsfield Jazz Fest. and
we jammed together through ''I'll Remember April.'' How did she sound? I
gave her my hat! That is how good she sounded! She is the first alto player
to get one. Hooray for the future of jazz and the alto sax!''
.........Phil Woods  
This is Miss Kelly's 3rd CD, and it's a very nice one. Of course you know
Grace is 14 years on this planet, and is all ears and heart.  Beautiful
sound on her alto, and some lovely phrases to boot!
Lester Young asked a young player after hearing a technical display, ''but
can you sing me a song?'' Grace can definitely do that.  Good rhythm, nice
arrangements, creative originals.  She sings like crazy!
What more could we ask for?
.....Lee Konitz 
Dear Grace,
After hearing your project, I'm convinced that your talent is definitely
worthy of the attention of the Jazz community, and your future is genuinely
going to earn a high level of achievement.
......Cedar Walton
''The future of our music is in good hands.''
.....Jimmy Heath.  
..........''the jazz world has another great reason to celebrate with the
arrival of Grace Kelly.  Her talent makes her a triple threat as a brilliant
saxophonist, a very gifted composer, and vocalist with great feeling.  Her
playing represents everything I love about jazz, swinging, imagination, and
the blues.  You must check out this Cd         ...........Donald Brown  
''The best compliment I can give any player is that they are an improviser.
Grace is definitely an improviser. She does not play worked out lines or get
caught up in the latest fad. She plays and improvises in the present. It's
all about the music of the moment. She has an honest freedom about her and
she's connecting with the other musicians and having fun making the music.
That's why it feels free to me. Another great thing about Grace is that she
is comfortable and competent playing many different styles of music''
.....Jerry Bergonzi   

Radio and print media promotion by Dr. Jazz, 800-955-4375, drjazz at drjazz.com


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