Posted by: Andrew | July 9, 2009

as “grassroots” as they come…

We rehearsed the PJCE the other night at a place called AudioCinema in Portland’s industrial district.  It is a great space, large and good-sounding, where I hope to do some gigs/mini-festivals or something in the future.  Nonetheless, an extremely loud rock band was rehearsing in another part of the building, which made playing the more introspective of our pieces nothing less than hilarious.  We powered through and yelled very loudly, however, and the material has come together very nicely!  I’m excited for our concert tomorrow night and hope to have a good turnout.

We have 9 pieces on this program, all of which are new to us, and 6 of which are premieres!  I feel quite lucky that all these fantastic composers have lent their talents to our group.  A preview:

– from Andrew Durkin, “Grabby McGee”, which features major triads, synth vibes, and a maniacal calypso ending (classic, for those familiar with the IJG)
– from Eric Allen, “Casually Imported Unicorn,” which is second only to “Senioritis,” which some of you may remember from last year, for his most EPIC composition thus far.
– from Galen Clark, “Cave Dweller,” an arrangement of a great groove tune from the Trio Subtonic book
– from Gus Slayton, “Fearless Frogs,” an undeniable groovy thing!
– also on the groove track, “Caribbean Project” by Levis Dragulin, who also arranged John Zorn’s somewhat Klezmerish “Kisofim” for us, featuring a woodwind intro and organ!
– my “Finished Projects” (see previous post)
– from Michael Owcharuk, “The Cat and the Watering Can”, a cute (but not trite) reggae thing with lots of great flute work by Lee Elderton.  Michael is coming down from Seattle to play it with us!
– and from Nick Sweet, arranged by Stephen Connolly, “Tricks and Tests,” a beautiful wispy composition and arrangment.

This organization is really about as “grassroots” as they come, partially due to the logistical difficulties inherent in organizing a 14-person ensemble, and partially due to Gus and my busy schedules.  I think it’s about time to bring some more people on board for ease of organization and functionality.  I still have aspirations to incorporate as a nonprofit, perhaps later this year or early next year.  This, however, is a huge task and requires probably more time than I have to spare.  Does anyone with experience in nonprofits or in large group jazz bands have any suggestions for the future health of our organization?

Meanwhile, stop by the concert tomorrow night at the Old Church!!




  1. Hi Andrew! It’s been a long time since we were holed up in the bunkers of Port Townsend together … Just recently found your blog after starting my own a couple of months ago —

    I recommend you check out Fractured Atlas — — as they have some good resources for getting yourself off the ground as a 501(c)3. Another thing you might want to consider is finding a fiscal sponsor: a non-profit organization that will help you take care of your books and allow people to make tax-deductible donations to your cause.

    Feel free to drop me an e-mail if you have any other questions about it … I did a lot of this sort of thing when I was in Oakland for the past couple of years. alex dot w dot rodriguez at gmail dot com …

  2. Great show last night! I particularly dug your suite. (Seth Godin was right: small is the new big!)

    Thanks for fighting the good fight and keeping this ensemble together…

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