Thursday, December 9, 2010

100 Posts and Feet to the Fire

This, to my amazement, is this blog’s 100th post. And now is your chance to get even.

If you’re a subject I’ve criticized in one of the previous 99 missives, or if you’ve long thought my occasional jazz marketing and management rants rank me as all blowhard, now you can claim that pound of flesh. If you’re right.

Because starting on January 1st, I’m the new Orchestra Manager of the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra (or, KCJO).

Husband and wife Jim and Mary Mair, with others, birthed the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra 8 years ago and have built it into one of this city’s most respected jazz organizations. But after 8 years of dedicating body and soul, and producing the finest series of big band jazz you will hear anywhere, they have decided to step aside.

The board has wisely hired Kerry Strayer as the new artistic director. I can tell you that Kerry is bringing exciting ideas for the orchestra’s future (though I can’t tell you, yet, what they are).

And in a more dubious decision, the board hired me as the new manager.

So after 100 blog posts on Kansas City and jazz, after posts criticizing other KC jazz presenters for their management and marketing of this city’s heritage, after being handed management and marketing of one of Kansas City’s premiere jazz organizations….

I’d better not screw this up.

The position is part time. This will not become a KCJO blog (in fact, I may start another, albeit less frequent, KCJO-dedicated blog). This blog will continue.

Though how much of the next 100 posts are bombast or contrition may be determined, in part, by whether I’m pulling a foot well-wedged from mouth or, from many of the last 99 posts, successfully practicing the practices I’ve preached.

I will be opening the orchestra’s new office doors fully expecting the latter.

(…the blogger wrote, with shameless bombast….)


But to determine, definitively, how I do, you first need a standard of comparison. Which means you need to go out this Friday, December 10th, to Unity on the Plaza, at 8 p.m., and hear the final Kansas City Jazz Orchestra concert expertly produced by the Mairs. It’s A Big Band Christmas. Midway though, Jim hands off the conductor's baton to Kerry. General admission tickets start at $25. Student tickets are available at the door for just $5 (with student ID). Hear how good this music and presentation can be.

(And I’m not promising you will not see more plugs here. Actually, you will.)

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