Listen to Jazz Musicians, The Willie Jones III All-Stars on St. Louis Public Radio’s Jazz Unlimited

Looking for New Music from The Willie Jones III All-Stars? Hear the latest from these famous jazz musicians on the November 24th episode of Jazz Unlimited. Learn more about it on our blog.

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Who Was Oliver Nelson? – A Look at a Great Jazz Saxophone Player’s Life

Oliver Nelson might not have been among the jazz world’s most famous saxophone players, but he made a huge impact during his short career. Read on to learn more about this jazz legend.

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Five Ways to Stay Calm and Happy This Holiday Season

The holiday season emphasizes peace, love, and joy, but stress and anxiety can sneak uninvited among the celebrations with our families and loved ones. With political tensions, overcrowded terminals, family disputes, gift-giving pressures, and expectations for perfection, we can easily lose sight of what the holidays should be about. To help set positive intentions this season, here is a list of five simple things you can do to keep yourself calm and happy through the busy weeks ahead.

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A Day in the Life of a Famous Jazz Drummer

When he left behind his hometown of Los Angeles in 1997 and moved to New York City, Willie Jones III knew it wouldn’t be easy to make his living as a jazz musician. Now, over ten years later, he has become one of the jazz capital’s best drummers.

The New York Times published an article on November 10, 2019 featuring Jones and exploring what a typical Sunday looks like for the busy jazz musician.

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Marketing Insights: Night is Alive and Lovers and Love Songs

There is no right answer when it comes to marketing, whether you are a small business or large corporation. Though numerous studies have attempted to solve the riddle behind effective marketing tactics, users generally report that roughly 70% of all marketing is either ignored or disliked – and that leaves only ¼ of all marketing to be considered effective.

Thinking monetarily, when only $.25 of every dollar is spent “productively”, you would think that those working in the marketing field would spend a majority of their time and energy trying to resolve the issue and win back consumers. However, fear begins to play a large role in methodology. Businesses tend to rely heavily on “what works” with little positive growth rather than risk new methods that could yield worse results. That said, there are a couple of general marketing tactics that stand out when attempting to reach a wide audience.

Targeting

The safest approach to cultivate and grow interest is targeting. This is a game of attention, the end goal to maximize audience engagement. Simply put, you make changes to who receives your ads and finesse your audience to maximize engagement. Using metrics, or measurable values that demonstrate the effectiveness of campaigns, to track marketing goals is effective here. Targeting is a tried and true formula that has immediate feedback, especially in today’s internet age where nearly all ad platforms provide analytics to the marketer.

MailChimp is one example of an email marketing service that does a wonderful job of targeting. After sending an email campaign, the marketer receives data on how many clicks, opens, bouncebacks, etc. their email yielded. It provides instantaneous feedback for future, similar campaigns.

Personalization

The trickier, but much more rewarding, process is innovating and personalizing the style of content you are delivering to your audience. A compelling ad campaign can cross demographics and bring in audiences you might not reach using standard targeting. Night is Alive is taking an alternative reality marketing approach for the upcoming release of Lovers and Love Songs. Without giving too many details away, the idea is to create an environment that encourages interaction between the audience and the promotion. This interactive experience will allow people to feel more directly involved and connected to the campaign itself. Creating a storyline within a scavenger hunt environment is one method: the audience can find clues, solve puzzles, and, ultimately, reach the finish line. This could set the stage for a rewarding exchange of information.

Crafting a positive community around your brand is a lofty goal for any business or agency. This “holy grail” focuses on building lasting relationships, not solely on the number of clicks their ads receive (not to discount the importance of targeting, which has a time and place!). While cultivating a community comes with many potential benefits for both the business and the audience, it also runs the risk of consumer exploitation. Users are much savvier than they used to be, and they will be quick to call out any marketing behavior that attempts to hijack their emotions or intelligence. Therefore, if you want to make the marketing experience exciting and rewarding, it is always best to respect your audience from the start.

For more information about Lovers and Love Songs and the musicians with Night is Alive, please visit our web page (http://nightisalive.com/) or contact directly via phone.

Article by Benjamin Lehman and Elizabeth Carney, Content Editor, Night is Alive

Press Release: Lovers and Love Songs

Night is Alive Album Release September, 2019: Lovers and Love Songs

Night is Alive, under the leadership of Managing Director/Producer Kathy Moses Salem, is thrilled to announce the release of Lovers and Love Songs on September 9th, 2019.

After selling out two concerts in Fort Lauderdale and Fort Myers, FL, Ms. Salem suggested bandleader Willie Jones III and his All-Stars take their performances to the next level and create a studio recording. The group, made of big-name bandleaders in their own right, so thoroughly enjoyed playing together that they agreed, thus leading to the birth of Lovers and Love Songs.

Along with Willie Jones III (drums), the album features Terell Stafford (trumpet), Ralph Moore (tenor saxophone), Donald Vega (piano), Steve Davis (trombone), and Gerald Cannon (bass). It should also be noted that Eric Reed (piano) and Robin Eubanks (trombone) were involved with the two live concerts but were unable to record.

The excitement felt by the musicians was almost tangible in the studio, revealed by the following first-hand comments Ms. Salem documented during the recording process:

“One of the best recordings I have made in the past ten years.” – Ralph Moore

“So relaxed and smooth.” – Terell Stafford

“This is my first time to play with the band…what fun!” – Donald Vega

Gerald Canon, showing his commitment to the album’s success, hosted a rehearsal at his apartment, while other musicians insisted on recording extra takes to “fix two wrong notes”.

The album features the following:

1.) I’ve Never Been In Love Before
Terell Stafford, melody
solos by Terell Stafford, Ralph Moore, Steve Davis, and Donald Vega

2.) First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
Donald Vega and Ralph Moore, melody
solos by Ralph Moore and Donald Vega

3.) I’m An Old Cow Hand
Ralph Moore, melody
solos by all members

4.) From This Moment On
Terell Stafford, Steve Davis, and Ralph Moore, melody
drum solo by Willie Jones III

5.) Gee Baby Ain’t I Good To You
Ralph Moore, melody
solos by Ralph Moore and Donald Vega

6.) Here’s That Rainy Day
Donald Vega and Terell Stafford, melody and solos

7.) Cry Me A River
Steve Davis, melody
solos by Steve Davis and Donald Vega

8.) Jitterbug Waltz
features trio Donald Vega, Gerald Cannon, and Willie Jones III

“Who is Singing Tonight?”

It all happened one week before a private donor appreciation event.

Musician and bandleader Bill Cunliffe was scheduled to perform with a vocalist and eight-piece band. Months of planning had gone into making sure the event would be as successful as possible, and announcements were distributed electronically and via snail mail by the Night is Alive Productions team. The vocalist had provided recordings featuring herself and Bill on Youtube and other social media as a preview for the honored guests. All was going according to plan.

The event was highly anticipated by all involved, as it was their first time in Akron, Ohio and the first time Oliver Nelson’s music would be performed, reimagined, almost 50 years after its original release. Tunes like “Stolen Moments” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYl2HZ9_Zvs&list=RDyYl2HZ9_Zvs&start_radio=1&t=0) would have new life breathed into them by Bill and his group.

On the Thursday one week before the donor appreciation event, I was out of town on vacation. As Bill’s manager, I left town believing all was under control and running smoothly. He had booked his musicians and vocalist. The music was written and scored. The venue was secured. Little did I know, Bill was leaving messages on my cell phone with unhappy news: the vocalist was sick.

By the time I received the voicemails, it was Saturday and the date of the gig was inching closer. During times like these, one of my most important managing mottos comes into play: “It is not what you know, but who you know and what they think of you.” Bill, being a two-time Grammy award winner, is highly respected in the jazz world, and musicians are (thankfully) eager and willing to join him on the band stand. He reached out to fabulous vocalist Jane Monheit, who graciously agreed to perform on short notice and flew in on the red eye the evening before the event.

A testament to her world-class musicianship, Jane performed cold with barely any preparation and wowed the crowd with her poise and grace. Bill and the musicians in the band were also exceptional, their flexible professionalism leading to a successful and enjoyable event. In the days following the performance numerous phone calls from audience members flooded in, praising the ensemble and conveying heartfelt appreciation for Jane’s willingness to take over for the vocalist who fell ill.

Though such star power usually warrants multiple gigs, this particular group was only scheduled to perform two nights. The second performance was a ticketed event in Cleveland which completely sold out thanks to the Night is Alive Productions team (“We fill the seats!” Use Night is Alive Productions for your events: http://nightisalive.com/).

“Who is singing tonight?” is not a question you want to ask in the moments leading up to a gig. But if you do your job well and work with good people who are willing to help you out in a pinch, the rest will follow. In the end, the music itself is what brings people together and builds a loyal following. The music is the reason why we are here.

Read more about Bill’s tribute to Oliver Nelson here: https://billcunliffe.wordpress.com/2010/12/13/a-tribute-to-oliver-nelson-and-%E2%80%9Cthe-blues-and-the-abstract-truth/)

For more information about Managing Director Kathy Moses Salem and Night is Alive Productions, please visit our web page (http://nightisalive.com/) or contact directly via phone.

Article by Kathy Salem, Managing Director, Night is Alive
Revised and Transcribed by Elizabeth Carney, Content Editor, Night is Alive