October 1st, 2017...
Submissions for the 2018 SJF are now being accepted. Please send to PO Box #6, Stowe, Vermont, 05672.
But before you do, here are a few guidelines as to what we are looking for...
First, we are sticking to jazz formats and sub-genres. Knowing well that the lines drawn 'entre-genre' are hazy at best, we want to hear a direct connection between your music and the language and vocabulary of Jazz. If you have a funk or blues group, or a 'jammy' group, it is unlikely that we'll book you. Yes, I know, Miles played funky grooves (really, I'm a musician, I know this)...but some of the submissions that have come in are a 4/4 groove with one chord and a soloist playing pentatonic lines better suited for a space jam. No offense to my old pals in in such groups as Phish, but that is NOT what we are after. And 'Jazz' per se is really not defined merely by the ability to improvise. Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, Swing, Bop, Gypsy, Big Band...there are lots of options and hybrids. But really, keep it JAZZ. We were congratulated by a number of our Artists last year when keeping to this integrity level. Let's support this Music.
Second, we will be booking the Alchemist Mainstage events AND the music to be performed in local venues during the weekend of the Festival (next September 7/8/9). If the venue wants to participate and support the Festival, we book the music. If the venue wants to book a funk or jam band, fine. It's not our business to tell them what to book. However, if they want to advertise as a sponsor or participant in the Festival, under our logo and promotion, the venue's music will be booked and vetted by the SJF. If the venue wants to book another genre during the festival weekend, great. All music is valuable. But your venue won't be part of our promotion, calendar, online sites or Festival Guide. Bring the reggae...bring the funk...do your thing!
Third, we'll need a bio, links to videos or a website, photos as well in your submissions. And a CD or links to your music. We'll also need a stage plot once you've been booked. ALL performers (bands/leaders) will be required to submit a W9.
Fourth - this is a FESTIVAL. It is not a weekly pick-up gig at your local bagel place or bar. If you are planning on covering standards, go deep with the arrangements. Original material is preferred. Please do not expect to play at our Mainstage if you are just hiring 'whomever is available that day'. Prepare something, rehearse it. Come to our Festival to throw down...not to get a check. We want to keep our quality level way high.
Finally...in my own experience of over 40 years playing in clubs and Festivals internationally, I have been the band leader that chases the gig; that remains in touch, that finds the gig, identifies the opportunity and FOLLOWS UP. Of the 24 bands we booked this past Festival, 24 of them stayed in touch, followed-up and hustled the gig. If you are not that leader, that Artist, and you think it's all coming to you...well...you won't get a gig. We simply don't have time to chase you. That's YOUR responsibility.
There you go. Those are outlines. Flexible, yes. But we'd rather be clear in our expectations than waste our time and yours.
George Walker Petit, Festival Director.
Well, we did it. It's done.
The first year of The Stowe Jazz Festival is behind us now - with 7 venues, a mainstage, 27 shows - all FREE over the course of 3 days. And, as the reviews come in, I am told that a number of the host venues trebled their average income over the weekend - and more rooms were booked, and all the musicians had a blast and want to come back - and the vendors loved it - and the locals that came out to support the event were BLOWN AWAY by the music and the fact that WE as a community put this together in just a few months (well, 10 months). So I need to thank ALL involved - the volunteers first and foremost. The sponsors and patrons, the in-kind supporters, the volunteers, the lodging providers, 'M&G' for the parking and office, VTSAL for the sound, Avalon for the tents, the great help from the police department and Select Board, the people of Stowe and surrounding communities. The BIGGEST thanks to the most wonderful people at The Alchemist for so much, it simply can't be listed...the PK's to...the quiet 'anon' people that were all behind the scenes puling for us...Advance music guys...the UPS store here in Stowe...the Baraw family (Scot especially) and Stoweflake...Doc Ponds...Cork...Piecasso...Sushi Yoshi...Charlie B's...Well Heeled...this list is 67 sponsors long..
But most of all - to the MUSICIANS that came up from all over (in one case, Brazil), to play for us all. The music was ...beyond...
And now we get quiet and work in the background for a while to make NEXT YEAR a reality.
Questions, submissions, sponsorships? Contact us through this website...
THANKS to you all...every one of you.