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I'm very involved with non-profit organizations in my town, and one of my favorites is the Ridgefield Playhouse. Each of the last two years, I've been the sponsor (through my business) of a show at the Playhouse. Two years ago, I brought Spyro Gyra in for a show, and last year David Sanborn. In the past, we've had bands like Tower of Power, Average White Band, and Bela Fleck. Herbie Hancock will be there this Wednesday. I'd like some suggestions that I can discuss with the Playhouse for my sponsorship next year. They would have to be acts would work in a small theatre setting (500 seats), and be accordingly priced. I was thinking Etta James, but she might be too pricey. Any ideas?
 

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Forum Contributor 2015, SOTW Better late than neve
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How about doing something that supports local (or not so local) Jazz acts with spotlight performances of smaller sets. Put 3 or 4 acts on the same bill or do a jam session format. Connect with a local music school program to give new up-and-comers a place to play. You can do a series say once a month.

Just a thought :)
 

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I'm assuming that you are needing someone with a name and cross-over appeal who won't break the bank? Candy Dulfer?
 

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Geez, Frank, if you can afford Herbie you can probably afford anybody in jazz, and bravo to you too, man. Wow.

But if you need to drop down a notch from Herbie/Josh/Branford, I'd suggest looking into Ravi Coltrane, Jim Hall, Chris Potter or Randy Brecker. Any of those bands can deliver a night you won't forget.

I inquired about booking Randy a few years ago. He seemed like a reasonable, gracious person.

Have fun, man. Lucky, lucky people in Ridgefield.
 

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How about something a little less mainstream, but still very accessible. I'm thinking Ben Allison's band or the Dave Holland Quintet. Both of these bands are consummate pros and amazing musicians. Might be slightly more challenging listening than some of your past sponsorees, but I think they might do quite well.

Here's a video of Dave Holland's quintet check out Chris Potter's blazing alto solo at around 4:00. I can't find much of Ben Allison's band on Youtube, but his Homepage has some samples of his music.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks guys - some great suggestions. Gary, you've hit the nail on the head. Name recognition, broad appeal, reasonably priced. Candy would be fantastic - can you get her for me? ;) Or is she no longer talking to you?

To comment on the other suggestions:

Tim - nice idea, but see above.
Carbs - we've already had Big Bad Voodoo Daddy -- twice!!
Mike, Sam and Cleger - excellent ideas - we'll look into those.
Sam - Herbie's a special occasion and the tix are $85 each. The Playhouse can get that for a name like Herbie. Usually the tix are more in the $50-60 range; as an example, David Sanborn was $55 or $60.

Any more thoughts?
 

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Our local theatre is bringing in Joshua Redman's trio this year. It's about a 500-550 seat venue.
 

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fballatore said:
Thanks guys - some great suggestions. Gary, you've hit the nail on the head. Name recognition, broad appeal, reasonably priced. Candy would be fantastic - can you get her for me?
Check your PM, Frank.
 

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How about Eric Alexander? Eric Marienthal?
 

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Bill Mecca said:
Blood Sweat and Tears?

I saw them in concert a few years ago and they were not that great.
 

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I would second the suggestion of the Dave Holland Quintet. I saw them at Kuumbwa in Santa Cruz, and they're astounding. Chris Potter was one of my favorite players going in, and seeing him live blew me away.

If you want a different kind of jazz act, the Bad Plus might be cool. I saw them at Kuumbwa a few months ago and they were a lot of fun, and definitely great musicians.
 
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