Join us in building the future of PJCE Records, where we partner with artists in our community to bring their creative visions to life.
Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble (PJCE) is raising funds to support the production and release of two albums, one led by Noah Simpson and the other by Micah Hummel. The project is a huge step forward for PJCE Records as our nonprofit record label pilots helping independent artists over the financial barriers of recording their own music by connecting them with you, our community of supporters.
Tumultuous drumming and sparse, ambient textures will collide on drummer and composer Micah Hummel's new album as leader promises to be a truth-filled documentation of his relationship with some of his earliest musical colleagues including tenor saxophonist Paul Eirik Melhus, trumpeter Chloe Rowlands, keyboardist Aleksey Izotov, vocalists Sam Adams and Lisa Adams, and sampler Alex Meltzer as well as Portland-based bassist Milo Fultz, vocalist Catherine Feeney and keyboardist George Colligan. “The reason I’m making this record now is because of the PJCE,” Hummel says. “I had the opportunity presented to me, and even before any of the details were finalized, I had decided that I was going to make it happen...It's going to be really exciting and empowering for me to be a leader. I’m so used to accompanying other people’s visions which is what I love about being a drummer and rhythm section player. But it’s really exciting for me to think about what I want to do. I’ve never done that before.”
Trumpeter and composer Noah Simpson’s debut album will explore the different timbres possible in a quintet setting: including acoustic and processed trumpet sounds; acoustic, electric, and baritone guitar; Fender Rhodes, acoustic, and prepared piano, and so on. Simpson’s collaborators include guitarist Jack Radsliff, keyboardist Matt Sazima, bassist Milo Fultz, Daniel Rossi and Cory Limuaco on drums, Charlie Brown and George Colligan on piano, and producer Douglas Mason. The compositions come from vivid emotional memories, some funny others more serious.“It’s been very fortunate to have the PJCE give me this opportunity to document this music. I don’t have any official recorded material put out—I’ve been a sideman on a lot of other people’s records but I’ve never had anything under my own name. Frequently people ask ‘where can I hear more of you’ or ‘do you have a record I could buy’ and I have nothing to give them so this opportunity is especially exciting for me.”
Since 2013 the nonprofit Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble has operated PJCE Records in addition to its flagship 12-piece jazz ensemble. PJCE Records founders Andrew Oliver and Dan Duval wanted to fill a void in the Portland music scene by documenting the rich variety of small group jazz being created by area composers and improvisers by creating a low-cost, locally-focused platform with a strong visual brand created by artist-designer tiny little hammers. But even with those innovations, the cost to produce music at a high level of professionalism is still prohibitive for many emerging artists.
To address that issue, PJCE Records is piloting a new program to reduce the financial barrier to artists producing their debut album. The Spotlight program partners with burgeoning artists to give them a leg-up in producing their first album as a bandleader by
>>providing administrative support with copywriting and professional development tools
>>partnering with the artist on the management of their projects by providing album art design, duplication, digital distribution, and a publicity campaign to promote both the album’s commercial release and the album release concerts
>>helping the artists fundraise for the production costs of the recording (that’s where you, dear reader, come in!)
PJCE Records is proud to be working with composers and bandleaders Micah Hummel and Noah Simpson on their debut albums as we test this new venture. Thanks for joining us in this effort!
DUAL ALBUM LAUNCH | Plan of Attack
Help us raise $6000 for Noah and Micah to record and launch these albums and catapult these artists to the next career level. The music is already written. PJCE is providing duplication, design, publicity, digital distribution, and plenty of guidance thanks to the support of the Regional Arts and Culture Council.
Your contribution directly supports the artists’ expenses:
>>Recording studio rental, hiring of recording engineers
>>Editing, mixing, and mastering of tracks
>>Compensating the recording artists
>>March 2020: Fundraising for artistic expenses
>>April 2020: Funds secured, the projects are set in motion. Any needed flights are booked, recording studios reserved, and artists' schedules coordinated
>>May 2020: rehearsals and recording
>>Late May/Early June 2020: Editing, mixing, mastering
>>June 15, 2020: Album masters submitted to PJCE for production and duplication
>>June 2020: Album artwork is designed, PJCE works with Simpson and Hummel to develop publicity kits
>>July 2020: PJCE sends out press kits with the albums
>>August 14, 2020: Album digital release
>> ****stay tuned for a special announcement with details on album release concerts ****
Contributions of $20 or more will receive a digital download of both of the albums. The first 10 donors contributing $100 or more will receive a pair of tickets to one of the album release concerts in August. Album release details will be released mid-March.
DUAL ALBUM LAUNCH| Why are we still recording albums?
A recording is an investment in an artist’s future, and an opportunity to grow their audience. While a recording is no longer a major income-maker for the majority of musicians, the music industry continues to demand high-quality recordings that document the work of musicians. Albums, or recordings in any format, are necessary to demonstrate the ideas and qualities of their makers to bookers, agents, venues, collaborators, radio stations, and much more. They form the basis of grant proposals, pitches, social media campaigns, and serve as an essential marketing tool in the arsenal of the artist.
DUAL ALBUM LAUNCH| Risks & Challenges
PJCE has fundraised before but this is our first crowdfunded campaign. We are fortunate to have the support of our fans, friends, and volunteers to help us, and no doubt the friends and family of Hummel and Simpson to support their projects.
The biggest challenge to the success of this project is time management, but we feel that 6 months is ample time to take the artists from fundraising success to finished product and album launch given that all of the music is already written and they the organizational weight of the PJCE to mentor and guide them throughout the process.
As an organization, our strengths are resourcefulness, a collaborative and flexible outlook, and creative problem solving
Film by Todd Strickland, special thanks to Vino Veritas Wine Bar and Bottle Shop. Photos by Reed Ricker and Andrew Wallner. Music by George Colligan's Other Barry.