Increasingly, musicians are turning to crowdfunding platforms to raise funds for many types of new projects. Artists bring the ideas but strongly rely on their communities to fund the production of their works. “We wanted to see if our project was something people would support,” Nashville-based jazz artist Liz Johnson stated when asked why she and collaborator Wil Houchens turned to crowdfunding to support their latest project, Jazz + Hymns. “The best part of the process was connecting with people and including a crowd in the process of making the CD.”

Through portals such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo, the artist posts a video that provides the details of the proposed project. Setup to ensure accountability, artists explain their end-goal, outline how the raised funds will be allocated, and provide a timeline for completion of the project. The type of project proposals range from the funding of the recording of a cd, like The Megaphone’s five-song debut EP, or the recorded release of arrangements for jazz orchestra, such as those created by The University of Memphis’s Jazz Department’s director, Dr. Jack Cooper. Even Hollywood A-listers are turning to the public for financial support of projects. As actor Don Cheadle reminds his fans in his Indiegogo campaign for the film Miles Ahead, the great Miles Davis described jazz as “social music”, and there’s no better way to support the music than turning to the community for support.

For more information on the campaigns of mentioned artists, visit the following:

Producing a five-song CD (EP) by The Megaphones (Rahsaan Barber)

Mists: Charles Ives music for Jazz Orchestra CD (Dr. Jack Cooper and Planet Arts)

Join MILES AHEAD – A Don Cheadle Film (Don Cheadle)

Jazz + Hymns = New CD! (Liz Johnson and Wil Houchens)