It’s hard to believe it has been four years, 32 house concerts and 1200 seat reservations later, but yes, JazzNhouse is embarking on its fifth year of bringing excellent musicianship and jazz artistry to Mississippi Mills.
We have many people to thank for our unexpected longevity: promotional partners like Gord Pike and his Mill Street Crepe Company restaurant and Louise Beaulieu of Saje Wisdom Salon Boutique have helped us add some local excitement by way of concert door prizes. Tag Sponsor Josh Gamble of CR Gamble and Bridge Sponsor Keith Bean of Bean GMC Buick have been stalwart supporters, and Brent Eades and Edith Cody-Rice of the Millstone News have helped to draw local attention to our live-music, non-profit, community project.
But it doesn’t stop there! For our 5th season in Mississippi Mills and our first season in Manotick we are pleased and proud to announce Blue Note (top) level sponsorship from iVeritus of Osgoode, Ontario. iVeritus has been active in the network security consulting field for over two decades, providing expert advice and hands-on implementation work both to the private and public sectors. Owner Eric Stewart and his wife Carol Ann are avid supporters of the arts and culture and have recently played an integral part in the establishment of the JazzNhouse program in Manotick.
Back in March 2016, however, it was a different story! We were uncertain if the series would go into Year 5 in Almonte. Despite continual sell-out concerts in Year 4 we were having difficulty finding suitable private homes for each of the eight concerts, as previous hosts had moved, downsized or were no longer able to host. So JazzN.ca investigated the possibility of moving the series. It was a difficult decision. The community of Manotick had shown a real interest during four “trial run” concerts and the inaugural JazzNhouse Manotick 2016-17 series – to start October 1, 2016 – was born. When we mentioned this to Edith Cody-Rice she immediately published an article about JazzN.ca in the Millstone. The article addressed the work that goes into nourishing a series of live music concerts and pointed out that it is certainly about the audience, the musicians and the volunteers, but without hosts who are willing to donate their homes for each concert, a house concert series just cannot succeed! Within a few days of the article appearing we had several interested residents offering to host in the upcoming season.
As a result, JazzNhouse 2016-17 will be truly representative of the whole of Mississippi Mills. For the first time ever JazzNhouse will be presenting a concert in Pakenham, in a beautiful home just outside the village. This concert, with the Anne Lewis Quartet, brings some noteworthy musicians out to Mississippi Mills North, and we sincerely hope it will be well supported and benchmark a regular feature for the series in future. In Almonte we have a thrilling cross-section of homes – new, established and heritage – with hosts who are gracious Almonte friends, music-lovers and community-centered citizens. Almonte will showcase Juno winning talent from Toronto, along with internationally-acclaimed, Ottawa-based jazz musicians. And in Mississippi Mills South we have long-time hosts in the Village of Appleton whose lovely home will accommodate a young, amazingly talented jazz ensemble from Toronto.
With the JazzNhouse formula, the only way to experience the hospitality of these homes and their hosts is to reserve a seat! The best surprise for attendees is in receiving the confirming email that discloses the house concert location and discovering the treasure of friendship and ambience that JazzNhouse concerts create. The anticipation of arriving at a door where you may have never been before, with a plate of goodies that is sure to be shared enthusiastically and a beverage you can uncork for your own enjoyment during the show… now that’s an evening of delight! And all for an impressively tiny fee that goes to support the performers!
Many people in Mississippi Mills have yet to take in a house concert, or the musical friendship and listener enjoyment that our formula for house concerts offers. As one regular from Pakenham told me, “I didn’t feel that jazz was my type of music, but now I enjoy coming to JazzNhouse concerts and sitting in the front row!” Others admit to shyness (“I don’t know anyone”) but that dissolves after their first concert! So along with our sponsors, volunteers and promotional supporters, we invite you to experience the warmth and intimacy of a house concert first hand – reserve a seat and come to a JazzNhouse concert!
See you soon!
Arnie Francis, Founder, JazzN.ca
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