Marty Khan is co-founder and Director of Outward Visions, Inc., a not-for-profit arts service organization founded in 1976. A 40+ year veteran manager, consultant, non-profit expert, producer and activist who has worked extensively with artists like George Russell, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, World Saxophone Quartet, Sonny Fortune and Sam Rivers, along with non-jazz artists like Alwin Nikolais and John Zorn, his concepts are original, forward-thinking, pragmatic and viable. He has helped set up and/or consulted with over 100 not-for-profit organizations across the United States, and has lectured on arts and business at numerous educational institutions, including Columbia University, New York University, Yale University, New School University, Rutgers University, the University of Arizona, New England Foundation for the Arts and ASCAP. He also developed and participated in seminars for Berklee and the New England Conservatory in Boston and New York City’s Dept. of Cultural Affairs entitled Business As Unusual, created to better inform artists and arts professionals on how to avoid the traps and pitfalls of the arts business. He was the visionary and director of The Coltrane Project of Philadelphia, an initiative which took place from 1994-1997 as well as The Afro-Latino-Americas Festival, a Tucson project that provided over 30 workshops in 16 schools by internationally acclaimed artists and culminated in a free outdoor concert in an urban park in the Spring of 2003; and The Transcendence Initiative (Dedicated to the Music & Spirit of John Coltrane), which provided workshops in the schools and free concerts in schools and community centers in Tucson in the Fall of 2003 and Spring of 2004. He is the author of Straight Ahead: A Comprehensive Guide to the Business of Jazz (Without Sacrificing Dignity or Artistic Integrity) which was published in March 2004 by Outward Visions Books, and the accompanying Teacher’s Guide with Suggested Assignments, and has developed a two-semester college level course which would utilize it as a textbook. As a freelance writer he has written many articles about the performing arts and jazz business as well as the music itself under his name and the nom de plume George Lane. He also helped oversee the activities of the Contemporary African-American Music Organization, Inc. (CAAMO), dedicated to preserving and extending the legacy of the late Makanda Ken McIntyre. He provided similar services on behalf of the legacy of the late Thomas Chapin through Akasha, Inc., the non-profit organization Khan helped established for this purpose in 1999. From August 2005 through November 2006 he worked extensively on the development and establishment of a Jazz Research Institute at North Carolina Central University in conjunction with the African American Jazz Caucus. He conceived the elements and related programs and activities for the Institute, including the establishment of a Festival and Summit Conference, the first of which took place in June 2007. Through a new consulting program begun in 2012, Khan is providing consultation to jazz artists and non-profits, and assisting in the development of several new arts & education service organizations and initiatives around the U.S. In addition to a variety of other projects, Marty’s first book of fiction, Through the Membrane, was published in December 2015 on Giant Steps Press. The book contains three novellas of paranormal-tinged tales that take place in the Jazz environment.
Helene Cann, co-founder of Outward Visions, Inc., was director of the Outward Visions Touring Program from 1977 to 1994, which established highly successful major U.S. tours for the Art Ensemble of Chicago, World Saxophone Quartet and many other jazz artists, as well as Ali Akbar Khan, Steve Reich, (whom she also managed for six years) and Nikolais Dance Theatre, (which she managed for two years). She has also worked as a freelance publicist and served as Associate Editor of the jazz sites gmn.com and jazzplus.com. A consultant to the arts, she has lectured and held seminars and workshops for Arts Midwest, the New England Foundation for the Arts, Arizona Commission on the Arts, ASCAP, and JazzTimes. She was co-director of The Coltrane Project of Philadelphia, an initiative that took place from 1994-97. Past projects include publicist for The Afro-Latino-Americas Festival in Tucson which provided more than 30 workshops in 16 schools by internationally acclaimed artists, including Oliver Lake, Ravi Coltrane, Mary Redhouse and Dom Minasi, culminating in a free outdoor concert at an urban park where most of these and other artists performed; and publicist and co-director of The Transcendence Initiative (Dedicated to the Music & Spirit of John Coltrane) which took place in Tucson in the Fall of 2003 and Spring of 2004. She worked with Marty Khan, her husband and partner on Straight Ahead: A Comprehensive Guide to the Business of Jazz (Without Sacrificing Dignity or Artistic Integrity) and the accompanying Teacher’s Guide with Suggested Assignments. She currently co-directs, with Marty Khan, all of the activities of Outward Visions.