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I have known Marty Khan over more than 5 decades, as an Artists Advocate. I became associated with him only recently on a professional level. Actually it was almost by accident, thru a conference call on another matter. At that point I knew I had to have a serious talk with Marty on my own behalf. As a result of our counseling sessions I’m taking myself more seriously. The whole family loves Marty. They can see what a difference the relationship makes. I’m far more organized than I’ve ever been. I’m making progress. Most importantly, I feel like somebody has my back. Thanks Marty.
Warren Smith – Percussionist/Composer/Educator
Marty was a visionary on the holistic idea of spirituality engaging business. He was always way ahead of the game with strategies for artists to achieve greater artistic and economic options. If more could have implemented some of the practices he was proposing back in those days, there might have been a very different outcome for progressive music.
Jean-Paul Bourelly – Guitarist/Composer
Passion, knowledge, intellect, experience and street smarts are essential attributes that Marty brings to the table and delivers on through his professional music industry consultations. Since 1982, Marty has supported my vision by consistently and consciously putting forth concise and clear minded narratives in a solid structural framework that have spoken and continue to speak volumes in an industry that often does not play by the book. Marty Khan exemplifies the “Pyramid of Success” in the jazz industry.
Don Lucoff – President – DL Media Inc
For my late husband, composer and theoretician George Russell and me, working with Marty, Helene and the Outward Visions team was one of the most uplifting, important experiences of our lives. During our many years of association, Marty guided us through record negotiations, touring, commissions, all aspects of the minefield the committed artist faces.
He developed and implemented not-for-profit organizations for jazz musicians/ ensembles on the very basic notion that all other artists–symphonies, dance companies, museums, have not-for-profit status, and that jazz qualifies for the same.
Marty has the most facile mind– freed from the constraints of traditional thinking, he helps to open up a new world of possibilities for those who seek his counsel. He has heart and soul and complete integrity, and is tireless in overcoming obstacles; George used to say he practices “music business judo.” He enriched the last decades of George’s life with his many brilliant, successful concepts and counsel.
To say that George and I trusted Marty with our lives, both professional and personal, is not an exaggeration; as the saying goes, “The man was raised right.” I continue to rely on him for advice and guidance with George’s legacy, which he gives without reservation. As opposed to the exploitation of the artist, Marty is in music because he believes in it, loves it and wants to protect and preserve those who make it. Anyone fortunate enough to have him on their side is blessed.
Alice Norbury Russell – Executive Director – Concept Inc.
Marty inspired me to continue along my career path, and his book, Straight Ahead, has remained a frequently referenced source that helps to drive my work. In particular, his emphasis on identifying innovative entrepreneurial opportunities while upholding artistic integrity and sustainable business growth is a breath of fresh air and a crucial lesson to learn. Marty’s message is absolutely essential, not only for artists, but for anyone in the not-for-profit world.
Manager, Digital Content and Education Resources – Jazz at Lincoln Center
I have worked with Marty for more than 35 years, as manager, agent & consultant. He is always a couple of beats ahead when it comes to the business of music. Whenever any situation arises he has always presented viable options for resolution. Marty has always had a clear vision, and that’s needed in this business. Music Power……….
Oliver Lake – Musician/Composer
Little did I know it, but the work of Marty Khan and Outward Visions had a profound impact on my musical career roughly a decade before I even knew who he was. Concerts OVI helped produce in Detroit in the mid-1980’s (by members of the seminal Art Ensemble of Chicago in particular) sent this then-classical oboe player down the path of more adventurous music. That nudge combined with the approaches used by DIY folks like Ani Difranco and Fugazi convinced me that creative musicians in control of their own business was the more fulfilling, more lucrative road to take.
Then I actually met the guy–I had moved to NYC in 1993 to be closer to the musicians I was obsessing over at the time, who also turned out to be in OVI’s sphere of influence, notably John Zorn and Thomas Chapin. I took a job with Meet the Composer to further hone my DIY chops, and shortly after I got settled, in walked Marty. He was in the office to discuss commissioning and recording projects several of his artists were involved in, and that was that. He helped me set up my own 501(c)(3) corporation to run my own activities, and within the year I was supporting OVI projects as a grantwriter. Between 1995 and 2003 our joint efforts secured close to $1 million to support seven recordings, 23 commissioned works, 175 performances and more than 225 educational workshops in NYC, Philadelphia, and Tucson, AZ. Our meeting also led to several years of intense private instruction with the legendary composer, multi-instrumentalist and educator Dr. Makanda Ken McIntyre.
Marty’s business acumen–a potent combination of strategy, resource allocation, efficient production and unwavering ethics–led me out of music and into business. In 2004, I started the MBA Program at the University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business, in part to hone my financial and corporate strategy skills. Since then and in my current role, not a day goes by where I don’t hear variations on Marty’s themes voiced by portfolio managers and executives at many of the world’s largest and most successful asset managers. While their outlook may be slightly different, a number of their goals–such as risk/return tradeoffs, maximizing returns on investments, and managing high-performing teams in competitive markets–are the same. Those goals and Marty’s skill set are applicable to all professional disciplines, and open-minded individuals seeking success by ethical means–in any profession–stand to benefit from his work.
Director of U.S. Mutual Fund Analysis-Morningstar Inc.
MBA Class of 2006, Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan
As the instructor for the University of Arizona’s Careers in Music course sequence, I brought Marty in as a key collaborator in developing and delivering the curriculum. His unique blend of real-world experience, practical advice, and high-energy delivery never failed to excite and engage the students in my course!
Kelland Thomas – Professor-University of Arizona/Musician
Lots of jazz musicians have nicknames. For his devotion to the art, his vision and uncommon intelligence, Marty has earned one: ‘The Truth’. Whenever I need to know the real deal, get a laser focus on what’s happening and why, Marty is my first and often only call. He has an uncanny gift for seeing through the fog and plotting a clear path along the winding ledge we commonly call the music business.
Joel Chriss – President – J. Chriss & Co.
When I became ready for a larger project that would be aligned to my aspirations in my career as a jazz musician, as well as helping the overall jazz scene, I read the very inspiring and informative book, Straight Ahead by Marty Khan. I then decided to start a non-profit organization called Connection Works at which point I naturally hired Marty as a consultant. He was so full of knowledge, experience and ideas to help us reach our goals along with the practical steps to fulfill them.
Marty is a master of the jazz business and the way non-profits are meant to be used. Connection Works has since produced 5 successful seasons (35+ events) of our critically acclaimed concert series, Brooklyn Jazz Wide Open, featuring some of the most important artists in jazz today such as Joe Lovano, Dave Liebman, Billy Hart, Tony Malaby, Dafnis Prieto and Anat Cohen. We have also produced workshops for young musicians as well as other concerts. This endeavor has also allowed me the amazing opportunities to perform with greats such as Lovano, Liebman, Scott Colley, and Cecil McBee, as well as facilitated performances with my other musical projects that have received much attention in the jazz world.
Marty’s consultations have proven to be an integral ingredient to the success of Connection Works, and they have certainly enlightened me to have a much better handle on how the music business works.
Rob Garcia – Drummer/Composer/Bandleader, Executive Director – Connection Works
If you wish a measure of reality about the business of music Marty Khan is the person in which you should confide, especially if you are not willing to sacrifice your self-worth or artistic principles……
Joseph Daley – Musician/Composer/Educator
Working with Marty has taken me from being stuck in neutral to full-on overdrive, without any motion sickness or wrong directions on the way. As his book title proclaims, he takes his clients “Straight Ahead” on a path to success, not by giving them a fish, but by teaching them how to fish (and with integrity to boot!)
Amanda Monaco – Guitarist/Composer
Marty knows the truth and he’ll tell it. He pulls no punches and will call the situation as he sees it. I found his advice helpful, and it made me rethink several opportunities I missed. I was spared some real problems as a result of consultations with Marty. Besides his insight, his integrity always leads the way. I recommend his service to anyone finding their way through the music industry.
Claire Daly – Baritone Saxophonist/Composer/Educator
As a musician with 30+ years of experience with high – level ensembles playing at festivals and concert halls in numerous countries and continents, what struck me about Marty Khan was his honesty, sincerity and accuracy.
I found that his analyses of the music business, especially in the area of jazz, made perfect sense and was completely consistent with what I have experienced and observed over the course of my career. Whether it was his assessment of jazz management or his opinions regarding jazz musicians’ mishandling of their own business affairs.
Having said this, I see his outlook as one of optimism based on the musician’s striving toward independence . This independence is based on a sound knowledge of the business of the jazz industry as it is, and I can’t think of anyone I’ve met in my career with as much insight into that as Marty Khan.
In addition, if there is any area he feels less than qualified to advise on, he has a direct link to the person with the requisite qualifications. Having had my own nonprofit set up with his technical assistance, I can vouch for the efficacy of his knowledge in getting “up to speed”.
His book, Straight Ahead is a treasure trove of information and solutions for the aspiring (or experienced) jazz professional, and I have made it required reading in my senior – level university jazz studies class.
Finally, as a speaker and advocate for this music form we call “Jazz”, Marty is passionate, involved and energetic. He works constantly to inform and empower the jazz musician, and to foster productive liaisons between the people who play, promote, and present our beloved art form. Jazz has a powerful and effective ally in Marty Khan; there’s nothing more to say!
Robert Trowers – Trombonist /Jazz Educator
Business school taught me people, relationships. Marty Khan taught me business. I would probably be alright in the world without a marketing degree, maybe close to where I am now. I would be nowhere without Marty, and I can’t say thanks enough. I firmly believe nobody just happens to run across Marty. The Universe puts him in your life for a reason, and usually one you really can’t afford to ignore.
Kyle Wilson – Executive Director – Artist Sync, Inc.
Anyone “in the bizness” who needs to know what takes place, and needs to know how to approach many of the everyday challenges that present themselves, ought to get with Marty Khan. Years of experience, practical, to the point, and lots of common sense…. which is not so common.
Giacomo Gates – Singer/Educator
I have nothing but awe for Marty’s clarity, openness, and attention to detail. The ability to be deeply creative and inspirational is all too rare in organisational matters when it comes to this great art form. The amazing roll-call of major figures that have benefited from this approach speaks for itself. I would recommend that any creative musician take a serious look at how their business workflow and career match their ambitions. And then look at the creativity in these areas as demonstrated by the results of Marty and Outward Visions. I look forward to unveiling several new projects developed in tandem with the brilliance of Marty Khan, who should always be placed amongst the most innovative figures in the business of this music.
Robert Mitchell – Composer/Pianist/Steinway Artist
It was a blessing to encounter Marty Khan when I arrived in NYC as a young man without a clue. Though not much older than I, Marty had been learning the hard way and was already running with the big dogs. He put me to work with a purpose, a commitment, an honesty and a sense of humor that made every day a step forward. He taught me that it’s not what you know, it’s what you know you don’t know. I learned how to learn (after an Ivy League education!), and I built a career in the record business based on the values and insight that Marty instilled in me.
President – Robot of the Century Music
Adjunct Professor – Steinhardt School of Music Business, New York University
Apple had a wonderful campaign, when Steve Jobs returned, called “Think Different”.
It doesn’t take long to see that Marty Khan thinks different.
And the ‘different’ he sees is a good one.
What makes Marty’s vision so different?
It is that his heart is connected deeply to the search for expression — to art, if you will, while his head is an economic engine that sees numbers first.
And it is the numbers that surround art that he cares deeply about.
How can an artist keep doing what they do best, and make a living doing it?
Is it possible to follow your own heart, and stay the path?
Marty knows art and music. He is known of course for his extraordinary legacy guiding the Art Ensemble of Chicago and the World Saxophone Quartet.
And what made him successful was that he knew the power of their art -and then was firm and uncompromising in negotiating on their behalf.
Many of us don’t like facing the reality of money. We want to focus only on the art, and hope and pray that as we follow our bliss, the money will follow us.
Sadly, it doesn’t always work like that.
Art and commerce are always connected — they have to be. Art exists in society and society runs on money. That is not bad, it is merely reality.
Marty’s genius is that he cares about the money – because he cares about the art. And his consulting style is to force us to see the reality of the situation – and step up to the plate to deal with it.
Marty Khan thinks different.
Steve Rowland – Two-time Peabody Award-Winning Radio Documentarian
Marty Khan is a visionary. I learned so much from him when I was just starting out as an arts administrator in NYC in the early 1980s. He took me under his wing as a newcomer to that world. He also produced a recording for me in the mid ‘80s that remains one of the best I’ve ever done. His company has always been a hub for creative activity where musicians, educators, and lay people gathered to learn from his mental acumen, insightfulness, and profound understanding of business and culture. Nearly 30 years later, Marty remains a soulful, dependable ally to the arts world. It’s an honor to know him!
Dr. Terry Jenoure – Musician
Director – Augusta Savage Gallery – University of Massachusetts, Amherst
National Faculty – School of Education – Lesley University, Cambridge MA
To teach well first requires a deep and intimate knowledge of the subject matter. Having heard Marty speak in the ‘90s I knew he had that. To teach even better, one must have the capacity to organize one’s thoughts and articulate them clearly. Having read his book, I also knew he had that. A really great teacher has these traits as well as the capacity to truly understand the unique needs of a given student, especially when those needs diverge from the most straightforward teaching methods. With so much wisdom and experience, my fear was that working with Marty would reveal someone who was set in his ways and whose tried-and-true methods for success would be out of sync with my own circumstances. Thankfully, that fear was off-base. In the true spirit of jazz improvisation, Marty is a good listener whose chops are flexible enough for him to seamlessly adapt to the moment.
If I were to quit music tomorrow, this time with him would still have been well worth the price of admission just for the broadly applicable and thought-provoking principles he has helped me to understand. But, of course, the tools he is giving me make me a heck of a lot less likely to quit tomorrow or any time soon.
Noah Baerman – Pianist/Composer/Educator
The greatest piece of guidance I’ve gotten from Marty is to see every one of my projects as a step that is in service to where I ultimately want to go. If it’s not, don’t do it. Time and again his ability to see and honor my big picture has helped me to create in a way that is both organic and systematic. Consulting with Marty has been invaluable.
Jeanne Demers – Founder & Executive Director of Realize Inc.
Creator of The Ruby Books
Marty has been an instrumental force in the shaping of my burgeoning career in visual media. From the time I spent studying under him while attending The University of Arizona to the formation of my own business, he has continually been a supportive, wise, and totally honest sounding board. Marty possesses a unique ability to vividly convey a customized, macroscopic plan of action with high adaptability and multiple threads that synergistically build toward a unified goal: my goals. An apt comparison is that his brain acts like a hive of supercomputers, working overtime for me whilst alleviating much of my own stress, and somehow simultaneously managing his undoubtedly vast array of clients and responsibilities. His mentorship has in no small part given me the confidence and focus necessary to launch my own thriving media company and progress toward my long term goals in both my career and personal life.
John Sears – CEO – John Sears Media, LLC
Starting a new business in today’s very difficult environment, especially one centered on creating more performance opportunities and enhancing the careers of jazz artists, requires new approaches and out-of-the-box thinking. So I turned to Marty Khan to help me structure the business to be both successful for me as an entrepreneur while providing services that truly help jazz artists and the jazz community. Marty’s excellent reputation is well deserved. He is a clear-headed businessman with a genuine love of jazz performers. He has garnered an incredible amount of knowledge over his long career as a manager and consultant while working with some of the top names in jazz. Marty listens to what you have to say and works with you to better define your goals and the strategies you need to pull it off. His advice is always insightful and appropriate, and he has helped me enormously to take the next steps necessary on this journey.
Alan Wexler – Co-founder – Mouthpiece Music
In addition to his valuable insight and knowledge, Marty Khan makes you feel like your career is the biggest thing on his mind.
Kevin Ray – Jazz Bassist and Co-founder of The Kettle Collective
One of the most precious substances in our existence is artistic integrity. Art, especially music, that is crafted and delivered with integrity is the most potent and essential nourishment for our soul. In this era, considered by many to be Kali Yug (or the dark age), carrying the light of artistic truth is a next to impossible task. Marty Khan is a rare person whose ingenious perspectives and methodologies powerfully support artists striving to create music that expresses truth, while giving them the capacity to still relate it to the ‘real world’. Marty’s penetrating humor, razor sharp insight, vast objectivity, and passion for music combine to create the much needed ‘oxygen’ that artists are longing to breathe.
Nadar Nihal Singh Khalsa – Musician
Throughout the years of working with Marty I have found him to be a man of integrity, a critical thinker, a man who says what he means and means what he says. I consider Marty a friend, colleague and mentor. It has always been a pleasure working with Marty on various projects.
Darrell Bridges – Executive Director – Arts & Education Continuum
Extremely knowledgeable and passionate about music, the business and people. Marty supports the fiercely independent individual. He works hard to understand his or her ideas and innovations. He rapidly creates a plan to support that direction. Be prepared with notebook and pen to ‘chew’ on several pages of notes, weeks after your first consultation…….. work hard to digest…… Marty’s vision will save you several experimental missteps!
Nioka Workman – Loft Arts Productions
From his book, Straight Ahead, and from his many years in the game, folks know Marty Khan as a Trane-like monster deeply devoted to our music, a mahker with an amazing track record, a one-of-a-kind mind & a highly moral human in an industry often lacking in principles, but that’s not the half of it. Sure, I’ve benefited so much from consults with him, but his greatest value to me has been in regard to the thing that hasn’t happened yet. Whether I’m about to negotiate a contract, plan a project, join forces with others or think through a change, talking it over with Marty has saved me an incredible amount of time, money & grief! Just knowing he’s a phone call away makes going into any meeting, however challenging, something I now relish. His sense of humor is so often just what the doctor ordered.
Kirpal Gordon – Writer/Journalist/Spoken Word Performer
What can one write about a mentor? No words are sufficient to express the karmic debt of respect and gratitude for the learning and wisdom gained through the close working relationship with one’s first professional mentor. On top of our professional relationship, we became the peace-making equivalents of soldiers in a bunker. We were colleagues in teamwork, working all hours, building territories, watching backs, making decisions, taking in all learning possible, creating and following plans, analyzing results, attempting to continuously improve our skills, communicating, defining and building community internationally, all for the good of the artists and the fans. “The Music”. It was challenging, fun, ground-breaking, ambitious, effective and from a pre-revenue booking and management agency start-up, we transformed into a non-profit organization and the rest is Outward Visions history.
Marty helped teach me to believe in (and manifest through our team’s work) the ability to make vision reality. Even outward visions, as we both had. With Marty and Helene’s integrity, clarity, innate understanding and empathy, directness, deep passion, commitment and attention to practical details, with the rest of the team learning from them, while each contributing in their own unique ways, we “made it happen.” The “it” ranged from social service through music projects and concerts, booking and managing first and subsequent tours of many of the highest level musical icons in Jazz, (most of whom had almost no fan base at the time), new recording agreements, both international and domestic, generating media in newspapers, radio stations, TV and live events. It was magic, yet all day to day while eternal.
The most important thing he gave us was the freedom to excel (or sometimes fail), with some guidance, instruction when requested, but an improvisational spirit and approach to business. His book and lectures give the same broad strokes of inspired perception, with a down to earth message of dignity, equity, and proper use (in his often strong opinions) of all things relational.
He’s a wealth of knowledge, a G-dfather of New Jazz, whose perspectives have lessons for all genres of musicians and at all levels. He’s also a great listener, who can hear in the speaking of others, how to help focus their direction and efforts. As much as his consultations and book’s messages are practical, they are also life lessons and he’s respectful and mindful of the difference. The logic and perspective is always there, the challenge is what to take from it and how to best use it, for you to make your “it” happen.
It’s an opportunity I highly recommend and have always valued pre-eminently in my own life and career. We make of our connections what we do. Plenty of choices and answers, please get Marty’s opinion and wisdom for yourself, as many of the top music industry professionals, both artists and business people, have done for decades.
Robert Singerman – Brasil Music Exchange/88tc88/ LyricFind
I was first introduced to Marty Khan when he led a business workshop for jazz artists at IAJE in 2005. Applying the principles I learned from Marty has really helped me move my career to the next level. That’s why I decided to consult with him when I decided to also start a management & marketing company for jazz artists. Marty’s vast experience and knowledge of the business, his no-BS sensibility, creativity, and clear and honest advice have helped me focus and clarify the strategies and services I am able to offer to not only empower myself in my own singing career, but also to help create new opportunities for other jazz artists as well.
Judy Wexler – Jazz Vocalist and Co-Founder – Mouthpiece Music
Marty Khan/Outward Visions were a great asset to me when researching the requirements for creating a not-for-profit corporation. Marty also assisted me with professional development, and his consultations are always filled with ideas both rational and radical, as well as thought-provoking. He is a crystalline thinker.
Ned Otter – Saxophonist and Founder – Essential Arts Concepts
If I were to cite any individual who in my life as a professional musician has been of more assistance to me in swimming the turbulent waters of the business of music, it has to be Marty Khan.
I first met Marty in the mid 90’s through my collaboration with Henry Threadgill. It was at a moment when Marty was ready to leave New York and move to the less stressful climate of Arizona. Even though Marty offered to advise me and serve as my “consigliere” as I was so new to how things “worked” in the “real world”, of music, I never felt as though he was far away in the desert somewhere. This is because Marty Khan is always ready to make himself available to his clients with his wisdom, experience and patience. He is always “there” in a very vivid and immediate sense when you need his advice. Marty knows more about human nature as it operates in the world of the music business. He “gets” people, and his advice as to how to deal with producers, bookers, club owners, and other musicians has been invaluable to me over the years. If you want to work with someone who will not beat around the bush, thinks way out of the box, who is honest to a fault, reliable,and compassionate, and ( very importantly ) who will never interfere with your artistic process, Marty is the person who exemplifies all of it.
Mossa Bildner – Vocalist/Composer/Producer
I teach a two semester course in Music Industry at Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona. Over the years I have embellished this course with the addition of guest speakers in the industry from around the Tucson and Phoenix areas, and nationally through the use of Skype video conferencing. From recording engineers in Los Angeles and executives of consulting firms in New Jersey, to local record producers and business owners, the quality of our speakers has been quite high.
I met Marty Khan four years ago after a lecture of his at the University of Arizona’s Careers in Music class. Since then he has graciously offered his services as a guest speaker in my class at Pima. Having access to a nationally recognized industry expert here in Tucson has been a tremendous gift. Marty’s visits to my class are greatly anticipated by my class and his no-nonsense approach to this book and his speaking resonate terrifically with the students and myself. I often see Marty and my students continuing their conversation in the parking lot long after class is over. Indeed remarks that Marty had made during his visit continue to arise when covering any number of subjects in our curriculum throughout the semester.
Mr. Khan’s book Straight Ahead is listed as a supplement in my course syllabus. As I mentioned, his no-nonsense approach provides a pragmatic inside-out perspective that is quite appealing to myself and my students. Over the years many students have purchased his book and sought professional consultation with Mr. Khan on a variety of industry issues. I personally have found this book as an invaluable resource as a musician and educator. In 2009 I reviewed Straight Ahead for the peer-reviewed Journal of the Music & Entertainment Industry Educators Association.
Marty Khan is undeniably an expert in the music industry. His text and lectures have provided an exceptional vehicle of understanding and inspiration for my students. As an educator I could ask for nothing more. I recommend Marty Khan’s services without hesitation and with immense gratitude. Please do not hesitate to contact me personally if further convincing is required.
Dr. Michael L. Keepe
Instructor of Music Industry – Pima Community College – Tucson AZ
I have known Marty Khan for 27 years. As an artist-administrator-presenter I have been a client and partner of Marty’s. The advice and friendship he has shared with me over these years has been invaluable. His thinking is clear, practical and uniquely his own. He has helped me achieve a broader understanding of how to manage projects large and small. For that I am grateful.
Joseph Franklin – President – Metadesign Associates
Author of Settling Scores: a Life in the Margins of American Music (Sunstone Press)
While my time spent as a college level music student was filled with memorable lectures and resounding advice, Marty Khan’s proved invaluable. His involvement with the college’s Careers in Music class did not only greatly influence me, his passionate interest in professional and artistic growth reverberated with many students. Every time Mr. Khan would teach in front of a class, he would accompany his experienced knowledge of the music industry with excitement and truth. In addition, I’ve also had the pleasure to receive some personal professional career consulting from Mr. Khan. The counsel and discussion that occurred during our meetings were enlightening and inspiring. Mr. Khan not only knows of the difficulties of a musician’s business, he also knows the nature of being a musician and the very different type of difficulties that can follow the profession. His advice and wisdom is valuable and relevant; a consulting opportunity with him should not be ignored.
Adam Ackermann – Freelance Musician and Educator.
When saxophonist-flautist/composer Thomas Chapin died of leukemia at age 40 in 1998, we all mourned the passing of a huge spirit, a player of ‘monstrous chops,’ who left the music and musicians changed, said the critics. I did not know nor understand the world of music or jazz UNTIL several months into Thomas’ passing I received a phone call from Marty Khan, who was a friend of Thomas’ since he did some career consulting for him in the early ‘90s. Marty was recommending the steps to create a non-profit to preserve and carry forward Thomas’ work and to further the education of jazz through his music. Thus began a now 14-year journey in laying the groundwork, building and growing the Thomas Chapin legacy, called Akasha, Inc.
Without Marty’s help, sensitivity, and gentle, but firm insistence, it might have all fallen apart. Hand-held by Marty and Helene through this process, and after many phone calls, emails and letters, Akasha Inc. stands strong today. With Marty’s guidance, we were able to archive all of Thomas’ music and papers at Duke University (a project spearheaded by Paul Jeffreys, Duke’s then Director of Jazz Program and Thomas’ mentor/teacher from Rutgers U); we released a historic 8-CD box set of his Trio music; created a website, www.thomaschapin.com, that includes videos, artwork and photos; a live-in-Europe CD was released in 2006 and two new releases are coming out in 2012. In 2008 three remembrance concerts were held in NYC on the 10th anniversary of Thomas’ passing and 65 musicians from all over the world came to play and honor Thomas. The list goes on of how Thomas has come into the sphere of younger and seasoned players, and new listeners are discovering his music, and they are inspired and moved by it. Finally, an independent documentary film about Thomas Chapin is in the works. The film will tell the little-known story of his life and music, how he came to play on the big jazz stages of the world and how we lost him too soon.
For all this and more, Akasha, Inc. is indebted to the meticulous care, tireless devotion and infinite passion that Marty, Helene and Outward Vision bring to their work. They are elevating not just the music, but creating a solid foundation to build a better world.
Terri Castillo-Chapin – Executive Director – Akasha, Inc.
Marty is a brilliant visionary. The only reason I won’t say that he thinks outside the box is that for him, there is no box. He is passionate, energetic, funny, and can tell a hell of a story. He and Helene draw upon incredible experience from years of working with jazz musicians, presenters, promoters, agents, record labels. His advice and judgment is invaluable.
Joy S. Rosenthal
President – Contemporary African American Music Organization Inc. (CAAMO)