Jazz Advocate changes tactics but keeps same goals

No fest, but more, smaller shows planned

In years past, area music fans have enjoyed a summer concert presented by Jazz Advocate, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of jazz music. There will be no jazz festival this year, but founder Ron Gable is busy planning other shows in the months ahead.

“Our board of directors came to the conclusion that perhaps we would be better off putting on a series of smaller events throughout the year rather than just one major event,” Gable said. “This could do more to expose people to jazz.”

Jazz Advocate’s next show is Saturday, featuring the Ron Jones Quartet at Jazz Central. Alto saxophonist Jones will be joined by Phil Burkhead (piano), Sonny Stephens (bass) and Darryel Cotton (drums).

“The audience is in for a real treat,” said Jones. “This group will be swinging hard.”

The concert is a benefit for the Gabriel Foundation, a Jazz Advocate initiative that provides instruments to aspiring young musicians. A saxophone, guitar and violin have been donated already, and Gable expects participation to increase.

“A lot of musicians have instruments lying around collecting dust that they don’t use anymore,” he said. “We have a small fund available that we can use to refurbish them.”

Jones expressed his eagerness to participate in this worthwhile cause.

“I’m honored and appreciative of another opportunity to make a difference in kid’s lives,” he said.

Next month, Jazz Advocate will partner with Dayton’s jazz radio station, WDPS (FM 89.5), for its second annual Listener Appreciation Concert at the Ponitz Career Center on the afternoon of Oct. 21.

“We had one there last year and it came off really well,” said Gable.

Although the performance schedule has yet to be finalized, Generations Big Band and the James & Moore duo have been booked to play.

Despite a decline in funding, Jazz Advocate continues its work thanks to strong community partnerships with Jazz Central, WDPS and others that share a common interest in preserving jazz music.

“We’re a small, grassroots organization, so we’ve never needed large funding,” Gable said. “We’re going to support jazz every way we can.”

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