DETROIT,MI-- The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has awarded the Detroit International Jazz Festival (DJF) a $100,000 grant to help the festival reach a global audience through an exciting web-based initiative, DJF's Jazz Planet.
DJF's Jazz Planet – a streaming news magazine and music channel, featuring performances, news flashes, interviews and behind-the-scenes commentary from the 2010 Detroit International Jazz Festival – was created to showcase Detroit as a significant center for jazz, provide a platform for artists to share their projects, and develop a mainstream audience for jazz and the festival through the internet.
Building upon the festival's year-round commitment to educational programming and events, the Knight Foundation grant will help DJF achieve the following goals:
* Engage communities on a global scale through social media;
* Develop an online portal of information and activity for jazz in Southeast Michigan;
* Provide opportunities for urban students to enhance skills, compete with their suburban counterparts and be inspired by great artists.
"Our advocacy efforts for jazz and Detroit were magnified with the introduction of the Planet," says festival director Terri Pontremoli. "In addition to reaching hundreds of thousands of jazz fans around the globe, we were able to deliver an unsurpassed cultural experience to new audiences."
"The festival is on the cutting edge of engaging new audiences," said Dennis Scholl, Knight Foundation's vice president/arts. "The site allows the festival to expand its reach far beyond one stellar weekend in Detroit."
Produced by ShowAds Network and in partnership with Livestream, DJF's Jazz Planet was full of spontaneity and fun, featuring interviews with artists and by artists, fan and student commentary, and segments of performances.
In its first year, DJF's Jazz Planet reached 700,000 viewers in 157 countries. It went "live" at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on the festival's opening night, with a 30-minute red carpet segment co-hosted by bassist Christian McBride and festival director Terri Pontremoli. Red carpet guests included: Detroit Mayor Dave Bing; Tower of Power's Emilio Castillo; and 2010 DJF artist in residence, pianist Mulgrew Miller.
DJF's Jazz Planet highlights can still be seen on the festival website – detroitjazzfest.com/jazzplanet – through November 25, 2010.
New video content featuring festival performances, jazz master classes and special interviews will be added to DJF's Jazz Planet in the coming months. Please visit the Jazz Planet Blog for details and updates on this project.
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation advances journalism in the digital age and invests in the vitality of communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Knight Foundation focuses on projects that promote informed and engaged communities and lead to transformational change. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.
About Detroit International Jazz Festival
The Detroit International Jazz Festival (DJF) is an independent, non-profit organization that presents jazz and educational workshops throughout the year. With an audience of 750,000, this free event has a $90M impact on the city. It is supported through foundation grants, individual donations, and customized sponsorships for businesses that benefit from exposure to DJF's large, diverse and educated audience. For more information visit www.detroitjazzfest.com.