New Music USA Listening Sessions in Philadelphia Will Help Create Opportunities for Jazz Artists

New Music USA supports and connects US-based music makers, organizations, and audiences by providing financial support through project grants, fostering new connections through programming, deepening knowledge and encouraging appreciation through an online magazine, and promoting funded projects and new music events. The good news: They’re coming to Philadelphia to listen to what the new music community needs now.

In June, New Music USA is also organizing discussion forums in different cities across the United States. Before COVID19 imposed restrictions, the organization had planned to embark on a national tour to meet diverse new music practitioners and engage them in a conversation about the pressing, long-term needs and opportunities across the new music scene. This feedback would influence how New Music USA planned to expand and leverage its financial, social, intellectual, and cultural resources in addressing those needs. Even though the in-person tour has been postponed, the team at New Music USA believes that these conversations are more important than ever, and are planning to have them online instead. The discussion forums for Philadelphia are planned for June 8, 9, and 10 via Zoom. 

“We want to hear about what you can see, that we wouldn’t be able to see, when it comes to gaps in funding, opportunities for collaboration, and what Philadelphia’s music community wants from a national organization like New Music USA,” says President & CEO Vanessa Reed. “The Philadelphia region has an exceptional music history and we want to make sure we’re doing everything we can to help facilitate current and future opportunities for its music community.”

The organization invites diverse new music stakeholders across genre, career phase, age, sex, geographic, race, ethnicity, content, music genres, and physical ability to share their insights and experiences to inform future programming and connect a community of folks who otherwise would not have been in touch. 

Reed says New Music USA is interested in jazz as an art form. “We are supporting the sounds of tomorrow by investing in and nurturing the creation, performance and appreciation of living music in all its forms. This includes jazz,” Reed explains. “We want to be relevant to all composers, music creators, improvisers and nonprofit organizations concerned with the creation of new work.”

In 2020, the organization launched a new program, supported by the Sphinx Venture Fund, to facilitate the co-commissioning of composers of color by consortia of national orchestras. It will also be running a film music fund and beginning initiatives that focus on the challenges for female artists in jazz. 

“We also strive to respond to emerging needs such as those created by COVID-19,” Reed says. “Recently we did this by helping an artist collective by running the New Music Solidarity Fund.” The fund supports 1,000 musicians with $500 emergency relief grants. For more on New Music USA’s programming and grants, visit their website or sign-up for the upcoming forums on Eventbrite.

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