Patchwork B Brief:

Generate an idea for a new business opportunity that you could pursue which must have a clear cultural aspect to it.

DISCLAIMER: Before anybody goes crazy in the comments field, I would just like to point out that the ideas and thoughts in this post are all THEORETICAL and part of my MA degree. I would appreciate you giving me feedback and help, but in a constructive way if possible.

My cultural enterprise idea is called Jazzgirl.

It would form part of the Jazzman Records umbrella, acting as a label as well as a digital content producer and distributor through a mobile and tablet app by the same name. (For more information about Jazzman Records and why I consider it to be a cultural enterprise, please refer to my post about Cultural Entrepreneurship)

The focus of the music released on the label and shared through the app would be in line with what Jazzman Records already specialise in, so Jazz, Funk, Soul, Jukebox R&B, but it would focus exclusively on female artists within those genres, digging even deeper in the musical archives, but potentially also embrace new acts sometime in the future if it kicks off.

The releases on the label would be collectors items, limited edition 7 inch vinyl with a digital equivalent available.

The app would work like a mash-up of a magazine,  music history resource and music plus video player. It would include extensive liner notes, pictures, audio clips and video clips where possible, as well as options of buying the music and exploring more music from the artists featured, either on the Jazzgirl label, Jazzman & sister labels, or other labels out there.

Since there isn’t a label out there that focuses solely on female artists within this niche category of music and format, the aim is to appeal to an already existing Jazzman customers base through the high quality music & product that we’re releases, but at the same time, bridge the gap between the old and the new, appealing to a slightly younger and more tech savvy generation through the app.

Jazzgirl would initially be funded through Jazzman Records, paying for the design and build of the app, as well as the first 2-3 releases on the label. However, the aim would be to turn around enough money for it to be a self-efficient business and not reliable on any further funding from Jazzman Records.

This would hopefully be achieved by not only the physical releases of records, but also through the app that would be free to download but have extra premium content available for paying monthly customers.

The idea for the Jazzgirl app has stemmed from an upcoming Spiritual Jazz project by Black Classical and it is a very similar concept to the recent Blue Note app that has been released for iPad.



Brief:

Give your definition of cultural entrepreneurship. Locate a cultural entrepreneur in your local area and produce a case study on why you think they might be considered a cultural entrepreneur.

For me, cultural entrepreneurship is when a person or business is trying to make a cultural impact through the enterprise that they run and the products/services that they produce and sell. The main goal or priority of a cultural enterprise is first and foremost not to make a profit, but to produce a product or service that will culturally impact society. Of course, if the enterprise then actually does make a profit through their activities then that is just an added bonus.

So if I go by my own definition of cultural entrepreneurship, a very obvious cultural enterprise in my local area is of course the business that I work for, Jazzman Records, owned by the cultural entrepreneur Jazzman Gerald.

The cultural enterprise that he runs is a small independent record label that specialises in reissuing very rare and obscure records on vinyl. Focusing on genres such as Jazz, Funk, Soul and Jukebox R&B, the company focuses on a very niche market, even more so due to the vinyl format that we use for all of our releases.

The business itself is not a huge money making machine, and usually most of the money that it makes gets reinvested straight back into the company in order to be able to put out more records.

So why do I consider Jazzman Gerald to be a cultural entrepreneur?

First of all, because of his undeniable passion and love for the music that he unearths and his incredible will to make sure that this music becomes accessible and available to a much broader audience world wide. He spends a great amount of time searching for these very rare and obscure records that the label reissues, and one of the main reasons for why he set up the business to begin with was to make sure that people all around the world who either can’t afford to pay the high prices of the original recordings, or because they simply have never heard of the music before, would be able to access this great music easily and at affordable prices.

Secondly, because he is passionate about educating people about the music and the artists behind these rare records, ALWAYS going the extra distance and making sure that people behind the music get the right compensation and  recognition for their work.

A lot of the music that gets reissued on Jazzman Records (and it’s sister labels) would be forgotten or never even discovered if it wasn’t for the hard and dedicated work of the Jazzman Records team.

You can read a recent interview with Jazzman Gerald on iCrates, and below is an old RBMA lecture from 2006 where the label was fairly new, but it still works as a good example of what Jazzman Records and Jazzman Gerald is all about.