con*sil"i*ence, n: from the latin, consilere, formed from con,"with," and "salire," to leap; an interlocking of explanations of cause and effect between disciplines. An act of concurrence; coherence; jumping together.
WHAT WE'RE ABOUT:
Consilience Productions is a non-profit production company that uses music - primarily jazz - to help strengthen our democracy. We believe that broad and informed public participation is the bedrock of a free, democratic, and civil society. A healthy democracy requires everyone's participation and each of us has something to contribute. As such, we use the entertainment value of music to bring people together to expose them to important issues of the day. We work to increase awareness of social change movements and related ideas that are helping to make the world a better place.
Through our website, social networking sites, liner notes on CD releases,
concert performances, and many of the areas outlined here,
we use America's true art form - Jazz - to connect, entertain, teach, organize,
inspire, and prod our fellow citizens to become more active participants in
the democratic process of social change. Our simple goal is to increase civic
engagement with our message of "Live Jazz for Social Change!"
Why Jazz? First, it embodies the original American spirit of freedom and independence that attracted our original descendants to this country, and continues to attract immigrants to this day. Secondly, it comes from the unique confluence of musical forms that took place in the beginning of the 20th century in the great American city of New Orleans, where European classical musical traditions blended with the African-American blues form. Finally, the structure and performance of jazz perfectly embodies the spirit and determination of our democratic process: how the music is performed parallels how our democracy works. As the liner notes from our 2005 CD release, Awake, describe:
Participation. Just as jazz music is only made possible through the intense participation of each musician, our society is only able to function when its citizens become involved - actively involved. Unfortunately, in America today, the majority of voices often do not express their opinions or educate themselves about important events and issues facing our society. Most people think that they can't make a difference, or that they are unable to impact their community. Therefore, they check-out of the process. But by exerting a "push-back," we can effect change, even if it's on a small scale. Remember: we got here through a series of actions by previous citizens over the years, and we will improve things through a similar process. That's why we use the entertainment value of live jazz - and the democratic ideals it represents - to increase participation in the issues confronting us. We are always striving to help create the active citizen!
Jazz music has always been about pursuing freedom through individual participation in a group setting. Within a shared framework, ideas made of sounds flow from one musician to another in a conversation that serves the music, creating an atmosphere where the participants are free to express. But this freedom is only possible when each musician is committed to the democratic ideal, where the give and take among disparate voices makes the music blend. In this way, jazz is a direct by-product of the American ideal - founded upon individual expression and freedom, yet devoted through participation to the greater good.
As the great jazz drummer, Art Blakey, once said: "No America. No jazz!"
Freedom. Thelonious Monk, the iconoclastic jazz pianist, once remarked, "Jazz is freedom." Plain and simple. And as the structure of jazz is ultimately about freedom, our participation in the dialogue of the day is essential to ensuring that same freedom for all of us. If we don't get involved, someone else or some other entity will, and that person or company or organization very likely will not have our best interests in mind. In fact, we at Consilience Productions even go so far to ask: "If you're not participating, and someone else is determining your future, how truly free are you?"
When we fall asleep, our democracy suffers.
When we are awake, possibility and hope thrive.
Read our Annual Summary of Activity Report for 2010.
Visit our "Projects" page to learn more about all of our specific goals.
You can also contact us via email here.
Thanks for stopping by, and please do not hesitate to "Get Involved!"
Featured Consilience Artists:
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2003-23 Consilience Productions. All Rights Reserved.
Consilience Productions, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
All contributions are fully tax deductible.