In the Summer of 2016 I was asked to write a straightforward piece on the trajectory of jazz music in Milwaukee. The project snowballed into a two-part multimedia series that was published on the website of 88Nine Radio Milwaukee.

Milwaukee Jazz Past: 

Milwaukee Jazz Present:

With your help I will build off the research I did for this series and publish my first book. 

The history of jazz music in Milwaukee and the contemporary revival will serve as an entry point to consider issues of race, class, culture, hip-hop, and identity in America. The book will employ multiple narratives and draw on my childhood in the Sherman Park neighborhood, which was a focal point of racial unrest this summer that briefly put Milwaukee in the international spotlight.

If I was a man of means or a bachelor I would write this book in my spare time. But I live with my girlfriend and her two children, helping to support our family. On top of my regular writing assignments I also work as a substitute teacher and high school tennis coach. Plus, I volunteer with organizations that support arts education, which have helped raise thousands of dollars for Milwaukee's youth and brought musicians into local schools for exclusive performances and talk-backs with students.

This campaign will allow me to dedicate workdays to the book project, be able to spend time with my family, and continue my volunteer work. It will cover design, photography and printing costs for the first edition of the book. Finally, it will allow me to connect with those who appreciate my prose and the Milwaukee jazz community.

Supreme thanks to the local businesses that believe in this project and have donated incentive rewards, including tickets to jazz performances at Company Brewing, the Jazz Estate, the Back Room at Colectivo, and music lessons at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music and the West End Conservatory.

Click the button below to view and join the official campaign.

If you would rather make a one-time contribution and not bother with creating a Patreon account, please consider contributing directly using the button below. 

(NOTE: By contributing directly you are still entitled to the incentive rewards included in the Patreon campaign.)