Image Credits: Dave Douglas © Andy Newcombe
June 11, 2018
“Positivity, persistence, and character!”
The American trumpeter and composer Dave Douglas, in parallel to a career full of collaborations and publications, in 2005 founded Greenleaf Music, an independent record label that aims to have a new approach to the modern music market.
> Ivano Rossato
What led you in 2005 to create your own independent record label and what characteristics of Greenleaf Music differentiate it from other record labels?
In 2004, when Sony bought BMG, which was the home of RCA Victor at the time, me and Michael Friedman of Premonition Records started talking about forming our own label. It was the genesis of Greenleaf Music. At the time, it was mostly about finding a good home and secure foundation for my own creative work in music. My projects needed a structure, and not one where I’d have to visit the 52nd floor of a corporate building in Times Square to ratify decisions. In short, it was time to take control and ownership of my own output. It was also time to make part of the effort to support other artists whose work I admired and felt could benefit from the platform. Subsequently, Greenleaf Music has become much more of an umbrella for all of my activities in music. As the internet became increasingly important, Greenleaf was able to adapt and move quickly to put the technology to good creative use. We were one of the first to make instant downloads of live shows and important new release platform. Subscriptions are an increasingly important part of our profit-sharing model. Aside from getting a session that I produce every year exclusively for subscribers, people who join get access to the entire catalog. In service to the music, we also produce a podcast in which I talk to musical artists about their work and their vision. It is called A Noise From The Deep and you can find it on iTunes, Sticher, or wherever you find your podcasts.
What is the spark that makes you want to produce a new project?
We recorded the band Kneebody near the beginning of their extraordinary musical path. Early on, we recorded Nicole Mitchell, Donny McCaslin, Linda May Han Oh, others. We continue to record Rudy Royston, Ryan Keberle and Greg Ward. We are a small company, so we have to be careful to make the work sustainable and truly support the careers and work of our artists. When I am truly excited by the music, I do whatever I can to help the music be heard and spread. I am inspired by the artists themselves, who I see as partners in this battle to keep creative music alive and well documented.
Which quality must an artist have to be produced by Greenleaf Music?
Positivity, persistence, and character!
Music business has changed a lot through the decades; what is today the biggest challenge?
I get asked this a lot. And sometimes I think that, though the challenges are different, this period is no more challenging for someone who wants to honestly pursue a path in creative music than at any other time. One has to believe, and know that there is no entitlement to listeners or gigs. The music is its own reward. At least that’s how I see it and that is what has kept me alive all these decades.
Which is the greatest professional goal you have achieved until today?
Maybe this question is for someone who listens to my music? Having made over 60 unique recordings, I’m sure you could understand it would be difficult to choose one… I try to make every project a growth from the last, I try to play better music every night. That’s the challenge of the universe.
Reservados todos los derechos – All rights reserved – 版權所有 – 版权所有; An espresso with… Dave Douglas and Greenleaf Music copyright Jazzespresso 2018.
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Jazzespresso is a magazine, a website, a network, a hub, connecting all the souls of jazz all over the world. Americas, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa: news from all over the world on a page in four languages. A multicultural reference point in English, Chinese and Spanish language for the lovers of this music in every country. For the amateur or the pro who wants to be updated about what is happening all around the world… Stay tuned.
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