Learn about the Stretch Movement.
It feels nice to finally be able to share what I've been up to since I last wrote for All About Jazz more than two years ago. In those articles I chronicled my journey from first learning Jazz, attending Music School and finally life as a touring Jazz musician. Through this process I came to understand some very fundamental problems with the current state of jazz. I also came to realize that there was a great difference between the reality I was living and my childhood dream of being a professional jazz musician. Of all my millennial peers, none have ...read more
The Stretch Movement's main goal is to build a new young audience. This seems like it should be an obvious statement, but jazz has ignored the fact that new young listeners are not flocking to the music. The vast majority of listeners that end up at jazz shows are students, who are studying the music, or older fans, who will not be around forever. The way things are currently set up will not result in a self-sustaining long-term system. The now-old lions have created a Ponzi scheme that is not interested in breaking in new young artists or bringing in ...read more
For my entire childhood, up through the moment I graduated high school, I was told of the importance of the SAT Reasoning Tests and attending college. I believe this was a message my entire generation heard from our parents, teachers, and society at large. While I was in eighth grade, I was introduced to jazz and immediately fell in love with the music of John Coltrane. I shared this passion with my twin brother, trombonist Joe Beaty. We were lucky enough to attend Interlochen Arts Academy on scholarship to finish high school, graduating in 2001. At that time, Interlochen's tuition ...read more
A few months ago Felix Pastorius, Chris Ward, Zaccai Curtis and I started something called The Stretch Movement. We started quietly amongst our friends and launched our website, mymomthinksimgreat.com on November 2, 2011. Why quietly? I was worried; it was the uneasiness of being the first to do something. In our mission statement we were acknowledging that jazz was not only dead but that that word didn't aptly describe the music we play. We started Stretch for all the amazing young musicians who are coming out of college that don't play or relate to swing, and will probably not go ...read more