Brooklyn Jazz Underground: An association of jazz bandleaders that are keeping jazz alive

All of us here at All Your Jazz are always trying to find ways to spread the word about jazz and keep our readers up to date on the latest artists and happenings. Especially in a day when pop and other music styles seem to take most of the headlines, it can be difficult to get the word out. Thanks to many independent groups and associations, like the Brooklyn Jazz Underground, it is a little easier to keep everyone up to speed in the jazz sector.

The Brooklyn Jazz Underground is an association of independent bandleaders with a shared commitment to improvised music. Through cooperative effort, members of the BJU strive to create greater awareness of their work. Located in Brooklyn, New York, the collective is made up of 10 bandleaders from around the area. Frustrated with their attempts to get their projects noticed and out in the headlines, they decided to band together and combine their strengths.

About three and a half years ago, these members met to pool their resources in an attempt to get more notice and be more involved in the community. At first they started out with a website, doing interviews and launching podcasts. After having done a couple of festivals and hosted local events in the area, they began to get more notice.


Recently, they have decided to expand upon their increased notice in the community by forming their own record label, BJU Records. In the beginning, it had been used mainly as a means to get their own work out; however they recently opened the doors to non BJU members. They even added that this spring would see three such releases – look for them in the near future! In addition, they hinted at the idea of forming their collective into a non-profit group; nothing has been mentioned regarding a date for that however.

Regarding the challenges of forming the group, they said that it was a little difficult at the beginning because they needed to have people that shared the same mindset as them. That is, they had to have the same ideas and standards for the music they put out, and they had to be serious about being a contributing member of the group.

Their work has paid off so far, and they enjoy being recognized by the public as a collective that is doing their part to reach out to the community and offer something that is in short supply. In addition, they have had more success individually because they rely on each other to take each part of the workload, resulting in more production and greater quality.


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More information about The Brooklyn Jazz Underground can be found on their website.

You can get in touch with them by email at info@brooklynjazz.org.
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