I want to ask you: What’s the best concert you’ve seen recently?

Hands-down, the best I’ve experienced was Kamasi Washington at this year’s Winnipeg International Jazz Festival.

I’ve been involved and interested in music my whole life, from experiencing jazz firsthand in high school band until now, but I have to admit it was that show that most challenged and inspired me with its rich textures, transformative and almost transcendental qualities. And being a part of the audience that night, I know I wasn’t alone in those thoughts and feelings. I shared with everyone in the theatre the experience of seeing an artist who changed my perspective in a single performance.

It struck me how profoundly lucky we are to see such a prestigious artist in our hometown. Kamasi had just performed at Coachella and was on his way to Glastonbury…and he stopped in Winnipeg. I’m so glad the Winnipeg International Jazz Festival attracted such a high-calibre talent to the city, and that I bought tickets.

Jazz is, by its nature, personal, varied and diverse. It grabs you and moves you. At the festival, it’s also the joy of discovering new sounds and uncovering new talent that’s a thrill (and maybe it’s a little like golf…you can enjoy and experience it at any age). I now have the joy of introducing my kids to jazz. They may not know what’s hit them just yet, but I’m sure it will make an impact in their lives.

So whether you’re one of a crowd of 50 people watching the next Kamasi Washington play a mind-bending jam session in the Velvet Glove Lounge, or one of the thousands packed into Old Market Square until the wee hours, or someone who has sat in a theatre enthralled, I think you get it.

The Winnipeg International Jazz Festival has produced many awe-inspiring shows featuring artists at the top of their game, and every year it seems to top itself. And perhaps this isn’t surprising. I strongly believe that we have some of the best talent,volunteers, supporters and musicians anywhere. I’m proud to be investing in the future success of the organization as a volunteer, a board member and a donor.

While I feel that the amazing experiences provided to you and me are reason enough to lend support, there are other reasons to consider a gift.

Every year, the Winnipeg International Jazz Festival ushers in summer and transforms the Exchange District through free performances at Old Market Square. The streets are animated, people are energized, and our community is brought together. During the frigid winters, Jazz Winnipeg brings us out of our isolation and warms us with the flush of experiencing legendary artists or new favourites up-close. It inspires our city’s own musicians and gives them an opportunity to shine.

You’ve shared the experience and you know the feeling.

Whether it’s legendary artists or emerging talent, we witness incredible musical moments each year. I ask you to help keep that feeling alive through your support. Jazz Winnipeg is a registered charity, dedicated to creating experiences for you, me and the community. It reaches out to the community and, with your help, makes jazz and other music forms relevant to the lives of so many. It has changed our city’s musical landscape. It has helped launch a jazz renaissance, giving Winnipeg one of the most thriving jazz scenes in the country. But we need your help to do more.

Giving to Jazz Winnipeg is an investment in the city’s culture. Your support ensures it can continue to nurture excitement and passion for groundbreaking programming.

I give because I want to experience the Winnipeg International Jazz Festival for at least another 30 years, and I want my kids to experience the power of music. Winnipeg is a

very arts-focused city, but for me it’s all about music and the transformative effect of encountering that music live.

That’s why I’m a donor and why I hope you’ll join me in giving this year. Please consider making a gift to Jazz Winnipeg today.

Sincerely,

Angela Heck

Vice-Chair, Jazz Winnipeg Board of Directors

P.S. I am asking you to join me in giving your most generous donation.

I recently decided to give monthly so that I could give more, and I urge you consider this option. It was not only easy to do but easy on my budget. It allows you to help Jazz Winnipeg all year long! A monthly gift of $10, $15, or $25 will go a long way to allowing Jazz Winnipeg to bring in the world’s best musicians.