George Kahn CD Store

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

$25 For a Great Show and a Great Cause

A recent study showed that Los Angeles is in the Top 3 of non-affordable places to buy a home in America.

The cost of housing has soared in the last few years as the real estate market has come back, but people's income has not kept pace.

Rather than feel helpless about this inequality, once a year I donate my money, time and talent, and throw a Jazz Fundraiser Party for PATH (People Assisting The Homeless) Ventures, a non-profit that builds affordable housing for the homeless in Los Angeles.

Please join me tomorrow night (Wednesday 12/10) at the Catalina Jazz Club in Hollywood.  My company, Mortgage Capital Partners, underwrites the band, so ALL the money raised at the door goes directly to PATH Ventures.   The all-star band this years features Dr. Bobby Rodriguez, Chuck Manning, Pat Kelley, Lyman Medeiros, MB Gordy, and the fabulous singers of the Jazz & Blues Revue: Courtney Lemmon, Gina Saputo and Crystal Starr.

A batch of $25 tickets have just been released (with half-price tickets available for students with ID).  Please RSVP on line or call Catalina's at  (323) 466-2210  and reserve your seats before the show sells out. I'll see you tomorrow night!

George KAHN - PATH Ventures Jazz & Blues Revue Fundraiser Wednesday, December 10th

6725 West SUNSET Blvd., HOLLYWOOD, CA. 90028 Tel. (323) 466-2210

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The new George Kahn Jazz & Blues Revue CD- Get Yours Today!

FEATURING SINGERS COURTNEY LEMMON, GINA SAPUTO AND CRYSTAL STARR
 
Jazz Pianist George Kahn felt his fans were ready for a change, so he formed the Jazz & Blues Revue.  More than just another jazz ensemble this time around, the Jazz & Blues Revue brings three of the best singers in Los Angeles together to perform unique arrangements of jazz standards along with other well-known songs, in a wonderful blend of Jazz, R&B and Soul.
 
The album has 13 new, creative arrangements of jazz and blues standards like Cantaloupe Island, Rock Me Baby, Beat Me Daddy Eight To The Bar, God Bless The Child, Summertime and Afro Blue.
 
Singer Courtney Lemmon has appeared on several of George’s albums and most recently released her debut CD “STAY WITH ME”, teaming her with Grammy Award winning Producer Michael Acosta.  Gina Saputo was among seven musicians chosen by Herbie Hancock, Terence Blanchard, and Wayne Shorter to study at the Thelonius Monk Institute. She performs regularly and also teaches singing at the Musicians Institute.  Crystal Starr has performed as a backup singer for Ariana Grande, as well as legendary greats Smokey Robinson, John Legend and Joss Stone.  She recently performed on Broadway in “Baby It’s You!”.
 
Renowned musicians Eric Marienthal (Sax), Dr. Bobby Rodriguez (trumpet),  Lyman Medeiros (Bass) and M. B. Gordy (Drums/Percussion) are featured on the new album,  along with Special Guests, Pat Kelley on Guitar and Chuck Manning on Sax.
Available at CDBABY and AMAZON

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Deep In The Kickstarter Trenches - Part 6


The Jazz & Blues Revue 40-day Kickstarter campaign ended on Friday July 11, at 2:00 PM.  It was a resounding success: we hit our goal of $18,000 on Monday July 7, and by Friday we ended up with 250 backers pledging $19,818.  I am still a bit in awe of the accomplishment - we were able to raise almost $20,000 to create an album of jazz and blues music that would never be considered by the major record labels - and I didn't even have to call in my "rich uncle" at the last minute. 
This is Part 6 of a blog I started to document the actual process of going through a successful Kickstarter campaign.  There are countless guides you can find that teach you how to create a crowd funding campaign, but  I think this may be the first one that carries you through the process.  In the end we hit and actually exceeded our number by 10%.  The dust has finally settled a little.  It is time to reflect on what I actually LEARNED from this experience
1.    Set a goal that is a stretch, but is doable.
Kickstarter gives you very good stats before and during the process.  One thing I read is the average Kickstarter donation comes out to be around $75.  So I figured that to hit our goal of $18,000, we would need at least 240 backers.  I felt certain that, between my fan base and the singers fan base, we must have 240 people that would step up to the plate.  In the end, we had 250 backers that pledged $19,818 or an average pledge of $79.27 each.  Creating a viable and realistic financial goal lets you finish strong.
2.    Timing is everything
In researching crowd funding, I knew that the dates we chose for our campaign would matter.  It had to fit the schedule of the band.  It had to end on the right day, and not get clobbered by holiday weekends.  We all had to be available for a final push during the last week.  I wanted to schedule parties and events during the campaign.  Nothing can be left to chance.
3. Create scarcity
Limiting the number of people that can get certain rewards make then more valuable.  This especially helps with the large rewards - big backers want to feel special!
4.      All or nothing works
There are other funding sites that are not date specific, and others that let you keep part of the money, even if you don't hit your full goal.  Kickstarter's "all or nothing" approach is scary, but very effective.  It creates urgency.  It let's people know you are serious, and if you don't hit your goal they get their money back and don't get stuck with a credit card bill for an inferior product.  And people love to be heroes - people wanted to be the one to help us hit $10,000, or be the one to push us over the $18,000 goal.
5. Set aside time to do the work
Don't let anyone tell you otherwise - fundraising is hard work. I probably averaged 2-3 hours a day to make this happen.  It was challenging, exhausting and so rewarding, not just financially.
6. Make it fun
If it ain't fun, then why do this?  We created some really fun rewards, we scheduled Kickstarter parties during the 40 days, and we even scheduled a club gig the last night of our campaign.  Talk about commitment!  I figured we would both hit our goal and have an incredible celebration, or we would have a gig that was very depressing - and no one wanted that to happen!
7. Give Thanks
Keeping in contact with all the backers during the campaign was important, but now it is even more important to touch base and thank them for making our dream a reality.  We really could not have done this without their support.  The final project is months from completion, but now is the time to thank them and keep them in the loop.  These 250 people are going to be our advocates when the final album arrives!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

54 hours to go - Momentum is on our side now...

Success often happens when you just lean into it
 when you leave yourself open to opportunities
without a contract or any expectations.
Like the snowball that continues to grow as it rolls downhill,
leaning into it creates momentum.
Momentum is that unseen energy force that brings more opportunity
more resources
more people who can help you on your path as it unfolds.
38 years ago I threw my electric piano and all my belongings into a Dodge van,
and drove to Los Angeles to be a professional musician.
I had no job, no contract
I just leaned into the dream
I did not know then that my real purpose
was to help people with my knowledge, creativity and organizational skills
to build better lives
and that leaning into my dream
would lead me to a successful banking career
8 self-released jazz albums
a published book
and a wonderful wife and family.
You lean into it
You see how it feels
 The journey will take you where you want to go - or even someplace better.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

We Made It! Still 3 days left to pre-order the Jazz & Blues Revue CD

"You can never learn less; you can only learn more. The reason I know is because I have made so many mistakes."
-Buckminster Fuller

Many people fail to take action because they are afraid to fail.
But if we look at each mistake as a lesson to learn,
then the failure is really just part of the learning process.

Mistakes are just opportunities for learning something new
and if I continue to
fail forward
if I am willing to fail and learn
then success will come eventually.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Deep In The Kickstarter Trenches - Part 5

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The Jazz & Blues Revue is now 35 days into our 40-day Kickstarter campaign: Four days left. We just hit $15,891.   It feels like an amazing achievement, but we still have $2,109 to go to meet our goal.  And, since Kickstarter is an "all or nothing" fundraising site, we have to still hit the $18,000 number or it all turns to dust. 
I remember having a discussion with the band members months ago, when we were planning our launch. How high should we set our target? When I ran the numbers, I felt it would be realistic to set the target at $18,000, since Amazon and Kickstarter take almost 10% of the total in fees.  So our $18,000 goal is really only a $16,200 budget, and I knew that producing and manufacturing the album of 13 songs would cost at least that.  I did not want to short-change the process in the hopes of hitting a lesser goal.  We set it at $18,000, and I am still confident that in the next 5 days we can raise $18,000.
Are there moments of panic? Absolutely.  Is there fear and embarrassment?  You bet.  But there is no time to waste on doubt and false evidence that appears real.  It is time for action.
By the time you read this, our project will be ending (it ends on Friday July 11,2014 at 2:00 PM in the afternoon), and I know it will be successful.  Why do I know?  Read these last lessons I learned during the process:
1.    Stay Positive
I am not a big fan of positive affirmations - I think there is a fine line between always being positive and being delusional.   But I think it is important to surround yourself with positive, like-minded individuals, so at times like this listening to Brian Tracy, W. Clement Stone or Jack Canfield can't hurt.  My favorite book to listen to this week is "The Success Principles" by Jack Canfield, the founder of the "Chicken Soup For the Soul" Books. I listen to it while I drive, and I always come home with a new idea to promote our campaign.
2.    It's Time To Delegate
We are the smartest. We are the best.  We are unique.  Only we know how to talk to our fans. 
Time is running out - it is time to lose this lie.  A lot of what you do to promote yourself (emails, tweets, Facebook posts) could easily be delegated to a minimum-wage employee with some simple directions.  So what are you waiting for?
What is your highest and best use during the next 5 days? (HINT: It is item #3 on this list).  It is time to hire a friend or a high school or college student to work for minimum wage, sending one last email to everyone in your database that has not donated to the campaign yet.
3.             The 10 Most Likely People
If you are like me, you have been putting off the difficult "fundraising" phone calls.  Time's UP! People want to get on board your project, and they are just waiting for a little nudge from you.  Look at the "backer report" from Kickstarter, and compare it to your list of best/most financially well-off fans.  Who's missing?  Make a list of the 10 most likely people to donate at a high level to your campaign and then call them first thing in the morning.  The missing money is just waiting for you to ask.
4.      Everyone can use a "rich uncle" to help out.
Everyone needs a "Plan B".  You don't want to get to the last day and be a dollar short.  My attitude from the very beginning was if we could get close, I would make it happen.  I can't disappoint the 175+ people that believe in our project and already donated money.  I believe in the album to the extent that, if need be, I will beg or borrow the money to get across the finish line (I draw the line at stealing).  In my case I have a "rich uncle" I can call if I need to at the last minute, ready to help.  If you don't have an uncle like that, and you believe in your project, you might want to check your credit card limits, and see where you can borrow the money from to get it done.  *NOTE:  This is not the opinion of Kickstarter, or anyone else - Kickstarter does not allow you to donate to your own project to reach your goal.  Just sayin'...
I still love the Kickstarter platform - I feel like we would not be where we are today without the help and support of the people at Kickstarter.com.  Next week, when the dust settles and we total up our winning tally, I will post one more blog to wrap up this adventure.