THE NONSEMBLE: "What It Is" - [All Is Subject to Perspective]


Hey All,

My name is Jason and I am the Founder, Co-Chair and C.A.D. [Creative Artistic Director] of THE NONSEMBLE. The idea to try to develop a site and a community related to my early musical Love - Jazz - and her many beautiful sisters first sprung and into the ether in the late nineties.

It had been a bit of a journey for me. My Family was a Jazz family, my real grand-father ran his night trade in and out of the dives and sauce spots of our hometown… my adoptive family patriarch had been an esteemed horn player [Saxophone], traveled the world many times over and even starred in a film [based very closely on his own real life] - basically playing himself.

Long, Tall Dexter [Gordon] had been one of my two main mans when I was looking at who I wanted to be. My other Grandfather is who I came nearest to becoming and being… Now - I find myself somewhere between.

While I was aware of the scenes in London, Japan, Germany and - of course - here in The States. I was also very curious… Who else is into to this scene, who were the players, the bands, the fans, what were they all up to and where were they doing it?

There wasn’t singular perfect source. There was - of course - legendary STRAIGHT NO CHASER magazine had done a near-perfect job of keeping me up on things. Largely UK-centric, they had arms and agents across the globe! Broken Beat, Trad Jazz, Acid and Nu-Jazz, Highlife / Afrobeat… DJs and Dance Clubs in London, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Thailand, Gothenburg, Gotham Paris and beyond.

For years, everywhere I went I looked for a Straight No Chaser - or kept one handy, for information and ideas that I would rarely be able to find in TIME OUT or the local City Weekly.

In the mid-to-late ‘80’s [telling, isn’t it?], I formed a short-lived MC collective with one of my very best friends. We were first [inexplicably and ill-advisedly] called, The Vice Squad. When that didn’t work out, we changed the name of the group to The Elemental Prose and created music based in and around a mutual love of Jazz and elocution.

My partner-in-rhyme had played Sax so well growing up that he featured in multiple bands that had pulled into the top ten of the State High-School Jazz Finals. he went on to be a rather well-known Hollywood type and I went into the music and nightlife business… we met back up not long after and transformed our life-long brotherhood into a working relationship. For years - off and on and off again - I worked in various capacities for that same brother of mine and - today - he [Don Cheadle] sits on the board as Vice-Chairman while we build what is meant to be a very focused and filtered foundry for new and next generation Jazz / Not-Jazz - from Artists and areas from across all borders and all around the world!

We thank you for jumping on with us so early in the game and we hope to be able to bring you the best and the rest of the new and the next in Jazz and Jazz-related wonder-full for many moons to come!