World Jazz For Haiti Double CD Raises Thousands

By Karen Bliss 1/11/11 |

World Jazz Cover
In just three months, the World Jazz for Haiti double CD has raised $7,000 for the Canadian Red Cross Haiti Earthquake Appeal fund from sales in 20 countries.

“Most of the sales at this point are from physical copies of the CD,” musical director/producer George Koller tells Samaritanmag. “Online sales only began in early December.”

The double album features 23 original songs — 12 vocal and 11 instrumental — played by 71 leading Canadian jazz and world music artists, including Holly Cole, David Clayton-Thomas, Jane Bunnett, Hilario Duran, John McDermott, Guido Basso, Jackie Richardson, Shuffle Demons, Mike Janzen, DK Ibomeka, Laila Biali, Don Thompson and Reg Schwager.

“The project was the idea of George Rondina, Number 9 Audio owner and WJFH executive producer,” says Koller. “He asked me if I could produce and get involved. I did and became passionate about the project.

“George Rondina chose the Red Cross as our charity and they have been wonderful. We have been following their hard work and dedication.”

Rondina and Koller, along with their production team, will present a cheque to John Saunders, Red Cross representative and provincial director of disaster management, at Number 9 Audio on January 11, the eve of the earthquake in Haiti last year.   Saunders has just returned from the devastated country, where he was deployed with the Red Cross Field Hospital.

The album took eight months to complete. The $40,000 worth of studio time and expenses were donated by Number 9 Audio and the musicians donated their time and songs, all of which are either brand new or variations on recent works.

World Jazz 2
L: George Koller; R: George Rondina
“I was able to put together the musicians and the sessions, and follow through with getting it done, getting it out there, and getting it promoted,” says Koller.

“We all did this with our crazy schedules, but it was worth it. With all the efforts of such a great team and my music biz connections coming through, we were able to get it to this point.”

World Jazz for Haiti was released on Sept. 26 and now sells digitally on iTunes for $19.99 for the entire album. The physical CD is also available on CD Baby for $25 and $21 to download; or on Amazon for $17.98 for the download. All three sites sell individual digital tracks for $0.99.

“It still feels like the beginning, but much has been achieved,” says Koller. “We are looking forward to the growth of this. It doesn't have to be fast — here and gone — gradual and rooted and strong is just fine.”


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* is an online magazine covering the good deeds of individuals, charities and businesses.