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Copyright 2012
South Bend Tribune
June 5, 2012
Actual Story

Jackson CD release hinges on Kickstarter campaign

By Howard Dukes
South Bend Tribune Columnist

Saxophonist Franz Jackson made his presence known at his 95th birthday party and concert.

The party was held on Nov. 4, 2007, in Dowagiac. Plenty of musicians who performed with and were inspired by Jackson attended the event.

And Jackson couldn’t passively enjoy music played for him while accolades were being tossed his way. Instead, he did what he had done nearly all of his life — he picked up his saxophone and joined in the fun, daughter Michelle Jewell says.

The birthday concert at the Dowagiac Middle School Performing Arts Center was Jackson’s last public performance. The veteran saxophonist died on May 6, 2008.

The event made a lasting impression on the performers and jazz fans in attendance, Jewell says.

“Dad rarely talked about his concerts, but he talked about that night a lot,” she says. 

Those in attendance also felt the night was special and many said they wished a recording had been made that night. If so, they would be willing to buy a CD.

Those fans might get a chance.

Jewell says the event was recorded, and she wants to make a CD that will be released in time for the 100th anniversary of her father’s birth in November.

The title of that recording is “Franz Jackson: Milestone.”

To do that, Jewell needs to raise at least $9,000, and she set up a donation page on the website for anyone who wishes to pitch in.

Jewell says she opened the page on May 26, and people can make donations until July 10. But the only way she receives the money is if the site raises at least $9,000.

Jewell raised $515 from 14 donors as of June 4. People can make donations at levels ranging from $5 to $3,500, according to Jewell.

Those who make a donation at the $5 level will receive a personal thank you note. Those making the maximum donation will receive a variety of premiums, including a framed copy of the CD, credit as executive producer, copies of other CDs released by Jackson, a copy of framed sheet music of a Jackson arrangement and up to two minutes of voice-over commercial work by David Jewell, who is Michelle Jewell’s husband.

Jewell says that the CD will be a fitting way to honor her father’s memory on what would have been his 100th birthday.
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