In recent months, the management of JazzColumbus has changed hands, as I, Andrew Patton, have taken over day-to-day operations. Here’s more details and history of the site from JazzColumbus founder Mark Subel:
Mark Subel: “I remember almost 10 years ago, when I went to Google (maybe Yahoo at that time?) and was looking online for information on great live jazz for the weekend in Columbus and didn’t find anything concrete. Sure, there were local papers like the Other Paper and Columbus Alive, but you had to sift through back pages and look at each venue and who was playing and figure out if that was a jazz band/artist or not.
I love watching and listening to live jazz, and at that time, I loved going to the 501 jazz club to hear local (and a few national) musicians. So I took it upon myself to start a website to help organize the city’s jazz community so it would be easier to find shows, learn about local musicians and help spread information about the wealth of jazz talent we have here right in Columbus, Ohio. More on the goals of the site here: http://www.jazzcolumbus.com/about/
That was 2006! I have my original email from Yahoo where I registered the domain. The only problem at that point was that I didn’t really know how to build a website. 🙂 I put the project on hold for a while (ahem 3 years). Eventually when I had some extra time, I did some research and found a free open-source solution (WordPress) which would allow me to publish posts and have some semblance of a website. Nothing fancy, but just enough to have a presence and provide local jazz information.
So in late 2009, I began posting “articles” (really just summaries of shows or copies of press releases) and updating the “jazz calendar” each week so there was one definitive place to find out where ALL (or most) of the jazz performances were in a given week. Slowly the site began to grow and gain visitors - I eventually started posting on Facebook and Twitter and there was some viral sharing over the next couple of years.
Eventually I got a process down, but running the site took time. Writing the occasional article, pushing out a weekly email newsletter, and aggregating jazz shows from each of the venues into one location. Sometimes websites were down, or venue owners didn’t reply, or musicians would email last minute to let me know about a show. It wasn’t a perfect science, but it was a good place to go to find out where jazz was being played in the city.
As the site continued to grow, it continued to take time to keep calendars updated, articles written on upcoming shows or album releases or interviews or any of the many different types of articles you now see on the site. As Andrew can attest to now, IT TAKES A LOT OF TIME. 🙂
Over the past couple of years, the time commitment to keep the site updated and current was just too much for my schedule. I own my own business, I’m involved with my local neighborhood organization, perform music periodically with other bands, and my wife and I recently gave birth to our first child, a baby boy.
I knew a while ago that I just couldn’t keep the site going on my own and thought about just shutting it down. Luckily, I had met Andrew Patton a couple of years ago and he had an interest in writing. He started writing the odd article here and there and really added a much needed voice to the site. During that time, it became evident that Andrew had a true passion and commitment to the Columbus Jazz scene and really helped take the site to the next level.
Given my lack of time and inability to keep up with quality unique articles, I felt that the site would be better off in the hands of Andrew. Luckily he accepted the opportunity and now fully runs the JazzColumbus.com site. I have basically stepped away and given Andrew full rein to continue to provide the city of Columbus with the most complete jazz coverage anywhere.
I want to thank everyone who has sent me kind words in the past, the musicians who have provided endless hours of entertainment and artistry, the organizers and venues who support live jazz, and all the readers who have “tuned in” each week to learn more about our local jazz scene and hopefully get a chance to catch some shows of their own. I also want to thank Andrew, for without him, this site would not exist today. Please give him a hi-five and a “thanks” the next time you see him if you are a musician who has been covered or a reader who has utilized the site to learn more about the scene or catch a show.
Signing off for now! - Mark Subel”
I (Andrew) am very grateful for Mark’s foresight in founding and developing the site and for his years of dedication to the site and the general Columbus jazz scene. While it’s a bit sad that Mark can no longer participate with the site, I’m very happy that good fortune in his business and personal life are the factors making this change necessary. Thank you, Mark, for the original opportunity to contribute to JazzColumbus, and the chance to keep the site running now that you are stepping away. With the contributions of new writer Richard Sanford, I feel like JazzColumbus is in a good position to keep providing information about local jazz to our readers for years to come. As always, if anyone reading this is interested in writing for JazzColumbus or finding other ways to help the site, I am all ears! Please contact me here. Thanks for reading!